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Effective policies are the foundation of public health, and advocacy can ensure those policies are evidence-based, tailored to a local context and sustained by public support. This year, the Global Health Advocacy Incubator is looking forward to working alongside local partners in more than 40 countries to advance policies and budgets on critical issues including Food and Nutrition Policy, Road Safety, Health Systems Strengthening and Overdose Prevention. Here are some of our priorities for 2023.

Advocating for Healthy Food and Nutrition Policies

Healthy food policy advocates will be closely tracking the implementation of policies that were already passed and continue advocating for new food policies to de adopted including, marketing restrictions, school food policies, front of package warning labels and fiscal policies to regulate ultra-processed products. We will also be expanding our work on nutrition policies to reduce cardiovascular disease and death burden worldwide, including trans fatty acid elimination policies and policies to reduce sodium consumption, including front of package labeling and mandatory salt targets, among others. GHAI will continue to monitor how the food and beverage industry could try to delay or weaken these policies and mitigate corporate behavior.

Building on Ongoing Progress

In 2022, the Overdose Prevention Initiative successfully advocated for passage of the Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment Act, which removed a longstanding barrier to effective addiction treatment. This year, we will build on the ongoing momentum and interest among U.S. lawmakers and continue to advocate for policies that expand access to effective treatment for opioid use disorder and harm reduction services for all Americans.

Reducing Road Traffic Crashes and Fatalities

Each year 20 to 50 million people experience non-fatal injuries, and 1.3 million people lose their lives to a health burden that could have been prevented. In 2023 road safety advocates in countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America are shining a spotlight on this health burden and sounding a call to action to protect vulnerable road users. With the adoption of the United Nations Decade of Action for Global Road Safety 2021, countries are adopting safe systems approach to address risk factors for motorcycle injuries include drivers not wearing helmets, speeding and alcohol impairment.

Strengthening Public Health Systems Worldwide

We will push for the adoption of new civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) system laws in Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Maldives and the Philippines, which are critical to improving the collection of public health data so that governments can prioritize health challenges, develop policies and deploy resources. We will also support the implementation of CRVS budget advocacy strategies developed in Uganda and Maldives, collaborate with governments and partners to launch budget advocacy projects in select countries, and launch a new Budget Advocacy Toolkit, which builds on the Framework for CRVS Funding Sustainability to help countries stakeholders advocate for increase and sustain domestic investments in CRVS systems.

Saving Kids and Raising the Visibility of Drowning Prevention Efforts

In Vietnam, we look forward to continuing our support of government ministries, civil society organizations, academic institutions and local authorities through country-wide survival swim and water safety education in primary and secondary schools, bringing child drowning prevention on the top national policy agendas and supporting advocacy efforts for government budget increases and local program ownership.

Our in-country work will be supported by our global drowning prevention communications, raising awareness of drowning in high burden countries.

Increasing Advocacy Capacity to Create a World Safer from Pandemics

Based on lessons learned through successful advocacy in Senegal, Nigeria and Ghana that raised awareness and funding for epidemic preparedness, we are producing a new curriculum for the Budget Advocacy Toolkit for Epidemic Preparedness to further support country efforts to prevent the next pandemic. Through the online learning platform, GHAI will train instructors how to teach civil society and government stakeholders the four phases of an advocacy campaign covering planning, implementation, accountability and sustainability.

Strengthening the Capacity of our Staff and Partners

We are excited to roll out a new, comprehensive capacity strengthening platform this year to support local civil society capacity to lead and sustain policy advocacy. This will include updated online training resources for our own partners and civil society at large, including our tried and tested resources, new tools and an interactive platform to support adult learning and peer engagement.

Public health policies affect every aspect of our lives, from the safety of our children’s trip to school to the food that’s available once they get there. Working with our partners around the world, we can help countries adopt, fund and implement policies that save lives, reduce injury and disease and strengthen communities. To keep up to date with our work, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn, and subscribe to our newsletter.