New Article Examines How Advocacy Connects Global Goals to Local Priorities

 New Article Examines Advocacy's Role  in Meeting Global Goals at the Local Level

Smallpox is eradicated; polio nearly so. Can other global health initiatives find the same success? A newly published journal article by Advance Family Planning (AFP), “Connecting Global Goals to Local Priorities” explores the challenge of achieving broad international goals within local government plans—and how advocacy is integral to spurring action.

In recent years, 36 developing countries have made Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) commitments to enable 120 million more women and girls to use modern contraceptives by 2020. But these countries comprise hundreds of thousands of subnational governing entities that will determine the priority family planning programs receive.

One reason why other global initiatives have been unsuccessful is they fail to take into account the decentralization of political systems and decision-making. Decentralization has led to the devolution of important funding and programmatic decisions to subnational governing units.

The article’s authors examine how AFP’s SMART advocacy approach enables local actors to influence family planning decisions. AFP’s experience in Indonesia, Kenya and Senegal is used to describe and analyze the incongruity between FP2020’s objectives and those of subnational decision makers and what must happen for local goals to reflect global goals. The case studies underline the importance of advocating across all levels of government, but particularly at the subnational level.

“Relative to higher order governing jurisdictions, local government officials will be more accessible to community leaders, local actors will be more knowledgeable about local issues, and policy and programmatic decisions will better reflect the population’s needs and be more effective,” write the article’s authors. “In a sense, AFP seeks to help communities realize the promise of devolution.”

View the full article in the Winter 2016 issue of Global Health Governance.

Photo courtesy of Global Health Governance journal.

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