To Move Forward Is To Move Together: Creating Collective Action Through Roundtables

This article was written by Melissa Chacko Policy Associate, Global Health Council.

The global health advocacy community is diverse and functions as a conglomerate of roundtables, working groups and coalitions (hereinafter referred to as roundtables). The roundtables can operate independently or collectively, bringing together advocates and researchers from diverse sectors to discuss global health policy issues and to increase US funding for global health accounts. The impact of roundtables on global health policy is the culmination of the work of these groups, such as letters of signatures, meetings at Capitol Hill, advocacy around legislation and engagement with the government. # 39; administration. For organizations advocating for US investment in global health, the roundtables amplify this work as they provide a strategy, build a collective voice, and advocate for a holistic, holistic approach to delivery and health care. overall.

Provides a strategy

The round tables give organizations the opportunity to share their knowledge with each other. Sharing this knowledge allows organizations to be up to date and to design collective action.

Aaron Emmel, director of global health promotion initiatives at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), explains: "Information sharing is essential for roundtables to advance with advocacy. "Aaron is a member of the Steering Committees on Disease Roundtable and Round Table on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH), and the Working Group for a Global Agenda for Children (Child Development). early childhood). The PAA also participates in other advocacy groups such as the International Family Planning Coalition; the civil society group organized by Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance; the Water, Sanitation and Health Working Group (WASH); and the 1000 Days Working Group (Nutrition).

Aaron explained how sharing knowledge brings different points of view to the table. "The PAA shares information about pediatric health, from child survival to NCDs and chronic care." Other partners such as maternal health experts, including the American College of Gynecologists, share additional information that helps to tell a more complete story.All together we are able to increase everyone's credibility. "

Lisa Schechtman, Director of Policy and Advocacy at WaterAid, MNCH Roundtable Steering Committee Member and WASH Working Group Co-Chair, said, "Information sharing allows roundtables and individual organizations to be strategic. Lisa continues: "For small teams like WaterAid, and [as] one of the few organizations that work in the WASH space, having these spaces allows us to boost our contribution as few WASH advocates are able to do that. "

Constructing a collective voice

The roundtables build a collective voice around global health issues, bringing together several points of convergence to create stronger messages to send to Congress and the administration. Aaron emphasized this point: "Various voices show consensus around global health issues and allow us to validate programmatic evidence from different perspectives. There is not necessarily a national basis for global health, so it is important that the round tables allow for coordination, that members come together and present evidence to policymakers and agencies to strengthen health programs. world. "

Lisa reinforced the power of the collective voice and said that "we are stronger together". WASH is an example. Lisa added, "WASH focuses on service delivery outcomes and most of these outcomes are directly related to the goals of the MNCH Roundtable. The MNCH roundtable provides a context for doing what we do, and MNCH focus groups can learn from WASH and examine our contributions and strategies. This gives us credibility for the health benefits of WASH and our position in the global health community advocating on WASH. "

Holistic holistic approach

Round tables provide space for integration points and create holistic approaches to global health agendas. Aaron explained, "For the Reach Act, the child survival groups needed the membership of the maternal health groups to create a strong message to the children. legislators. Bringing diverse voices to decision makers shows that we are united around this issue. For noncommunicable diseases, we serve as a bridge for maternal and child health; Without the voice of NCDs, global maternal and child health policies and interventions would not necessarily include chronic diseases, and without the voice of maternal and child health, NCD policies do not address specific needs. children and young people.

About WASH integration, Lisa said, "The integration was the original reason why we joined the MNCH Roundtable several years ago. Roundtable provide WASH service delivery, there was almost no health organization working on advocacy WASH.WASH underpins the success of the MNCH and Nutrition community that builds more WASH champions and raises opportunities and problems. "As part of the MNCH Roundtable, Lisa said," WASH is now at the table of the annual process of appropriations.

Going Forward

Advancing global health, that is going forward together. Roundtables allow the global health advocacy community to come together, find areas for integration and collaboration, and build a collective voice. Lisa discussed this benefit and used the WASH integration as an example. "As a member of the Round Tables and the World Health Council, we have worked together." Both members are raising the profile of WASH as a health issue and creating new partnerships, in addition to the opportunity to work with the World Health Council staff. "

For the future, the collective voice of the global health promotion community is now more important than ever. Aaron added, "We work in different spaces, but we recognize that there is a common agenda and vision to help and maintain America's role as a leader and trusted partner for problem-solving." health care. "

Global Health Council works with roundtables to support information-sharing, coordinate advocacy efforts, and be part of the collective voice of the global health community. If you would like to participate in roundtables or would like more information, please email advocacy@globalhealth.org .

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