Citizen Engagement in Global Health

Citizen Engagement in Global Health

In the 2030 Agenda established in 2015, the world community set bold commitments to “To ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.” (Sustainable Development Goal #3). It followed this up in 2019 with a commitment to Universal Health Coverage (UHC). In the UN System’s Global Action Plan, one of the seven “accelerators” towards UHC is Citizen Engagement.

In a recent conversation with the Global Health Council, they brief us on a range of initiatives they’ve been involved with the “democratize health.”

  • Voice, agency, empowerment – handbook on social participation for universal health coverage provides specific best practice guidance to policy-makers on how to meaningfully engage with the population, communities, and civil society for policy- and decision-making. This guidance document was developed by the World Health Organization (via UHC2030 partnership) jointly with civil society actors, Member State representatives, and academia through the Social Participation Technical Network.
  • The Health for All Advocacy Toolkit provides national-level civil society organizations (CSOs) and health networks with the necessary resources to kick-start advocacy initiatives on universal health coverage (UHC). It offers advocates a central reference point—a ‘one-stop shop’ for key information and tools to advocate for UHC, hold policy-makers accountable for their commitments, and build a broad social movement within civil society to support health for all. The kit was developed by the Civil Society Engagement Mechanism for UHC2030 (CSEM) — the civil society constituent of UHC2030.
  • A research article, “Governance of the Covid-19 response: a call for more inclusive and transparent decision-making” appears in BMJ (British Medical Journal) Global Health. The study of the official Covid-19 response in 24 countries reveals very little citizen engagement and that “female representation is particularly paltry.” The study was discussed in a United Nations Guest Article: “Covid 19—a test for political leaders to truly leave no one behind.

Featured image from the report cover, WHO, Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.

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