This policy brief is one of a new series to meet the needs of policy-makers and health system managers. The aim is to develop key messages to support evidence-informed policy-making. Investment in health promotion and disease prevention activities, at least within the health sector, remains stubbornly low in many countries. For instance, OECD countries typically allocate between 2% and 4% of total health sector spending to these activities. Moreover, between 2009/2010 and 2012/2013 on average spending fell in real terms and still in 2014/2015 was only growing at around 2% per annum, a rate that is much lower than before the onset of the global economic crisis.