The human right and principle of participation states that people, particularly those clearly affected (yet usually excluded), must be involved in institutional decisions that have an impact on them, including in the design, development, implementation and monitoring of the programmes that are needed.
When the right to participation is applied to health, with hundreds of millions of people whose lives may depend on these decisions and policies, their views and ‘voices’ must be through a system of representation that is equitable and responsive to their needs.
In global health governance, it appears that those most at risk of being ‘left behind’, are also being left out — excluded from participating in decisions about them. So late last year, the IMAXI Cooperative began a new and needed initiative — All Aboard!
‘All Aboard’ is a two step research and development project that will first assess the state of affected community participation in decision-making bodies within key institutions in global health, including the United Nations (WHO, UNAIDS, UNDP, UNICEF, UN Women) and two major foundations, the Global Fund and Gates. The second step is to apply this knowledge to the programmatic advance of meaningful participation and accountable representation. First the scientific research, then the evidence-based development.
The IMAXI Cooperative has gathered together a brilliant group of community health activists, academics and public health experts to conduct a methodological, scientifically robust study. The findings of this collaborative research will be published in the autumn of 2017 in Global Health Governance, the “Scholarly Journal for the New Health Security Paradigm”. The Abstract, which has been accepted, can be seen here.
The All Aboard research is comprehensive, including interviews with ‘key actors’ in global health, literature reviews and surveys of members of civil society. We are now rolling out the first survey, which hopes to reach a common understanding on the terms ‘participation’ and ‘representation’ through a synthesis of many inputs from diverse people around the world. Your survey responses would be an important contribution to this research project. Common understanding builds common cause — All Aboard! Destination: Meaningful Participation.
Your opinion and inputs will be applied to developing actions to better assure that no one is left out, or left behind on the road to better health and well-being. Please take 5-10 minutes to do the survey, and pass it on to others.