Advocacy Institute Accelerator workshop at WHA77 © G Lontro

Advocacy Institute advocates bring a strong presence to Geneva during WHA week

09th July 2024

In the lead up to the World Health Assembly held in Geneva from 27 May to 1 June 2024, NCDA brought together representatives of NCD alliances from the Advocacy Institute Accelerator and Regional Advocacy tracks. Taking advantage of all the events and relevant meetings taking place during the week, national and regional advocates had the opportunity to represent NCDA as national advocates, be exposed to real-time advocacy efforts at the Palais, and hold meetings with their government missions and delegations.

A chance to meet, exchange and learn

During the week, NCDA held the first meet up of the regional alliances part of the Regional Advocacy Track. 11 representatives from 6 regional alliances including the Africa NCDs Network, East Africa NCD Alliance, Southeast Asia Regional Alliance, Eastern Mediterranean Alliance, Healthy Carribean Coalition and Healthy Americas’ Coalition, gathered for a focused discussion around the role and importance of regional alliances and regional advocacy in the lead up to the UN High-Level Meeting on NCDs next year. Alliances exchanged their regional perspectives on NCDA campaign priorities, key elements for enabling effective regional mobilisation and discussed ways to maximise upcoming opportunities such as the Global NCD Alliance Forum. Through work supported by the regional track, regional alliances are currently following the different consultation and preparatory processes ahead of the HLM, conducting accountability exercises and are preparing to attend this year’s WHO regional committee meetings.

Our engagement with the national advocates culminated with a one-day workshop entitled “Connecting the dots between global and national advocacy to advance NCD response in the lead up to 2025”. This workshop brought together representatives of the alliances from Mexico, Rwanda, Tanzania, Ghana, and Malawi and included the participation of NCDA’s board members and an experienced advocate from Brazil, Paula Johns, who shared intelligence and expertise around civil society engagement during WHAs as well as her rich in-country experience with the theme of social participation.

The workshop presented a chance to share experiences and advocacy plans to advance national NCD response and agendas in the areas of care, community engagement and financing, as well as to strategically coordinate efforts over upcoming relevant global milestones. Alliances participating in this workshop are currently engaged in country-level NCD advocacy work supported through the Accelerator track of the Advocacy Institute 2024-2026. Next steps for these alliances include following-up on the meetings held with country representatives during their time in Geneva and advocating for their engagement around 2025 HLM on NCDs, for the protection of the health of their population. In October this year, advocates will also have a key moment to continue sharing experiences with this process and intelligence towards the HLM as part of the Global NCDA Forum 2024 in Kigali.

Launching the third phase of the Advocacy Institute

A flagship capacity development imitative, the Advocacy Institute is a multi-year programme designed to strengthen NCD civil society to ensure a more effective NCD response. Building on a very successful First (2017-2019) and Second (2020-2023) phases of the programme, NCDA is proud to launch the Third phase of the Advocacy Institute (2024-2026), which will include the following tracks:

  • Seed track to support newly forming/nascent national NCD alliances with the foundations of coalition building, organisational development and advocacy.
  • Accelerator Track supporting established national NCD alliances in leading locally-led advocacy campaigns on priority policy issues, aligned with NCD Alliance’s 2021-2026 impact goals - NCD prevention, care, financing and community engagement;
  • and a newly formed Regional Advocacy track which will work with existing regional NCDA Alliances to improve NCDA’s response to capacity development needs specific to regional contexts and to ensure better linkages between the global, national and regional levels of advocacy.

As with the previous phases, each of the track will include a combination of grant support, technical assistance, training, peer to peer learning, as well as building linkages between global and national advocacy with a key element of engaging alliances in global advocacy.

For more information on the Advocacy Institute, please visit here.

The Advocacy Institute Accelerator workshop was organised thanks to NCDA’s partnership with The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust and the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA).