Monday, 12 September 2011

Get involved in global health!

Why should nongovernmental organizations dealing with international health cooperation get involved in global health, in high politics, debates on issues such as the reform of the World Health Organization or the development of a Framework Convention on Global Health?

As many representatives of the Medicus Mundi International Network you might answer: "Good question. I do not know why I should. And now please let me continue my work. Got many reports to write. Many funding applications to screen. And problems to resolve with our local partners."

I do not mind. I even do not mind if you ask me: "And anyhow, what do you think that we can change at a global level?" I also agree with you that it makes sense to share tasks among people and institutions working in different ways towards the shared vision of health for all.

Nevertheless, I do not like to ask those academics specialized in global health issues or that couple of highly professional lobbyists working for those few highly professional international NGOs to represent my voice and my interests in the global arena.

Also in smaller NGOs and NGO networks there are people interested and able to get involved in global health issues. Not following all the "hot" issues, but some of them. Not knowing everything, but trying to learn and share. Not getting always involved, but sometimes at least. I will do this - join me, if you dare.

Thomas Schwarz, Executive Secretary, MMI Network

Social advocacy aims at changing the “what is” into a “what should be” - a more decent and more just society. In a globalized world, social change requires advocacy beyond countries’ borders: transnational advocacy and international advocacy, based on international networks and coalitions. Joint advocacy adds a layer of value to the MMI Network’s activities. Supporting our members’ efforts to achieve the shared vision of “Health for All”, our joint advocacy aims at influencing the international policy landscape in which our members’ and their partners’ activities takes place. The Network will play a role in passing its members key advocacy messages to the international level. On the other hand, the MMI Network aims at encouraging and facilitating its members’ and their partners’ advocacy activities on a national level in the countries they are based or engaged in. (Medicus Mundi International Network, Strategy 2011-2015, pdf)

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