Vital Voices Initiative

The Vital Voices Initiative is a product of the ACS project that amplifies the voices, needs and perspectives of all members of society- community members, researchers and academics, medical practitioners and traditional healers, civil society organizations, youth, corporations, the private and public sector, and government officials- through targeted and contextualized storytelling.

Goal of Vital Voices Initiative

The Vital Voices Initiative calls attention to the responsibility of policy makers to include critical voices in health policy discussions that support their country’s movement towards universal health coverage (UHC). Policies are more equitable, responsive, and effective when they are inclusive of the voices they are intended to benefit.

“UHC is, after all, a societal project”, says ACS Director Allison Kelley. “For too long, it has been approached only as a technical issue. While there are important technical choices to be made, the more challenging part of the path to UHC is getting everyone on board and doing their part to advance the movement and make it meet the whole population’s needs. Vital Voices are critical to ensure that beneficiaries’ voices shape the UHC dialogue and decisions, while building their ownership of it.”

The Vital Voices Initiative will share stories and perspectives from every ACS country (Namibia, Botswana, Uganda, Benin, Togo, and Burkina Faso) and, when available, from non-ACS countries. The first four stories are from Namibia and will be followed by voices from Uganda, to be released in 2020. In addition to sharing stories of UHC champions, ACS also works to build partnerships with each Vital Voice Initiative participant and will provide future story updates to assess changes to the UHC challenges and opportunities shared in their initial stories.