Tackling Inequalities in Global Health: UNU IIGH Strategic Plan 2024–2028 – World

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UNU-IIGH Strategic Plan 2024-2028 Addressing Inequalities in Global Health

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – 09/01/2024 – The United Nations University – International Institute for Global Health (UNU-IIGH) today unveiled its 2024-2028 Strategic Plan, Tackling Inequalities in Global Health.

Underscoring the urgency of this initiative, Rajat Khosla, Director of UNU IIGH said: “The next five years are critical if the polycrisis is not to worsen. The momentum for change is building, requiring decolonization of global health and addressing power asymmetries in various global health processes. To achieve a meaningful shift in power between and within states and to transform the global health architecture, we need unprecedented collaboration between academia, civil society organizations, social movements and multilateral organizations.”

The new strategic plan includes four work packages:

1. Gender equality and intersectorality: through this work we will seek to improve the quality of health care through a person-centred approach, ensuring that the health system meets the needs of structurally excluded individuals and communities; and by fostering a positive and enabling environment for the frontline health workforce – for example addressing experienced gender-based violence.

2. Power and Responsibility: through this work, we will catalyze equitable shifts in power and address key accountability deficits that impede the equitable and effective functioning of the global health system and prevent adequate responsiveness to the needs of countries and populations in the Global South.

3. Digital Health Management: through this work, we will address colonial legacies and power asymmetries that negatively impact the sound governance of digital health, identify ways to strengthen health data governance with a particular focus on HRDs, and promote diversity in technology design and development .

4. Climate Justice and Determinants of Health: through this work, we will use UNU-IIGH’s position within the UN and the network of UNU institutes, network experts, practitioners, policymakers and academics to advance evidence-based policy on the different dimensions of the climate emergency and its impacts on health.

“The strategic approach the Institute has taken to addressing global health inequalities – to be recognized as a thought leader and a major intellectual resource on global health inequalities – will ensure that UNU-IIGH plays a key role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030,” he stated Professor Chilidzi Marvala, Chancellor of the United Nations University.

Underlying this strategic plan are multiple lenses that will inform all work. The Lenses are the conceptual and analytical foundations of the Institute’s work, which in turn are rooted in principles and values ​​informed by the United Nations Framework of Values. The Institute took over as the analytical entry point to apply a set of five interrelated lenses that will facilitate collaboration across the four work packages to interrogate the structural foundations of health inequalities in global health – intersectionality, feminism, decoloniality, contextualization and powerful actors.

UNU-IIGH’s strategic approach also includes key tactics. Tactics outline how the Institute will achieve specific program outcomes that together contribute to the overall goal of addressing health disparities. Each work package will be based on a combination of the following five tactics:

1. Conducting research and analysis: Collaborating with a diverse range of stakeholders, including researchers, government bodies, civil society, marginalized communities and academia, to conduct research and generate analysis that contributes to policy dialogue, development and evidence-based review.

2. Fostering partnerships and networks: Strengthen existing partnerships and build new networks within the global health ecosystem and beyond. The Institute aims to bring the leadership and voices of low- and middle-income countries to the fore.

3. Reporting of findings and results: UNU-IIGH will ensure that co-created research impacts policy and evidence-based decision-making. The Institute will share impactful stories and lessons from research, aligning messages with communication goals and stakeholder needs.

4. Advocacy for change: Using your independent position to advocate for new approaches in global health, supporting marginalized voices and supporting the sharing and redistribution of power.

5. Strengthening capacity: Producing high-quality knowledge products and training programs to support evidence-based decision-making. The institute will expand its network and reach, acting as a South-South learning hub for global health.

Flavia Bustreo, Chair of the International Advisory Board (IAB)emphasized the importance of this strategic direction: “Addressing inequalities in global health will ensure that UNU-IIGH is well positioned to play a key role in enabling UNU to achieve its vision of increasing UNU’s visibility and impact in important sectors of society and expanding UNU’s engagement in the Global South.”

For more detailed information on the UNU-IIGH Strategic Framework 2024-2028 and to join global health change, please click HERE

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About UNU IIGH:

The UNU International Institute for Global Health (UNU-IIGH), located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, is a specialized UN think tank specializing in global health. Established by the UN University Council in 2005, it acts as a crucial link connecting UN member states, academia and agencies. UNU-IIGH translates research into actionable policies by prioritizing gender perspectives to shape, implement and evaluate health programmes. It focuses on empowering local decision-makers, aligning efforts with the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. Their multi-faceted approach integrates policy analysis, gender considerations and capacity-building initiatives, promoting impactful progress within the broader UN program.

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