Workshops on Health Rights in Cape Town:

People’s Health Movement is a global network bringing together health activists from around the world to exchange and works towards a world where ‘Health for All’ is a reality. Rights for Change and the Women’s support center from Kyrgyzstan hosted two workshops at the Cape Town conference (6-11 July 2012). They shared experiences with the use of HeRWAI around the globe and helped participants determine if doing a human rights assessment would be a strategic addition to the work of their organisation. The two workshops aimed to increase the capacity of health activists in policy analysis, to engage them in the policy cycle and to enable them to hold their government accountable.

Moderators of the workshop were Aigul Alymkulova (Women Support Center, Kyrgyzstan) and Loeky Droesen (Rights4Change, Netherlands). 
Participants from a.o. Zambia, Malaysia, South Africa, and USA were introduced to the story of Nina. Her story lead to a discussion on how the right to health is interconnected with other human rights, and how determinants of health affect the health status of people.
Doing research is a challenge, especially if a person or organisation does not have much experience with it. But tools exist to help guide organisations to do research by providing the relevant research questions. HeRWAI (Health Rights of Women Assessment Instrument) is a methodology which helps users to link problems they face in practice with the international and national obligations of the state. The participants and moderators shared ideas on how policy analysis can be used for advocacy purposes to change decision making and service delivery. Participants also discussed specific problems of participants’ countries and how these might be dealt with.
During the workshops, participants concluded that applying HeRWAI methodology for research and advocacy on health issues is a possible choice in their countries. Participants also discussed that by using rights based policy analysis civil activists can increase their chance of influencing the policy making process; by collecting more reliable and sound data, engaging in a policy dialogue becomes a smoother process. Moreover you educate yourself and the state administrators to understand health and human rights at a deeper level.

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