Governance and participation in health

Building multisectoral partnerships for population health and health equity
Fawcett S, Schultz J, Watson-Thompson J, Fox M and Bremby R: Preventing Chronic Disease 7(6), November 2010

In this article, some of the factors that contribute to poor performance in achieving population health goals are examined, such as lack of shared responsibility for outcomes, lack of co-operation and collaboration, and limited understanding of what works. It also considers challenges to engaging stakeholders at multiple levels in building collaborative partnerships for population health. It outlines twelve key processes for effecting change and improvement, such as analysing information, establishing a vision and mission, using strategic and action plans, developing effective leadership, documenting progress and using feedback, and making outcomes matter. The article concludes with recommendations for strengthening collaborative partnerships for population health and health equity. These include establishing monitoring and evaluation systems, developing action plans that assign responsibility for changing communities and systems, facilitating natural reinforcement for people working together across sectors and ensuring adequate funding for collaborative efforts. Governments should also provide training and technical support for partnerships, establish participatory evaluation systems and arrange group contingencies to ensure accountability for progress and improvement.

Building the capacity of policy-makers and planners to strengthen mental health systems in low- and middle-income countries: a systematic review
Keynejad R; Semrau M; Toynbee M; et al.: BMC Health Services Research 16(601), 2016

Little is known about the interventions required to build the capacity of mental health policy-makers and planners in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The authors conducted a systematic review with the primary aim of identifying and synthesising the evidence base for building the capacity of policy-makers and planners to strengthen mental health systems in LMICs. The authors searched MEDLINE, Embase, PsycINFO, Web of Knowledge, Web of Science, Scopus, CINAHL, LILACS, ScieELO, Google Scholar and Cochrane databases for studies reporting evidence, experience or evaluation of capacity-building of policy-makers, service planners or managers in mental health system strengthening in LMICs. Reports in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French or German were included. Additional papers were identified by hand-searching references and contacting experts and key informants. Database searches yielded 2922 abstracts and 28 additional papers were identified. Following screening, 409 full papers were reviewed, of which 14 fulfilled inclusion criteria for the review. Data were extracted from all included papers and synthesised into a narrative review. Only a small number of mental health system-related capacity-building interventions for policy-makers and planners in LMICs were described. Most models of capacity-building combined brief training with longer term mentorship, dialogue and/or the establishment of networks of support. However, rigorous research and evaluation methods were largely absent, with studies being of low quality, limiting the potential to separate mental health system strengthening outcomes from the effects of associated contextual factors. This review demonstrates the need for partnership approaches to building the capacity of mental health policy-makers and planners in LMICs, assessed rigorously against pre-specified conceptual frameworks and hypotheses, utilising longitudinal evaluation and mixed quantitative and qualitative approaches.

Bush Government Threatens To Roll Back Women's Reproductive Rights
Sign the Petition

"As supporters of women's rights worldwide, we are deeply disturbed by the statement made by a US delegate at the recent Preparatory Meeting for the forthcoming Fifth Asian and Pacific Population Conference that will take place 11-17 December 2002 in Bangkok. The US has threatened to withdraw from the Cairo Programme of Action of 1994 unless the words reproductive health services and reproductive rights are taken out or changed. This is a shocking development which is a threat to women's rights and women's health world wide. We demand that the Cairo Program of Action that has been endorsed by 179 nations be upheld. Reproductive health services and reproductive rights are essential human rights. Reproductive rights and reproductive health services are integral to the Cairo Program of Action. If the US breaks their commitment to the United Nations and to the world community, there will be disastrous consequences for women in all parts of the world who are in need of safe and effective contraceptive and abortion information and services. The position that the Bush administration has taken sets back the efforts of women's organisations by several decades and needs to be resisted. We urge you to make your own statement of protest and send it to the US administration, to the UN and to sign our petition on line at: http://www.PetitionOnline.com/USantiWO/petition.html."

Further details: /newsletter/id/29433
Bush Government Threatens To Roll Back Women's rights
Sign the Petition

"As supporters of women's rights worldwide, we are deeply disturbed by the statement made by a US delegate at the recent Preparatory Meeting for the forthcoming Fifth Asian and Pacific Population Conference that will take place 11-17 December 2002 in Bangkok. The US has threatened to withdraw from the Cairo Programme of Action of 1994 unless the words 'reproductive health services' and 'reproductive rights' are taken out or changed. This is a shocking development which is a threat to women's rights and women's health world wide. We demand that the Cairo Program of Action that has been endorsed by 179 nations be upheld. Reproductive health services and reproductive rights are essential human rights. Reproductive rights and reproductive health services are integral to the Cairo Program of Action. If the US breaks their commitment to the United Nations and to the world community, there will be disastrous consequences for women in all parts of the world who are in need of safe and effective contraceptive and abortion information and services. The position that the Bush administration has taken sets back the efforts of women's organisations by several decades and needs to be resisted. We urge you to make your own statement of protest and send it to the US administration, to the UN and to sign our petition on line at: http://www.PetitionOnline.com/USantiWO/petition.html."

Further details: /newsletter/id/29434
Business-as-usual" won't do at Rio+20 summit: Leading civil society groups unite in warning following latest negotiations
Oxfam: 4 May 2012

A group of leading international humanitarian, development, social justice, environmental, and workers' organisations have warned that June 2012’s UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) looks set to add almost nothing to global efforts to deliver sustainable development. The warning from Development Alternatives, Greenpeace, the Forum of Brazilian NGOs and Social Movements for Environment and Development (FBOMS), International Trades Union Confederation (ITUC), Oxfam, and Vitae Civilis comes at the end of two weeks of negotiations between governments on the conference outcomes, with less than 50 days before the summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 20 - 22 June. The group warns that the current negotiating text does not adequately capture human rights and principles of equity, precaution, and 'polluter pays', despite the urgency provided by the current financial crises, growing inequalities, broken food As a benchmark against which to assess the outcome of Rio+20, the organisations have set out a 10-point agenda that includes global goals for sustainable development, designed to eradicate poverty, reduce inequality and realise justice and human rights, while respecting the finite limits of Earth's natural resources.

Campaign to support women's health rights

In 1987, May 28th was proclaimed the International Day of Action for Women's Health. Health is a human right for all and, as asserted in many international human rights covenants and agreements, the right to health cannot be fulfilled if women's sexual and reproductive rights are not addressed. However, health sector reforms and privatisation of health services around the world are jeopardising women's access to health and sexual and reproductive rights. Women's Global Network for Reproductive Rights (WGNRR) invites you to support promoting women's sexual and reproductive health and rights by organising your own activity or event on the 28th of May.

Further details: /newsletter/id/30348
Campaigning for a fact-based approach to health journalism
Fleck F: Bulletin of the World Health Organisation 95(4)248–249, 2017

This article reports on the work of HealthNewsReview.org to monitor the quality of health and medical news coverage. To combat inaccuracies, HealthNewsReview requires three reviewers to assess each article, applying 10 criteria. These include whether the journalists have adequately considered the cost of the intervention, its potential harms and benefits, whether they had compared new ideas with existing alternatives, and whether they solely relied on a press release or used independent sources. Projecting forward, the author observes that there should be room for promoting health literacy, for example, explaining that people should focus on absolute not relative risk reduction. People should not be amazed by claims that a drug reduced the risk of a problem by 50% (relative risk reduction) when that may mean that the absolute risk reduction was only from 2 in 100 in the untreated group to 1 in 100 in the treated group – a 1% absolute risk reduction.

Can the feedback of patient assessments, brief training, or their combination, improve the interpersonal skills of primary care physicians? A systematic review
Cheraghi-Sohi S, Bower P: BMC Health Services Research 8(179), 21 August 2008

Improving quality of primary care is a key focus of international health policy. Two methods of improving the quality of interpersonal care in primary care have been proposed. One involves the feedback of patient assessments of interpersonal care to physicians, and the other involves brief training and education programmes. This study therefore reviewed the efficacy of (i) feedback of real patient assessments of interpersonal care skills, (ii) brief training focused on the improvement of interpersonal care and (iii) interventions combining both (i) and (ii). Nine studies were included (two patient based feedback studies and seven brief training studies). Of the two feedback studies, one reported a significant positive effect. The authors conclude that there is limited evidence concerning the effects of patient based feedback. There is reasonable evidence that brief training as currently delivered is not effective, although the evidence is not definitive, due to the small number of trials and the variation in the training methods and goals.

Capacity for Development: new solutions to old problems
UNDP

Edited by: Sakiko Fukuda-Parr, Carlos Lopes and Khalid Malik, 2002.
The book contains a range of views from practitioners,academics and policy-makers about what has gone right with technical cooperation in recent years, what has gone wrong,and how to do it better and perhaps very differently.In so doing,it focuses on the questions of indigenous capacity, ownership, civic engagement and new possibilities for knowledge-sharing, for which the revolution in information and communications technologies offers ample opportunities.

Cape Town Call to Action
People’s Health Movement: September 2012

In this Call to Action, the People’s Health Movement (PHM) argues that the underlying cause of health inequities are the neoliberal economic policies that are the hallmark of present day capitalism. PHM says the global health crisis is a consequence of the failure to address the social, political and environmental determinants of health. Ironically, the response of national and international institutions to the current financial crisis has been merely to restore the confidence’ of the same institutions and financial markets that caused the crisis in the first place. Governments have meanwhile enacted an austerity agenda by cutting health and social spending, effectively deepening and reinforcing inequities between rich and poor. PHM puts forward an alternative vision in which a reformed economic system values individuals over capital, with just, fair and democratic political and economic processes and institutions, and better and transformed global heath governance that is free from corporate influence and the influence of unaccountable private actors. It calls for equitable public health systems that are universal, integrated and comprehensive, and also provide a platform for appropriate action on social determination of health.

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