Online Program

Social movement for non-communicable disease (NCDs): Lessons from social movement theory and the HIV/AIDS movement

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 3:20 p.m. - 3:35 p.m.

Joshua Yang, PhD, MPH, Department of Health Science, California State University, Fullerton, Fullerton, CA
Hadii M. Mamudu, PhD, MPA, Department of Health Services Management and Policy, College of Public Health, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN
Thomas Novotny, MD, MPH, Graduate School of Public Health, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA
Background: Liberalization of trade of tobacco, processed foods, and alcohol is an important factor in the growing burden of global non-communicable diseases (NCDs), which case 2 in 3 deaths worldwide. Efforts to prevent and control NCDs therefore have implications for trade and health as well as for national security. The UN has proposed the establishment of a social movement on NCDs as one potential model to foster global partnerships against NCDs and to mobilize resources. This study uses social movement theory as exemplified in the HIV/AIDS movement to assess and critique the social movement effort against NCDs. Methods: Key informant interviews with individuals from various sectors were conducted and archival documents were obtained to characterize current efforts to establish a social movement against NCDs. Interviews were transcribed and analyzed to characterize efforts to create a social movement against NCDs. Results: Currently, many NGOs are interested in NCDs, but there is no social movement. Various activities have been undertaken to initiate mass mobilization against NCDs, but none have been successful in replicating the HIV/AIDS movement. Global efforts to prevent and control NCD have been a politics of the elite, shaped by a small, influential number of actors. Conclusion: To build a social movement for the prevention and global control of NCDs, activists should consider key concepts from social movement theory such as resource mobilization, the political opportunity structure, and approaches to framing the issue and assessing lessons learned from the HIV/AIDS movement.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Evaluate critical factors of social movements for health. Explain the unique challenges related to creating a social movement for non-communicable diseases.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I helped conceptualize the study, conducted the data collection and analysis, and was the primary writer of the manuscript
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.