The Asia Pacific Malaria Elimination Network took major steps towards strengthening and developing malaria elimination advocacy in the region by holding an Advocacy Workshop last month in Manila, Philippines; the venue for the next annual meeting, APMEN 6, in March 2014.
Co-hosted by Pilipinas Shell Foundation, Inc. (PSFI), the 3-day workshop covered a range of topics, including the current landscape for malaria advocacy in the Asia Pacific, communications and media strategies and sustaining financial and political will for future activities.
Representatives from six of the 14 APMEN Country Partners – China, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and the Philippines – attended the workshop, as well as three participants from PSFI. A host of guest presenters from varying backgrounds of malaria advocacy facilitated the workshop discussions, namely Dr Jamie Tan Galvez (former Philippines Secretary for Health), Ms Patricia Moser (Asian Development Bank), Dr Matt Lynch (Johns Hopkins University), Ms Hannah Bowen (Malaria No More), and Mr Louis da Gama (Global Health Advocates and Adviser to the Princess of Africa Yvonne Chaka Chaka).
The workshop focussed on understanding the current malaria advocacy activities from each respective Country Partner, identifying the stages of the advocacy process required for short- and long-term projects within the public & private sector, and civil society, and highlighted key messaging and campaign strategies for malaria elimination to be used at local and regional levels.
Mr da Gama said the workshop was a great vehicle for not only raising the profile of malaria elimination advocacy, but highlighting existing strategies from in the Asia Pacific region.
“What is useful about a network like APMEN and workshops like this is the ability to share Country Partner knowledge & experience, findings and common issues on the (malaria) elimination agenda,” he said.
Some of the workshop activities included stakeholder analysis of current and potential partners for malaria elimination advocacy, identifying current strategies & challenges for countries, malaria advocacy tag line development, and a “30-second elevator pitch” role play.
Participants heard from respective peers from Ministries and Departments of Health, as well as academic and research institutions with specific advocacy projects based in malarious community settings in Africa. Great examples of successful Private Sector engagements in the Philippines were presented and encouraged a call for similar engagements across all APMEN Country Partners.
- Welcome & Introductions
- Orientation to advocacy
- Session 1: Current landscape for Malaria Elimination Advocacy
- Session 2: Overview of Advocacy
- Session 3: Sustainable financing: Setting the Scene for Malaria Elimination
- Session 4: Public-Private Partnerships: The Philippines
- Session 5: Country Partner presentations on current Malaria Advocacy activities
- Session 6: Roundtable on Local, Regional and Global Malaria Advocacy Efforts
- Session 7: Country-level Stakeholder Analysis
- Session 8: What are the messages for Malaria Elimination Advocacy?
- The Way Forward
- Session 9: Framing messages & influencing High-Level Policy & Decision Makers
- Session 10: Presentation 1: Communicating the News on Malaria, Presentation 2: Practical use of social media for Malaria Elimination: examples from APMEN
- Session 11: Campaigning for Malaria (& Malaria Elimination)
- Session 12: Campaign Case Study: the Malaria No More Nightwatch project
- Session 13: Local Level Advocacy efforts: Lessons from The VOICES Advocacy project
- Session 14: Case study: Filariasis Elimination in the Philippines
- Session 15: National Malaria Control & Elimination Programmes Advocacy Strategies & Plans
- Evaluation and reflection
- Session 16: Successful strategies for disease advocacy: Presentation 1: Lessons learnt from other diseases advocacy efforts (e.g. polio eradication), Presentation 2: Coordinating with other public health advocacy efforts
- Session 17: Locating malaria elimination advocacy efforts in the “public goods” agenda
- Session 18: Finalisation of Country Partner Advocacy plans: Group work
- Session 19: Presentations of Country Partner (draft) Advocacy plans
- Session 20: Monitoring & Evaluation