#migranthealth & public engagement

I’ve put a storify together in the hope to consolidate the discussions going on relating to #migranthealth at the 2nd Global Consultation currently underway in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

However, as we start Day 2, #migranthealth isn’t trending.  It seems only a few of us are engaging and trying to reach out via social media.  And I’m surprised at the limited engagement beyond the physical meeting space (unless I’m missing it because I’m here).

We need greater online engagement (amongst other engagement strategies) to support global action on migration and health.  But how to do so?  At an event organised by two big IGOs (IOM and WHO) and hosted in 2017, I’d anticipated a strong, simultaneous online presence to facilitate engagement beyond the physical meeting space, that draws participation – including from civil society and migrant organisations – into the discussions.  However, this doesn’t seem to be the case.

As the Consultation works on ‘resetting the agenda’ on migrant health, a key action should be for the development and implementation of a strong public engagement strategy around health and migration.  How to facilitate and share global engagement strategies?

This need for improved public engagement has emerged as a cross-cutting theme from the discussions held so far – across breakaway sessions focussing on research, policy and monitoring approaches.

It is clear that we need to find ways to (re)set the public engagement strategy for migration and health at a global level, that centres on modes of producing, sharing and utilising knowledge.

Discussions around the creation of a global research agenda highlight the demand for improved knowledge sharing strategies, as well as a clear need for reconsidered methodological approaches for understanding and taking action on migration and health.

Key questions relate to considerations of how to develop approaches that can engage with multiple levels (local to global), multiple determinants (individual to structural) and multiple locations across different times (throughout the migration trajectory).

It’s messy and complex but that’s what public health folk should be able to engage with.  We should be advocating for and supporting the development and implementation of approaches for collective agenda-setting, research (including its application), communication and engagement on migration and health.  And the voices of migrants themselves should be central.

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