GSO Projects — GSO Input to NCD Consultations in New York, June 2011

Introduction

The purpose of the Global Social Observatory (GSO) is to share information and perspectives on how multi-stakeholder engagement and partnerships can contribute to addressing global challenges such as the epidemic of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), and to find common ground for awareness raising and integrated action. The GSO has convened a series of roundtable discussions on mobilizing multi-stakeholder action to address NCDs. The roundtables included participants from a broad range of international governmental and non-governmental organizations, diplomatic missions, and private businesses. The GSO wishes to present the following key messages.

There is a need for involvement from many stakeholders in the multi-faceted challenge of NCDs

  • It is necessary for a wide array of stakeholders to increase their efforts and to support public policies that embrace both a multi-sectoral and a multi-stakeholder approach.
  • Public policies should facilitate the involvement of NGOs, including patient groups and other civil society groups, health care providers, and the full diversity of the private sector.
  • A public policy framework that facilitates and encourages multi-stakeholder action and innovation should also be encouraged.
  • There is also a need to enhance information sharing and analysis through improved metrics and a comprehensive information clearing house.

Regulation and healthy choices are important elements of health promotion and prevention of NCDs

  • It is in the interest of businesses to help employees and consumers have healthy choices and create supportive environments.
  • Regulation is also an important part of doing business and helps to define the space for business to innovate.
  • There is a need to ensure that the regulation is suited to the problem or situation being addressed, and that it is achievable.
  • There also needs to be a holistic approach to the trade-offs between the good and bad in food items.

Regular physical activity is an important part of health promotion

  • Greater community and multi-sectoral involvement is urgently needed to create the space for physical activity and to support a culture of physical activity.
  • School and workplace programmes promoting physical activity can play a major role in establishing a culture of healthy behaviours.
  • www.gsogeneva.ch Global Social Observatory¬†Mobilizing Multi-Stakeholder Action to Address Non-Communicable Diseases

Worksite wellness programmes can make a difference, especially in low and middle income countries.

  • The NCD epidemic is increasingly affecting people of working age, and the workplace can be a major avenue for awareness raising and action on NCDs.
  • Workplace health promotion programmes should be encouraged and information shared from successful workplace programmes in large enterprises to assist small and medium enterprises with cost-effective alternatives, especially in low and middle income countries.

Changing or adapting the structure of the health care systems can better support NCDs.

  • There is a need for integration of health promotion and disease prevention in all health encounters.
  • It is possible to leverage existing health systems, using an integrated approach among existing health care providers.
  • At the same time, there is a need to go beyond existing health care systems to involve community-based stakeholders and partnerships.

Sustainable funding and innovative partnerships are needed.

  • Finding adequate resources is essential and can only be solved though multi-stakeholder action and partnerships.
  • Creative financing is needed to supplement public health care systems and to stimulate innovation in cost-effective and long-term solutions for the treatment and control of NCDs.
  • Investments in various combinations of public and private sector partnerships for developing new ways of organizing chronic disease care are among the various options that should be encouraged.