How can Government policy in occupational health and medicine be changed for the better?
Advocacy is a process which can lead to change through influence. It is a way of influencing public policy through information and communication, directing decision-makers towards a solution and can be used to inform influential groups and raise their awareness of specific issues. Advocacy in occupational health can achieve:
Increased resources for occupational health– building the case where it is not yet recognised
Change policies and practices within countries to support health in workplaces
An increase in occupational health and medicine organisation’s profile amongst the public, and influential groups such as employers, unions and policy makers
Increased awareness of the reality of workers’ health and the specific problems faced by particular industries or workplaces.
Participants will be asked to consider their objectives, and identify key institutions and individuals relevant to the interests and activities of occupational health and medicine. Core advocacy concepts such as issue identification and analysis; power mapping; lobbying and influencing; working in alliances and campaigning and public outreach will be stated, as part of an advocacy strategy.
Reference will be made to the document, ‘the value of occupational health’, produced by the Society of Occupational Medicine and publicly available at www.som.org.uk. An international version of this document is in process of being produced and will aim to be made available for this session. A draft Advocacy Toolkit, produced by the International Occupational Medicine Society Collaborative will also be available.
Advocacy Occupational Health