The NGO Playbook: Unveiling Strategies to Influence Commercial and Government Policies in Health
In a world where commercial interests often overshadow public health concerns, NGOs have emerged as critical players in influencing both commercial and government policies. The article, “A framework of NGO inside and outside strategies in the commercial determinants of health: findings from a narrative review”, dives deep into this subject, offering a comprehensive framework for understanding the strategies NGOs employ.
The Source Article Details
A framework of NGO inside and outside strategies in the commercial determinants of health: findings from a narrative review by Belinda Townsend et al. in 2023.
Cited By: 1 (Updated: October 14, 2023)
The Source Article's Abstract
Public health scholarship has uncovered a wide range of strategies used by industry actors to promote their products and influence government regulation. Less is known about the strategies used by non-government organisations to attempt to influence commercial practices. This narrative review applies a political science typology to identify a suite of 'inside' and 'outside' strategies used by NGOs to attempt to influence the commercial determinants of health.
We conducted a systematic search in Web of Science, ProQuest and Scopus. Articles were eligible for inclusion if they comprised an empirical study, explicitly sought to examine 'NGOs', were in English, and identified at least one NGO strategy aimed at commercial and/or government policy and practice.
One hundred forty-four studies met the inclusion criteria. Eight industry sectors were identified: extractive, tobacco, food, alcohol, pharmaceuticals, weapons, textiles and asbestos, and a small number of general studies. We identified 18 types of NGO strategies, categorised according to the target (i.e. commercial actor or government actor) and type of interaction with the target (i.e. inside or outside).
The analysis presents a matrix of NGO strategies used to target commercial and government actors across a range of industry sectors. This framework can be used to guide examination of which NGO strategies are effective and appropriate, and which conditions enable NGO influence.
Citing the Source Article (APA)
Townsend, B., Johnson, T.D., Ralston, R., Cullerton, K., Martin, J., Collin, J., Baum, F., Arnanz, L., Holmes, R., Friel, S. (2023). A framework of NGO inside and outside strategies in the commercial determinants of health: findings from a narrative review. Globalization and Health, 19(1), 74-74. 10.1186/s12992-023-00978-x
The Inside and Outside Game
The paper categorizes NGO strategies into ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ based on their target—commercial or government actors—and the type of interaction. ‘Inside’ strategies involve direct engagement, such as private meetings, while ‘outside’ strategies aim to mobilize public opinion through protests or campaigns.
The Sectors Under Scrutiny
The review covers a wide range of sectors, from food and tobacco to pharmaceuticals and weapons. This breadth allows for a more comprehensive understanding of how NGOs operate across different industries.
The Impact: More Than Just Noise
The paper identifies three types of NGO impact: substantive, procedural, and normative. This goes beyond the usual metrics, offering a nuanced understanding of how NGOs can effect real change.
What’s Next for NGOs?
The framework provided in the article can serve as a guide for NGOs to evaluate the effectiveness of their strategies. It also opens the door for further research into the conditions that enable NGO influence.
- Implications for the Medical Profession
- Understanding NGO strategies can help medical professionals collaborate more effectively with these organizations.
- It provides insights into how NGOs can influence policies that have a direct impact on public health.
- Relevant FAQs
- What are the ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ strategies used by NGOs?
- How can this framework be applied in different sectors?
- What types of impact can NGOs have?
What do you think of the strategies employed by NGOs in influencing commercial and government policies? How can medical professionals leverage this information? We’d love to hear your thoughts below.