Looking ahead to 2023 by our Executive Director
Executive Director, Transform Health
Transform Health has an exciting year ahead of us. Building on our successes in 2022, we will continue to work through our national coalitions to deepen our engagement with governments and other decision-makers to ensure that the progress towards digital health transformation occurs in a sustainable, inclusive and equitable way.
We will take forward our groundbreaking work on health data governance in the lead-up to the World Health Assembly (WHA) in 2023 and 2024. To socialise the issue of health data governance among the public, we are launching the #MyDataOurHealth campaign. Stay tuned for a host of activities online and offline with our partners in East, West and Central Africa that start a public conversation on the value of our health data and its benefit to public health. We aim to drum up popular support that urges governments to support the call for a global framework.
Advocating for increased and coordinated funding for digital health transformation will also be a major priority for Transform Health next year. To carry forward the recommendations from our report on digital health investment, we are developing a coalition-wide action plan to focus coalition efforts around our priority recommendations for national governments, corporates, and international donors to increase and improve investments towards building digitally-enabled health systems that improve health outcomes for all.
None of our work is possible without the active engagement and support of our coalition partners. It is therefore our priority to continue building intentional and meaningful partnerships within the coalition to deliver on our shared objectives – and the inclusion of youth, women and marginalised communities in these processes remains a fundamental priority. With less than eight years left to achieve our shared goal of Universal Health Coverage by 2030, inclusive and consensus-led partnerships will remain the guiding light to Transform Health’s work in 2023 and beyond.
As we developed our advocacy work around health data governance and digital health investment this year, we realised that we didn’t need all the answers in order to move forward with an initiative. Sometimes posing the right questions, scoping out the issue and its relevance, and socialising it among the right audience is a necessary first step to getting it on the agenda. This has opened the door for the wider community to engage with these issues as well and carry these conversations forward.
We have been working with partners this year to set up the national coalitions in India and Ecuador, to establish strong partnerships with regional networks, and to develop and launch our first mobilisation campaign. Investing time and energy into effective strategising and planning is critical to ensure results. This takes time, especially in a coalition context where we are working across national, cultural and sectoral boundaries. Understanding the concerns and constraints of our partners and providing them with the tools and support necessary to develop clear strategies and solid plans aligned with their capacity and capabilities can be a slow process. If done well, it can set us all up for success.
With the fast-paced and multi-pronged advocacy work Transform Health has been engaging in, we realised that we needed more avenues for engagement – not just among coalition partners but also other organisations that worked on our priority areas. The Transform Health Community Forum held its first call this year and provided a space for new and prospective members to hear about Transform Health’s work and how they could get involved, as well as share their work and engage with one another. We also developed working groups, such as the Health Data Governance Working Group, that allowed for more flexible engagement options for new partners aligned around specific priority areas. This pragmatic approach is one that we will be deepening over the coming year.
2022 has been an extraordinary year for Transform Health, for digital health and for all of us, as individuals, colleagues and advocates. We started the year in lockdown and ended it able to meet partners and colleagues and reestablish relationships built and sustained through digital means over the last two and a half years. Among the reflections we take forward over the coming year is that technology has the potential to connect us all and allow us to achieve our goals, and yet is no substitute for human contact.