Founded and driven by poor people living with life-threatening diseases and disabilities from around the world with a shared experience of having to struggle for their right to health, the IMAXI Cooperative is a small international NGO established in 2010. We’ve come together, in common cause, to help our peers to empower themselves and their communities so that others might not also be denied their rights.
Drawing on decades of our collective experience as community and global health activists, we design and develop collaborative tools and projects, while advocating for the greater participation of those most affected in the policy-making process and implementation of programmes. Our members have seen first-hand how a ‘seat at the table’ of decision-makers can bring substantial improvements to the health and well being of their communities. We have also seen the deaths and suffering that comes with not having any voice in how public health services are designed and implemented.
As a ’volunteer-only’ non-profit organisation, working from our kitchen tables or cyber-cafes and funded only by our own donations, we have focused on forging tools that do not require substantial funding to utilise. With a network of other un-paid yet very engaged activists in diverse communities that help out with different initiatives, we have been able to advance an independent ‘human rights-based approach’ to health and development even with our very limited finances. However, we are now beginning an important global health governance initiative that will require more resources than we have ourselves. In ‘UN-Sloganese’, we aim to dynamically fuse the top-down “Leave No One Behind” with the bottom-up “Nothing About Us Without Us”, wherever policies that impact the health and well being of marginalised communities are made.
‘All Aboard’ is a two step research and development project that will first assess the state of community participation in decision-making bodies within key institutions in global health, including the United Nations agencies (WHO, UNAIDS, UNDP, UNICEF, UN Women) and two major foundations, the Global Fund and Gates, and secondly, to apply this knowledge to the programmatic advance of meaningful participation and accountable representation. First the scientific research, then the evidence-based development.
We have gathered together a brilliant group of almost twenty activists, academics and public health officials and have begun 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.
As the time before the submission deadline is short (the first of June), and the research plan is comprehensive, we seek support through a progressive crowd-funding platform, GivenGain, to better conduct our research project. We have divided the required funds into two ‘causes’: covering the communication/transport costs of a small team of community investigators/researchers in Asia, Africa and Latin America; and compensating a part-time academic research coordinator to assure the scientific virtue of the study and the quality of the paper to be published.
Once the research project is peer-reviewed and published, we will seek crowd-funded support for its applied development, including the establishment of a new NGO dedicated to advancing meaningful participation and accountable representation of communities to be based in Geneva, Switzerland, where there are many seats at the tables of global health governance. This new NGO, provisionally called GAMPAR (Global Alliance for Meaningful Participation and Accountable Representation) will strive to be a dynamic catalyst for improving the global health governance practices through further research, advocacy, negotiation and monitoring.
The train to Participation is ready to roll on the fast track 2017.
All welcome — ‘just get on board.
This ‘All Aboard’ research project is also the IMAXI Cooperative’s first attempt at fundraising. After seven years of self-financed activism, the support of folks that value the principle of participation is essential for this important research project on a key global health governance issue. We ask our comrades, colleagues and kindred spirits everywhere to lend a hand, and donate to this very good cause.
All Aboard! Global Health Governance Research Project
‘All Aboard’ is an innovative research project to assess community & civil society participation in the governance of key Global Health institutions.
* The IMAXI Cooperative forges tools to maximize empowerment — it’s a mash-up against marginalization, from the bottom-up.