Making Health and Development a Reality for the people of India
Policy Intervention & Advocacy
Overview

Voluntary Health Association of India (VHAI), one of the largest networks of voluntary agencies in the health sector is playing a critical role at both macro and micro levels. Its health advocacy efforts emerge from the grassroots with an understanding of their health and development problems as well as the strategies adopted to address them.

Voluntary Health Association of India has successfully promoted the concept of broadening the horizons of health at national and international forum. VHAI finds representation in international agencies like WHO, World Bank, International Union for Health Promotion and Education, Asian Development Bank, York University, European Union, etc.

The organization is having a significant presence on the Advisory Committees of several national and government bodies such as National AIDS Control Board, Task Force on Tobacco Control, National Disaster Management Authority, National Nutrition Mission and National Policy for Children. VHAI is also a member of Advisory Group on Community Action under the National Rural Health Mission and Common Review Mission of NRHM.

VHAI believes that the adoption of an appropriate public policy by the Government is not an end by itself because the major task of effective implementation of the policy is an equally important issue. Advocacy groups have to take lead in monitoring the implementation of the public policy closely, particularly in the initial years.

Our grassroots level projects play a very important role of providing us feedback on the effectiveness of the implementation process at the grassroots. The feedback is regularly conveyed to the authorities to enable them to fine-tune the mechanism of implementation.

The key strategy has been to avail expertise and experience of people associated with VHAI, State Chapters, ICDHI members comprising of eminent social scientists, and other distinguished health and development experts from various states of the country in identifying key health, gender and poverty related issues as well as issues related to children’s rights and their in-depth analysis. This exercise not only helped us in setting pragmatic goals but also in responding to these issues at both policy and grassroots levels. Another area of foremost concern has been to build upon the capacity of the state members and other associated and grassroots level organizations.

Policy Work At International Level
In order to continuing fruitful collaboration between VHAI and WHO-SEARO and coordinating their efforts in the South-East Asia Region as well as collaborating closely in matters of common concern, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between VHAI and WHO-SEARO during last year. This has facilitated the attainment of the set objectives of VHAI and WHO-SEARO.
Policy Work At National Level
VHAI has an acceptable voice in the central and state governments and considers it of prime importance to conduct serious action research on various health and development concerns.
Independent Commission on Development and Health in India (ICDHI) VHAI facilitated the setting up of ICDHI in 1995, as a people’s initiative to assess the current health and development status and facilitate the process of need-based and people-centric sustainable development and health. The Commission consists of distinguished persons from the health and development sectors.
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