Influencing World Bank Leadership on Health
ACTION is well positioned to influence how major multilateral institutions, like the World Bank, approach health.
ACTION partners help policymakers make informed and strategic choices about global health by engaging ministries of health, finance, and foreign affairs; development agencies; and multilateral institutions to jointly identify policy challenges and solutions, share innovations across countries, and connect to experts outside of their traditional networks.
We work to ensure that these policymakers and implementers have access to the experience and expertise of people personally affected by the health issues we are tackling. By doing so, ACTION supports civil servants to understand the role of advocacy and become champions for health equity.
Building long-term relationships with MPs from across the political spectrum and around the world is a fundamental strategy for advancing our work. These relationships allow partners to adapt to changing political contexts and major shake-ups in government. Our engagement takes the form of constituent meetings, educational briefings, support to health and development caucuses, learning tours/delegations, and cross-parliamentary learning opportunities.
In the months following the United Kingdom’s decision to exit the European Union, for example, RESULTS UK relied on their relationships with Conservative MPs to press the new government to make a strong Global Fund pledge. The support from those MPs, combined with strong advocacy effort with the new government, led the UK to pledge £1.1 billion—a 10 percent increase from its previous pledge.
In July 2016, we supported the launch of the Francophone and African TB Caucuses, expanding the reach of the Global TB Caucus, a network of 2,300 MPs from more than 130 countries who are committed to ending TB. The African TB Caucus elected the Hon. Stephen Mule as the group’s Chairman, a Kenyan MP cultivated by KANCO as a TB champion who successfully pushed his government to address the shortage of drugs to treat TB.
In the fall, we partnered with Action Against Hunger in France to organize the first MP meeting on investing in the early years alongside the World Bank annual meetings, following a call by President Jim Kim to end stunting. Eight MPs from Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Madagascar, Malawi, Tanzania, and the UK and a staff member of a U.S. Member of Congress attended a half-day meeting to exchange ideas and experiences in nutrition in their countries and globally. The MPs also attended the first World Bank-hosted Human Capital Summit focused on “Investing in the Early Years,” where finance ministers and heads of state spoke about ongoing and future efforts to invest in early childhood development, particularly nutrition.
Our continued engagement with policymakers will be essential to driving progress by ensuring global leaders follow through on commitments to improve the health of their citizens.