Our Views, Our Voices celebrates five years of calling for meaningful involvement of people living with NCDs
This week, we are celebrating the five-year anniversary of Our Views, Our Voices initiative and all of the strides we’ve made. Take a look at the past five years at a glance!
Despite numerous global advances on NCDs over the last 10 years, people living with NCDs worldwide have struggled to find platforms where their voices are heard, and where their experiences with health systems and policies contribute to shaping them. This is beginning to change. We are now starting to see people living with NCDs engage with policy makers, from local government to the highest international levels. Our Views, Our Voices, an initiative launched by the NCD Alliance and people living with NCDs, has played an important role in calling for this change.
2017…The Our Views Our Voices initiative is born! A collaboration between the NCD Alliance and people living with NCDs, the initiative was inspired by a concept that is simple yet essential: Nothing about us, without us!
It all began with a global consultation of people living with NCDs. In person Community Conversations and online consultations ensured that the initiative was responding to the real needs and wants of people living with NCDs. All of the valuable insights gathered through these consultations were compiled into a key document: the Advocacy Agenda of People Living with NCDs. Outlining the shared demands of people living with NCDs around the world, this document has since become a powerful tool for influencing decision makers. What makes it so special? It brings in the first-hand experiences of people living with NCDs as well as their care partners, with shared priorities across diverse conditions and geographies.
Since this global Advocacy Agenda was launched in 2017, various national Advocacy Agendas have been built: in Kenya, Ghana, Mexico, India, Vietnam, Malaysia, Rwanda, Tanzania, Malawi. These national Advocacy Agendas are more focused on the unique challenges and circumstances found in each local context. NCD alliances in different countries continue working to create more national Advocacy Agendas to help advance the needs and priorities of people living with NCDs.
In 2021, Our Views, Our Voices took the power of lived experience a step further with a unique creative project: the NCD Diaries. This storytelling project invites people living with NCDs to share their real-life accounts on specific themes to support others living with NCDs and drive change. The project is multi-media: people can submit their diaries in written form, as podcasts, or as photo journals. So far, themes have covered the experience of living with multiple conditions, the affordability (or not) of care, and the influence of healthcare providers on an NCD journey. Stay tuned to find out what the fourth theme will be - it’s coming soon!
Over 2020 and 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic, with its deep-felt impact on people living with NCDs, highlighted to governments the need for putting people first and engaging communities for effective health systems. In 2021, the time had come to demand the meaningful involvement of people living with NCDs as an official part of health decision-making. This led to the creation of the Global Charter on Meaningful Involvement of People Living with NCDs, following a consultation of over 500 people from 50 countries. The Charter rallies all actors such as governments, international institutions, civil society and the private sector to commit to put people at the centre of their decisions and initiatives and leave no one behind. The Global Charter calls on organisations and institutions to publicly endorse the Charter and commit to fundamental principles and ten core strategies. It is open for endorsement - discover how!
We are seeing advances. Just this November, WHO held an open consultation on a zero draft Framework for Meaningful Engagement of People Living with NCDs and Mental Health Conditions. This WHO Framework will aim to support WHO and Member States in the meaningful engagement of individuals with lived experience to co-create and enhance related policies, programmes, and services.
We invite you to celebrate with us!
Keep an eye on our social media this week - we’ll be sharing new videos, a podcast about meaningful involvement, and more. You can also get involved by sharing social media messages through your own networks. We’ve even prepared some for you: