MayDay at IMAXI Cooperative

MayDay at IMAXIOn MayDay 2010, the IMAXI Cooperative was officially established as a voluntary association or NGO. Founded and driven by a handful of poor people living with life-threatening diseases and disabilities from diverse communities, with a shared experience of having to struggle for our rights, the IMAXI Cooperative is a small international NGO. 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 experiences 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 firsthand 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 from diverse communities that help out with different initiatives, we have been able to advance an independent ‘human rights-based approach’ to health and development.

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All Aboard Now On Fast Track

All Aboard Fast TrackAll Aboard is on the Fast Track!  For the last few months, members of the IMAXI Cooperative and over a dozen comrades and colleagues have been collaborating, as volunteers, on an innovative research and development project that we call ‘All Aboard’. It brings together a diverse group of activists, academics and experts to focus on the meaningful participation of marginalised communities and their civil society organisations in the decision-making processes within global health. We want to learn how to  arrange a ‘seat at the table’ for those that are excluded today.

The All Aboard research team is conducting a comprehensive study to assess the state of community participation in the governance of 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. Together, we plan to produce a high quality paper for publication in the prestigious peer-review scholarly journal, Global Health Governance, and towards this, our abstract has been accepted.

Although a little late out of the station, All Aboard is now moving on the fast track. The literature and document reviews are well underway, the (community-made) civil society survey and outreach will be ready to roll next week, and invitations for interviews with the ‘key actors’ in global health are now going out. The time-line is tight, and we’ve a challenge ahead of us during the next seven weeks with the deadline of 1st of June for submitting the paper. We hope that when successfully completed, this evidenced-based research can contribute to advancing, in all of the global health institutions, the right to meaningful participation and accountable representation of those most at risk of “being left behind”.

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