Community engagement

Symposium on Meaningful Engagement: People living with NCDs leading the way to the High-Level Meeting on NCDs 2025

23rd February 2024

In preparation for the 4th High-Level Meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on the Prevention and Control of NCDs (4HLM on NCDs) in September 2025, the WHO Global Coordination Mechanism on NCDs (GCM/NCD) is tapping into the experiences of people living with NCDs and launching the WHO Symposium on Meaningful Engagement of people living with NCDs, mental health, and neurological conditions.

According to the announcement from WHO, the Symposium will convene individuals with lived experience, formally recognizing their knowledge and expertise in co-creating and co-implementing NCD policies, programmes, and services that are responsible, equitable, holistic, and contextually appropriate. The event series will offer a platform for knowledge exchange and collaboration, facilitating strategic alliances between individuals with lived experience and their Member States, and developing strategic inputs towards 4HLM on NCDs. The first virtual event is scheduled for April/May 2024 (provisional dates: Tues 30 April – Wed 1 May), with the next meetings planned for the end of 2024 and in 2025. You can access the terms of reference for the symposiums here.

NCD Alliance invites its members and broader network to take part in this important initiative and strengthen the preparations for the 4HLM on NCDs with your insights, experiences and knowledge. There are a number of valuable resources which will be useful in the process. Last year, WHO published the WHO framework for meaningful engagement of people living with noncommunicable diseases, and mental health and neurological conditions, a tool for governments to tap into the potential of meaningful participation. The Framework, together with NCD Alliance’s Global Charter for Meaningful Engagement, will be instrumental in the advocacy efforts within the Symposium.

"My voice has to be counted: I don’t want others to think of solutions that address my challenges without my involvement."

– Global Charter consultation participant

The crucial role of perspectives of people living with NCDs in making decisions related to their health is also highlighted in the NCD Diaries project, which is part of NCDA’s Our Views Our Voices initiative. People living with NCDs share personal stories about their daily lives and challenges in accessing healthcare services, talk about the need for prevention, and call for sustainable change and inclusion of people with lived experience at the policy table. This February, we launched a new series of NCD Diaries focused on equity and Universal Health Coverage.

Ways to participate in the Symposium

There are two opportunities to participate in this process:

  • Through an open invitation to provide informal and voluntary guidance and input into the planning process for the WHO Symposium on Meaningful Engagement; and
  • Through formal participation in the Steering Committee for the WHO Symposium on Meaningful Engagement, forming part of a selected group of lived experience experts who will be engaged by WHO through a formal agreement and on a part-time basis to support the WHO Secretariat (~8 hours/month) in design and implementation of the WHO Symposium on Meaningful Engagement.

Access the application form to submit an expression of interest for the Steering Committee and informal advisory support. Applications will be received on a rolling basis until Friday 1 March.

More information here.