Towards a global framework for capacity building for non-communicable disease advocacy in low- and middle-income countries
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Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) represent an increasing proportion of morbidity and mortality throughout the world. Sustained advocacy, carried out by a skilled workforce, is an important strategy to realize the political will and implement the policy changes necessary to reduce the global burden of NCDs. Competencies for effective advocacy include a combination of scientific and technical as well as communication-based skills. Recognizing the need to build local capacity for NCD advocacy in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC), the International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE), the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Heart Foundation of Australia and the InterAmerican Heart Foundation joined efforts to conduct two pilot advocacy courses, one in Thailand and one in Colombia. A Global Advisory Group engaged a Local Organizing Committee in each country to ensure the courses would meet the needs of the local stakeholders. While both courses contained a set of key competencies and helped participants develop joint strategies for moving forward with consensus advocacy targets, the courses differed in content and participant background depending on the local context. A key goal of the courses was to determine and describe the lessons learned and make recommendations for a framework to be used for future advocacy capacity-building activities in LMIC. The planning and execution of each course generated lessons in the following five areas that informed the development of a global framework for capacity building for NCD advocacy: 1) using a comprehensive theoretical framework to teach advocacy competencies, 2) engaging key stakeholders, 3) meeting local needs and priorities, 4) planning local logistics, and 5) ensuring the skills obtained through training are applied to sustained advocacy for NCDs. © 2013, SAGE Publications. All rights reserved.
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