The Third People’s Health Assembly

The People’s Health Movement (PHM) is a global network bringing together grassroots health activists, civil society organizations and academic institutions from around the world, particularly from low and middle income countries. PHM currently has presence in around 70 countries.

PHM works towards the revitalisation of Comprehensive Primary Health Care (CPHC), as described in the Alma-Ata Declaration of 1978 as well as to address the social determinants of health, in particular, the growing inequity within and between nations mostly due to the unfair economic structures which lock so many people into poverty and poor health.

The Third People’s Health Assembly – PHA3: WHAT, WHEN &WHERE

The People’s Health Assembly is a global event bringing together health activists from across the world to share experiences, analyse the global health situation, and develop civil society positions which promote health for all. It is an opportunity to reassess, redirect and re-inspire.

PHA3 is not just about developing our movement. It is also about impacting directly in the struggle for social justice: health for all, decent living conditions for all, work in dignity for all, equity and environmental justice.

The PHA takes place approximately every 5 years: PHA1 was held in Dhaka (Bangladesh, 2000), PHA2 in Cuenca (Ecuador, 2005). During the first PHA, the People’s Charter for Health was developed.

The Third People’s Health Assembly will take place 6 to 11 July 2012 at the University of the Western Cape in Cape Town, South Africa.


  • To create a platform for civil society where health activists can share, learn, strategise, plan and celebrate.
  • To build and strengthen the People’s Health Movement.
  • To strategise about building the movement
  • To strengthen links and networks, within PHM and with other stakeholders (health and non health sector).
  • To build stronger accountability between country, regional and global structures.
  • To strengthen PHM activities and membership base, particularly in the Africa region.
  • To encourage young and active leadership.
  • To celebrate and renew our strengths and accomplishments
  • To strengthen country and regional movement building through pre-assembly activities.
  • To reflect on activities and progress and to plan and consolidate future programmes and activities of PHM and ensure these are reflective of needs (progressing our own flagship projects)
  • To revisit the People’s Charter for Health
  • To reflect on structure and organisational processes of PHM


The programme will move from analysis to action, with sufficient time and process to facilitate strategy, future activities and movement building. There will be a balance between academic papers and grassroots case studies and testimonies falling under the following broad themes:

  • Social Determinants of Health (Building links with other movements)
  • Economic and Political Architecture (An alternative view to the neoliberal hegemony): Focusing on the political and economic influences that determine social and health policy
  • Building Sustainable Health Systems: Ensuring that the health system provides comprehensive, quality and equitable services to all while remaining responsive to users and financially sustainable
  • Voices of Resistance, Actions and Change Including the stories of community members, health workers and others to reflect current health issues and challenges, success stories, etc.;
  • Watching Global Processes and Institution Presentations and discussions around policy-making and organisations (eg Departments of Health, WHO, UNICEF, PEPFAR, Global Fund, etc) that function at national, regional and international levels;

The programme will have plenary and parallel sessions; workshops on the People’s Charter for Health; workshops developing future activities for PHM and other joint civil society programs.

6 July 2012   Registration, welcome and opening ceremony

7 – 10 July 2012 Morning plenaries, afternoon self organized sessions, evening cultural activities

11 July Closing plenary and march in Cape Town.


Self Organised Workshops/Seminars/Cultural Presentations in sync with the broad objectives of PHM and of PHA3 could be organised by partner organizations. Organisations who organise such activities would contribute some amount (to be decided) and will be requested to fund specific participants to the PHA3. These activities can be of different sizes, ranging from 50-200 participants. One organisation can propose activities across a maximum of 4 time slots of 2 hours each. Payment will be based on the size (hall size requested) of the activity and the number of slots asked for.


This will be a working assembly, with country and regional processes and events leading up to the main assembly. The PHA provides an opportunity to build a strong health movement nationally and regionally bringing people together around common issues and struggles defining ways to work and act together.

Pre-assembly mobilisation activities can be used to organise nationally and regionally around such common issues; to present and gather stories and experiences using these as base for learning and joint action; and to discuss and suggest amendments to the People’s Charter for Health. The main objectives of pre-assembly mobilisation are to strengthen collaboration and encourage inspiring exchange amongst PHM activists; and increase participation and grassroots voices at the main assembly. Pre assembly activities are a bottom up process, organised and developed by the organisations interested, involved and willing to take it on.

Some questions to be addressed in pre assembly mobilisation can be

  • What issues and challenges unite us as a country and region?
  • What strategies can be developed to address these?
  • Who are the stakeholders that should be involved and how?
  • Are there networks beyond the health sector that we need to work closer with?

Some activities that can be carried out as pre assembly activities are

  • Organising workshops to strengthen the People’s Charter for Health
  • Gathering testimonies and case studies to reflect grassroots realities within specific themes
  • Hold hearings or plan action around Right to Health campaign
  • Developing action plans and campaigns towards a shared agenda
  • Preparing discussion papers • Feed into the regional mobilisation process

National and regional assemblies or mobilisation activities can be linked to other events and social forums. Regional Organising committees can be formed to drive mobilisation activities and assist with regional fundraising. In general, pre assembly mobilisation activities focus on strengthening local movement building, exchange and action towards Health for All. For more information on PHM and PHA3, do not hesitate to visit our website

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