Thematic Working Groups

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About Thematic Working Groups (TWG)

The IWG is a member-driven community of action. The Thematic Working Groups (TWGs) sit at the heart of what the IWG does, and provides a space for emerging leaders to convene, ideate, problem solve, and act towards health system issues that they feel most passionate about.

How the TWGs work

TWGs serve as an incubator and accelerator to the creative and passionate ideas of IWG members, and provide relevant technical advice, peer support, networking opportunities, resources, and feedback to support the development of organically grown projects. IWG members routinely pitch their ideas while the TWG Committee assesses and monitors the idea-action transformation progress and flow.

This working group is ready to support in transforming motivation-based ideas into action that falls under the three IWG pillars (advocacy; capacity strengthening; knowledge generation and sharing) by providing opportunities to sound and build out proposed ideas, find and move people for collaborative action and creation of new networks and partners, as well as get feedback from technical advisors and participating members to generate fresh insights and innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing problems. 

Global Thematic Areas

Global thematic areas represent where the IWG is investing time, energy, and bringing strategic support and advisory resources together to move ideas to the action stage. These were collaboratively decided by the pan-IWG community through regional and global consultation processes. Beyond the three global thematic areas, members are welcome to initiate ideas irrespective of alignment with these global areas, to ensure that key issues that are important to IWG members make it to the table, and have the opportunity to be realised through the power of this community.

Leadership and Governance

Leadership and Governance in the health sector ensure that strategic policy frameworks are in place and combined with effective oversight, coalition-building, regulation, & system design thinking for accountability of health systems and processes, through monitoring and reporting systems. Key goals:

  • To generate knowledge on the selected key streams of TWG within the context of different organizational structures. (public, private, and community-based organizations).
  • Catalyze work on key streams, evidence synthesis, and solutions to address particular problems/issues.
  • Support capacity and knowledge development of TWG members
  • To analyze the consistency and coherence of health policy implementation and management systems in different contexts and performance levels.

Environment and Planetary Health

While there is no one universally agreed definition, several terms including One Health, Eco-Health, Environmental Health, Global Environmental and Occupational Health (GEOHealth), Population Health and Environment, and Planetary Health exist to capture this thematic area. According to the Lancet Commission, Planetary Health is defined as “the achievement of the highest attainable standard of health, wellbeing, and equity worldwide through judicious attention to the human systems—political, economic, and social—that shape the future of humanity and the Earth’s natural systems that define the safe environmental limits within which humanity can flourish. Put simply, planetary health is the health of human civilisation and the state of the natural systems on which it depends. Key goals:

  • To raise awareness about the climate crisis, and to advocate for improving the health and well-being of the current and future generations through a healthy planet.

Non-Communicable Diseases

Non-Communicable Diseases refer to a group of conditions that are not mainly caused by an acute infection, result in long-term health impacts, and often create a need for long-term care. The prevention, treatment, and management of NCDs takes into consideration a comprehensive and holistic approach that includes a focus on physical, mental, and social well-being. Key goals:

  • To raise awareness and increase action on addressing NCDs that impact vulnerable populations through a focus on the social determinants of health and equitable approaches.
  • To engage in research that can be used to influence advocacy and policies for the prevention, treatment, and management of NCDs.

Looking Back: 2020-22

During the 2020-22 term, IWG members convened and hosted several member-driven thematic working groups.

In 2020, the TWG centered its focus in knowledge generation and sharing and doing advocacy work on the following themes with the participation of different regions: Global Knowledge Sharing; Health Systems Resilience, Readiness and Responsiveness; and Health Equity.

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In 2021, the IWG initiated a cross-regional consultative process to identify three global thematic areas, i.e, global public health system priorities that members from all six regions felt represented the “need of the hour.” In 2022, the TWG Committee launched a “meaning-making” workshop series to define these thematic areas, and streamline its approach to provide focus on delivering outputs and products that fall under one of the three main thematic areas: Leadership and Governance; Non-communicable Diseases; and Environmental and Planetary Health. During the 2022-24 term, we continue to use these three thematic areas to guide our global priorities. In addition, the IWG holds space for different committees that may convene for select initiatives, events, or purposes, through IWG Special Committees.