In addition to service provision and research, advocacy is necessary to solve the serious global health problems we face. Advocacy is connected to our research because of the need to disseminate our findings. Advocacy is also critical because “on-the-ground” service delivery alone cannot solve all of the problems faced by the poor. As we currently aim to significantly expand and improve our advocacy activities, we have identified three main areas for this work:
Local Advancement of Human Rights
Our advocacy begins in the communities we serve. In these communities, we work with local residents to advocate for vulnerable populations, such as women and children. For example, our emphasis on women not only intends to concretely improve their health but also seeks to achieve sustainable improvements in their status in the community. Our grassroots advocacy aims to operate through community members themselves – by giving them support to stand up for their own rights and/or those of their fellow citizens.
National and International Policy Barriers
We recognize the need to advocate for the poor at the national and international levels to address systemic policy barriers to their well-being. Because the world’s current global system subjects impoverished people to many social and economic limitations that cannot be alleviated merely through on-the-ground programs, we also seek to represent the poor on the global policy stage. We hope to fight such systemic factors to achieve long-term, equitable improvement in the distribution of well-being throughout the world.
Dissemination of Findings
To make the greatest impact possible, we aim to actively disseminate the results of our programs and research to governments, aid organizations, universities, and other non-profit organizations across the world. We attempt to disseminate our findings widely by making all of our materials available to the public free of charge and attending conferences in the fields of health and development. Especially for new programs that may have a significant impact, we believe that advocating for expanding them to other areas will lead to significant strides globally. Additionally, if we discover a growing but largely unacknowledged health problem, we have a duty to disseminate such findings and advocate for addressing the issue.
Watch the video below for one example of our advocacy initiatives. On September 16, 2009, the Congressional Global Health Caucus and CSIS Global Health Policy Center hosted a briefing for Congressional leaders, staffers, and global health organizations to highlight the role of universities in helping to address global health challenges around the world. PHP volunteer Gregory Morrison was in attendance and spoke about our maternal health work in Uganda.