About the GHW

History and Concept

At the World Health Assembly in May 2003, the People's Health Movement (PHM), together with the Global Equity Gauge Alliance (GEGA) and Medact discussed the need for civil society to produce its own alternative World Health Report. It was felt that the WHO reports were inadequate; that there was no report that monitored the performance of global health institutions; and, that the dominant neo-liberal discourse in public health policy also needed to be challenged by a more people-centred approach that highlights social justice. The idea of an alternative World Health Report since developed into an initiative called the 'Global Health Watch - GHW' the first of which was launched on July 20, 2005 in Ecuador and London.

The Watch aims to:

  • Promote human rights as the basis for health policy
  • Counter-balance liberal and market-driven perspectives
  • Shift the health policy agenda to recognise the political, social and economic barriers to better health
  • Improve civil society's capacity to hold national and international governments, global international financial institutions and corporations to account (including WHO and the World Bank)
  • Strengthen the links between civil society organisations around the world
  • Provide a forum for magnifying the voice of the poor and vulnerable

The Watch uses the concept of an alternative world health report to promote the involvement of as many individuals and civil society organisations as possible. Many prominent NGOs and academics from other institutions have become centrally involved in the production of certain chapters of the first Watch, see collaborators. And in some areas, independent networks and initiatives are being catalysed to develop alternative regional and national health watches to accompany the Global Health Watch, see Get Involved.

Co-ordination of the Watch

The secretariat of the GHW was hosted on basis of rotation among the partner organisations as follows:

  • GHW-1 (2005-2006), Medact, London
  • GHW-2 (2007-2008), GEGA, South Africa
  • GHW-3, People's Health Movement, India
  • GHW-4, People's Health Movement, India