In New York, representatives of the Ghana NCD Alliance, Labram Musah (left) and Dr. Beatrice Wiafe Addai (right), met with the Hon. Harold Agyeman (middle), Ghana’s Ambassador to the United Nations, to discuss NCD priorities. Photo credit: NCD Alliance


The NCD Alliance’s (NCDA) Advocacy Institute successfully wrapped its second phase in 2023, marking a critical period of growth and achievement. From 2020 to 2023, NCDA’s flagship capacity building program, made possible by partners that include Access Accelerated, focused on enhancing local NCD advocacy across 16 geographies. Its approach involved two key initiatives: the Seed Programme for nurturing emerging local NCD alliances and the two thematic Accelerator Programmes, with one focused on NCD prevention and the other on NCDs and UHC.

In July 2023, against the backdrop of the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in New York, NCDA’s Advocacy Institute brought together eight NCD alliances to a workshop titled Building momentum to advance NCD care and UHC towards the UN High-Level Meeting on UHC.

“The partnership with Access Accelerated enabled the participation of six advocates from Ghana, India, Kenya, and Vietnam to attend this important workshop,” explains Dr. Cristina Parsons Perez, Capacity Development Director of the NCD Alliance. “In addition to learning from each other and hearing from expert speakers, advocates were able to meet with their UN country missions to discuss NCDs and advocate ahead of the High-Level Meeting on UHC.”

The event was representative of the important work the Advocacy Institute did throughout its second phase as it supported alliances with grants, technical assistance, peer-to-peer learning, and workshops focused on calling for a people-centered NCD response at national, regional, and global levels. An example of this work can be found in India, where the Healthy India Alliance (HIA) was involved in the Advocacy Institute’s second phase thanks to the Access Accelerated partnership. In May 2023, India’s Ministry of Health recognized the growing NCD burden by updating the National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancers, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke to the National Programme for Prevention and Control of NonCommunicable Diseases 2023-2030 (NP-NCD).

The newly updated NP-NCD places significant emphasis on social mobilization, expanding services through community-based approaches, and making NCD services more sustainable, accountable, and community-owned.

The NP-NCD also references the India Advocacy Agenda of People Living with NCDs, a document outlining key recommendations by people living with and affected by NCDs that stem from community conversations led by HIA under NCDA’s Our Views, Our Voices initiative. The inclusion of meaningful involvement of people living with NCDs in NP-NCD is an important win for HIA’s network of lived experience champions. It also bodes well for subnational multi-stakeholder working groups on NCDs and UHC in the states of Punjab and Maharashtra.

“The acknowledgement of [meaningful involvement] by NP-NCD is a call to action for all people living with and affected by NCDs to come forward and partner with civil society and the health workforce to ensure that no one is left behind in the progress towards Universal Health Coverage,” said Seema Bali, a lived experience champion and HIA member.

In 2023, alliances in Ghana, Kenya, and Malaysia prioritized community-led monitoring by developing and testing models of engaging communities in generating and analyzing data on the delivery of health services at the primary healthcare level.

The country-level achievements of grantees underscore the profound impact of empowering advocates with the necessary skills, support, and opportunities to not only raise awareness and shape policies but also ensure that all key voices are heard in crucial policy-making spaces. Indeed, the World Health Organization’s 2023 launch of its Framework for Meaningful Engagement of People Living with NCDs and Mental Health and Neurological Conditions clearly signals that this approach is essential for accelerating action and increasing impact of the NCD response.

The Global Charter on Meaningful Involvement of People Living with NCDs, launched by NCDA with the support of Access Accelerated in 2021, is based on the principle that people living with NCDs—including care partners— should be meaningfully involved in every step of the decision-making process related to the NCD response. This is a message that NCDA has promoted globally both in 2023 and over the past six years, with the support of the Access Accelerated partnership, through initiatives like the Walk the Talk webinar series in 2023.

“As NCDA looks to 2024 and beyond, we’re mobilizing our network to leverage the Global Charter and promote the WHO Framework with governments and WHO country offices,” says Dr. Parsons Perez. “It’s a strong sign that the positive ripple effects of this partnership and the NCDA’s achievements of 2023 will be felt for many years to come.”


Learn more about progress achieved in 2023 by Access Accelerated and our partners in the 2023 Highlights Report.