Sharing knowhow and joining forces towards Health for All

MMI Network News, 24 September 2014

What do we want?! (Nelson Mandela, 1994)
What do we want?! (Nelson Mandela, 1994)

Evidence based change!? (Editorial)

Dear reader,

I look forward to the great MMI session "An ideal match! Successfully connecting NGO practice and Health Systems Research" at the Third Global Symposium on Health Systems Research in Cape Town - see the announcement below.

At the same symposium, I will participate in the satellite session “From human resources for health research to policy change: The role of advocacy” organized by the Health Workforce Advocacy Initiative with an input on “Evidence-based civil society advocacy in the field of international migration of health personnel”. The content of that input is not really an issue: I asked some colleagues to provide insights in the making of recent papers on international migration of health personnel and the implementation of the WHO Global Code of Practice, and I will present the results of this little piece of “research”.

But I am struggling with the words and the concepts. It might look as if policy change in key areas affecting people’s health can be achieved as simply as this:

(1a) There is sound (scientific) evidence that a policy is wrong and needs to change;

(1b) and/or there is scientific evidence on how to do it better;

(2) civil society “advocates” then take up the issue and push the policy-makers

(3a) to do their job and change the policy;

(3b) eventually after publicly “committing” themselves to doing this;

(4) which again needs to be followed-up by civil society advocates.

Any questions? ...yes, eventually. The Symposium being in South Africa: What did it take to overcome Apartheid? What did it take to make HIV/AIDS medicines more accessible and affordable for South African patients? So what evidence is needed for political transformation, and what “advocacy”, what solidarity and support for those who struggle for their right to health, what political action? I hope to get some new answers in Cape Town, mainly also from researchers and policy makers, as the main theme of the Symposium is “science and practice of people centred health systems”.

And regarding the role of international NGOs in political transformation, I am just reading once again the input “high time to re-politicize NGOs” of my colleague Thomas Gebauer, two years ago, for the MMI workshop at the Third People’s Health Assembly Cape Town. And it took me a bit longer than initially expected to put aside, after lecture, the angry blog post by Arundhati Roy: “The NGO-ization of politics threatens to turn resistance into a well-mannered, reasonable, salaried, 9-to-5 job. With a few perks thrown in. Real resistance has real consequences. And no salary.”

Difficult to digest for someone like me. What do you think?

Thomas Schwarz, Executive Secretary
Medicus Mundi International. Network Health for All

Evidence-based civil society advocacy in the field of international migration of health personnel. Input to HWAI satellite session at the Third Global Symposium on Health Systems Research in Cape Town, 29 September 2014:


MMI Network: Events, news, resources

Network event: MMI, Cordaid, Memisa, Swiss TPH, ITM Antwerp
An ideal match! Successfully connecting NGO practice and Health Systems Research
Cape Town, 3 October 2014

The MMI Network participates in the Third Global Symposium on Health Systems Research which will be held in Cape Town, South Africa, from 30 September to 3 October 2014, with a session on "An ideal match! Successfully connecting NGO practice and Health Systems Research." The session targets NGOs, researchers, policy makers and funders to learn how international NGOs working in the field of health development cooperation have successfully started integrating an evidence based approach into their institutional culture and operational practice. Experiences of successful collaboration of NGOs and research institutions will be discussed. The focus will be less on the content of the research collaboration but on processes allowing innovative interaction between critical actors in a people-centred health system.



Symposium and MMI Network meeting hosted by Medicus Mundi Switzerland
"Not without us!": Youth and sexual and reproductive health in international cooperation
Basel, 5-6 November 2014

“Where do we stand 20 years after the Cairo Plan of Action, which tied together voluntary family planning, development policy and the strengthening of women’s rights? At this year’s symposium we will be addressing these obstacles and emphasising that the results of Cairo 1994 are still of utmost importance to international health cooperation. At the centre of our discussions we have set young people, who are the key group we need to be working with in order to improve health for women and girls, mothers and children. Which obstacles do we need to overcome in order to grant youth’s access to health services? How should health services for sexual and reproductive health be modelled in order to be more youth-friendly? What kind of social environment is required for youths themselves to be able to stand up for their right to health?” (Symposium announcement)

> Register now for the Symposium “Not without us” on 5 November 2014: 

The Medicus Mundi International Network will hold its Extraordinary Assembly and a strategy workshop on Thursday 6 November at the hotel Bildungszentrum 21 in Basel. Together with the symposium on Wednesday, a dinner for Network members on Wednesday evening and informal talks with our local host Medicus Mundi Switzerland will complete this Network event.

> Programme/agenda and registration for the MMI events on 6 November 2014 (bottom of the page):


Network event: Be-cause Health
Putting People at the Heart of Development. Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in the Post-2015 Era
Brussels, 28 November 2014

“At the brink of the ‘Post-2015 Era’ the relevance of the ICPD Programme of Action is increasingly evident. As health and development stakeholders, we are continuously challenged to develop strategies that enable us to overcome the shortcomings of the past and to close the gaps that prevent vulnerable populations from the full enjoyment of their right to sexual and reproductive health. This seminar will provide an excellent opportunity for exchanging experiences, insights and ideas regarding these challenges, allowing us to elaborate on the linkages between SRHR and sustainable development and to advance SRHR in the years ahead.” (Be-cause health is, through Memisa, a close partner of the MMI Network)

> First announcement: 


Network event: Health Poverty Action
Health in Action
London, 15 November 2014

“Health Poverty Action are pleased to be partnering with Medact to host the annual Health in Action forum. The event is for anyone interested in challenging why so much of the world experiences poor health. A day of speakers and workshops will cover the social, political and ethical dimensions of global health with the chance to meet others passionate about fighting for better health with the poorest and most marginalised.”

> Announcement:


Network event: ACHAP
The role of faith based health services in contributing to universal health coverage in Africa
Kenya, 22-28 February 2015

The Africa Christian Health Association’s Platform (ACHAP) in collaboration with the Christian Health Association of Kenya (CHAK) and with support from various health development partners will be hosting its 7th Africa CHA's biennial conference in Kenya, in the month of February 2015. The theme of the conference will be: The role of faith based health services in contributing to universal health coverage in Africa.

> Announcement:

Network news: CWGH
CWGH Position Paper on the Budget Allocation for the Health Sector for 2015

"We have shared the position paper with the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Health and the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Health. The paper was drafted after collecting community views from our members in about 40 CWGH Districts across the country. The CWGH acknowledges that participation by the community in health matters and budget formulation give a greater depth to the discussion and understanding of the health issues in the country and facilitates achievement of the same goal." (Itai Rusike, Executive Director of CWGH)



Network reporting
Annual Reports 2013 of action medeor and Medicus Mundi Italy

The annual report 2013 of action medeor is available in four languages. It includes a section "Together for health - 50 years of medical aid" on this year's anniversary of the organisation. Congratulations!

> Jahresbericht 2013 (PDF, German)

> Annual Report 2013 (PDF, English)

> Informe Anual de Actividades 2013 (PDF, Spanish)

> Rapport Annuel 2013 (PDF, French)


The annual report 2013 of Medicus Mundi Italy is available in Italian language.



Network news: Cordaid
Inter-generational dialogue on sexual and reproductive health in Uganda

“Cordaid recognizes youth as an essential and valuable asset to development. In Uganda we cooperate with the non-profit youth led organization Reach a Hand Uganda (RAHU) through support of their campaign and communication strategies that focus on changing social norms and values that limit the youths access to Sexual Reproductive Health services and information. A key example of this work is the Inter-generational Dialogue event on the 13th September 2014 in Kampala.



Network resources: i+solutions
i+academy: Course on Basic Principles of SCM for Health Systems

In its i+academy, the Dutch MMI Network member i+solutions offers online courses on various topics related to Supply Chain Management (SCM) of medicines and medical supplies. The next course will be on “Basic Principles of SCM for Health Systems” and takes place from November to December 2014. Have a look at the presentation of the academy and enrol now for this online course.



International Health Policy: MMI Updates

Bits and pieces of news on international health policy: each “MMI update” is 140 characters or less - these are the rules of the game on Twitter. Just enough for a headline, eventually an author, a date, the source – and a link to the website where you find the full information. Have a look at some of our “tweets” published during the last month. As usual, it’s a bit much, so take it or leave it.

Universal health coverage
Health systems strengthening
Health services, health financing


MMI thematic guides:

See also below:
Health beyond 2015
Twitter: #UHC


Health policy and systems research

MMI thematic guide:


Human resources for health
Migration of health professionals

MMI thematic guides:

Twitter: #HRH, #healthworkers #healthworkerscount


Access to medicines and vaccination
Medical research and development
Communicable diseases and diseases control


Ebola situation and response
Ebola and health systems
Ebola and the state of global health governance


Women’s and children’s health
Sexual and reproductive rights and health

MMI thematic guide:


Prevention and control of NCDs
Disabilities, Mental Health, Care


Equity and human right to health
Social, political and economic determinants of health
Poverty and social protection

MMI thematic guide:

Twitter: #SDH, #HIAP


Global health governance and policy

MMI thematic guide

Twitter: #globalhealth #healthgovernance


World Health Organization
WHO reform and financing

MMI thematic guide

see also above: Ebola


Health beyond 2015
MDGs and SDGs

MMI thematic guide:

Twitter: #post2015 #globalhealth


Development, aid, NGOs, international institutions

MMI thematic guide


Follow the MMI Updates on Twitter:

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