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IFMSA advocacy by Mind Map: IFMSA advocacy
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IFMSA advocacy


rules for IFMSA represenation

rules for policy statements


TOT workshop on advocacy

capacity building!

TOT workshop before IFMSA Gener Assembly so that these trainers can directly give these training sessions during the GA

trainers trained by professionals from policy organizations

training in SC sessions

a trainersteam that is specialized and well known for high-quality training in IFMSA advocacy

stand-alone training manual

Specific campaign training (e.g Climate change and health)

Creative ways of advocacy

Social Media


Flash Mob

Global Days of action (e.g 350)

700,000 other ideas!

Cool! Would be grateful to learn more from you.


general assemblies

2-hour meeting for all interested, update from SWG, what is being done on NMO level?, how can individuals help?

Pre-GA workshops for training for advocacy for those who are interested.

Regional Meetings as well.


types of statements

policy statements


joint statement


minimum information packet, basic info about IFMSA, how to act towards externals, making a plan to achieve your goal during a conference

plan of action, universal to any conference, includes timeframe far before and after conference, includes bottom-up approach, includes follow-up, includes involvement of change agents


Follow up

Long term campaigns

Initiative Projects?


eg. To evaluate how much is being accomplished every year.



Outcomes (not outputs)


Development Plan (where do we want IFMSA advocacy to be in 3 years- how are you going to get there)

Where do you want IFMSA advocacy to be in 5, 10, 20 years - how is IFMSA going to get there.

Aims of the SWG

assess existing advocacies and campaigns in the IFMSA (local, national, regional, global)

How were these advocacies developed?

Are there advocacies that we can replicate and expand?

Do these campaigns really reach those we intended to reform, i.e. government, business sector? Or we just share this within our ranks (thus becoming an educational and not a truly advocacy activity)?

identify key areas for advocacy and campaigning in the IFMSA (and which areas beyond IFMSA's scope)

Our choice of areas will reflect IFMSA's, key ideals and principles, Do we really adhere with the WHO definition of health - "not merely the absence of disease" - or will we focus on the symptoms and not the root causes of ill health?, desired extent and limitations of political involvement, Do we choose to remain "neutral" in all issues, or frame ourselves as one with governments, or manifest ourselves as an international body for the people?, I'd suggest that we'd be best to engage with politics, but keep 'health' and 'future generations' as our background., Great point and how does one be 'neutral' and advocate at the same time?, Are we ready to challenge governments, international bodies, and the private sector?, Why not?, Can we make goverments and international bodies look through our perspective into global health issues ?, Interesting concept. Perhaps we may start off with aligning ourselves with influential organisations that have a similar perspective to our own., knowledge and skills, Are we ready to venture into issues beyond what is taught in the medical curriculum but greatly affects health - politics, economics, environment?, Is this already been taught in some medical curriculums?

In my mind, this isn't quite the role of the SWG? As the next branch suggests, the IFMSA will very much choose this themselves based on what people are excited about at the time., Second

design a general set of methods, rules, limitations as well as a mechanism for dissemination, monitoring, and evaluation for IFMSA advocacy and campaigning work (general enough to ensure "IFMSA-ness" but still allow creativity and appropriateness among NMOs or regions

Get people talking about Advocacy within the IFMSA. If we're going to be a group which doesn't actually campaign ourselves, then one of the best ways we could support current campaigns would be to get the IFMSA comfortable with talking around campaigns

Training/Pre-GA's, Policy Statement, presentations during the GAs, offer of equal support for campaigns currently running that could use a few extra voices.

Get a publication in a high-impact peer-review journal. Maybe with the contacts that VPE has with some established journals like the Lancet and WMA we can write an opinion piece.

Who? What? When? Where? Why? How? SMART Goals

Questions to ask

How does IFMSA define advocacy? campaigns? policy? In IFMSA terms, are educational campaigns to fellow medical students considered advocacy and/or campaign? Is participating in a WHO-organized conference already an IFMSA "policy involvement"?

Nick: from my experience with this in the part, i've found that it's best to keep a pretty open definition of this for people in the IFMSA. We tried this a few years ago and found that it was too difficult to make definitions that would be applicable to all cultures, and no one was ever really happy with it. As such, we stuck pretty close to 'structured communication', with issues around medical education being something we're all familiar and comfortable with., May we come up with a definition of 'structured communication'?

When we speak of advocacy and campaigns, it means getting involved with politics, whether local or global. Is IFMSA ready to enter this arena? (I prepared a document entitled "Global Politics, Medical Students, and the IFMSA." Will share soon. - Renzo)

Renzo, could you share this document on the server?

Yes. The IFMSA has been ready for a very long time - it's not as big a step as many people make it out to be.

We are already involved in 'politics' in one sense of the word!

What are IFMSA's yardsticks to success in advocacy, campaigns, and policy? Is it in the number of people reached or meetings attended or mob dances organized, or in the amount of change effected? How can we measure change (qualitatively or quantitatively) so we can say that yes, IFMSA has succeeded?

Do you mean what methods of evaluation can a campaign run by the IFMSA use, or how do we evaluate the success of a group of people trying to make 'advocacy' more prevalent in the organisation?

Great question and I agree that evaluation is important for ourselves and any potential sponsors. However perhaps the endpoint of advocacy is sometimes 'intangible' and it may be many years down the line before we see results.

I think we can evaluate this by asking every NMO to submit how many campaigns were carried out and what were the outcomes before every GA.Thus , we can have a feedback about advocacy in every NMO,if there is any changes that took place after the campaign and disucss with them what are the obstacles they faced.

Proposed Advocacy Areas

Human rights

We already have SCORP - does the standing committee adequately address this issue, to the point of substantially contributing to the struggle for human rights?, Also we already have transnational projects such as GO SCORP where an NMO campaigns members from other countries can be invited to participate and be trained to spread the concept of campaigning to their own countries. This can be one of many ways to train members internationally.

Global climate change

How effective is IFMSA's involvement in the Cancun negotiations? What opportunities are available for possible IFMSA participation in South Africa 2011? Beyond the climate negotiations?, I can answer that! (Nick) - You can split action at a conference into 3 categories: a) Influence on the actual negotiation track, b) Capacity Building, c) Education/Raising Awareness - You'll get much more of this when I write the report on it, but very shortly, here's an example of our successes:, a) Through sustained work over a period of about 8-9 months, we managed to write about 1/3rd of the text in FCCC/LCA/2010 around Article 6 on 'education, training and public awareness'. I'd hazard a guess that the IFMSA's never as a success that's that substantial, at that level of governance. It involved a large degree of coordination, and perseverance on the part of a number of people, but it's a pretty good example of how incredibly influential we can be!, b) We went to a large amount of effort to strengthen relationships with some key actors. Again, this came from work that's been in the making for 2+ years. As a result, we're in the process of forming an official relationship with the WHO (which for an NGO like the IFMSA, is unprecedented), and have been placed as the central coordinating body for the NGOs interested in Health under the FCCC, c) This was more about the blog, and our use of social media throughout the conference. The idea being communicating to the IFMSA that what we're talking about is actually a lot easier than people think. It's about giving people a case-study to work off., Durban 2011 - Opportunities are phenomenal for the IFMSA and the Health community here, we're really excited about this

Global health governance

WHO reform, mushrooming of non-state actors, etc. These are some of the emerging global health issues today but we are not discussing about it yet. As inheritors of the present global health situation, we should participate in this very important dialogue.

Health inequities and the social determinants of health

32 years after Alma Ata, there is still no "health for all." In 2008, WHO released a report on the "social determinants of health," identifying some of the biggest causes of health inequity. Should IFMSA deal on this root issue instead of focusing solely on "band-aid" projects that alleviate the symptom but not eradicate the cause?

Tobacco and other unhealthy products and practices

We have tobacco initiatives in the IFMSA. What did we do? How effective are they? Did we really make a dent in the tobacco issue? Can we say that the changes we are seeing today are partly because of our efforts or not at all? What lessons can be applied to other "unhealthy lifestyles"?

Student Wellbeing

Mental health issues amongst medical students, stigma in seeking support, burnout, rigorous systems and unsupportive educational environments

Student Advocacy

Advocating for the role of medical students to be advocates in a local and national level.

Medical Education


Suggestions from TO

Advocacy is not only involve Lobbying and Campaigning.

New node

Separate advocacy and lobbying in trainings i.e. make them 2 separate trainings

can someone explain why this might be a good idea? (i missed TOM2, so i'll be following up with the TO as well =) )

Create Advocacy and other topics training workshops in pre-GA’s ex: capacity-building

Less emphasis on lobbying & campaigns

And more emphasis on what?

Increase number of participants especially from NMO’s not involved on lobbying but in advocacy

Inform Training Director on the packages being worked on

Presentation of outcomes of SWG in Presidents’ Sessions and SC sessions

press releases


Press article exposure

Case Studies

This might not be up to the SWG to do, but it can certainly help to encourage other campaigns/NMOs. I think that the IFMSA is at the stage where it really just needs someone to pick up a campaign and run with it for a few years, and push it hard enough. A good example like that, with good communication back to the IFMSA would do wonders in terms of a) explaining what we mean by advocacy, b) proving that the barriers to campaigning aren't as great as people think, c) getting everyone excited about it!

We can ask every NMO To investigate the most common causes of morbidity and mortality in their countries and write them down in a list such that they can start making campaigns that target these causes in their own countries.

This is what we've been trying to do with the CC+H campaigns stuff, which has had positive and negative results

How NMO's Will Contact Us?

Also , we need to a mechanism to start receiving questions of NMO's about advocacy and to provide them with consultation if needed.

We can assign someone in the SWG to be in contact with all NMO's such that he or she will provide information needed about advocacy and try to let them get involved more.