Lobbying and advocacy for the public's health: what are the limits for nonprofit organizations?
Nonprofit organizations play an important role in advocating for the public's health in the United States. This article describes the rules under US law for lobbying by nonprofit organizations. The 2 most common kinds of non-profits working to improve the public's health are "public charities" and "social welfare organizations." Although social welfare organizations may engage in relatively unlimited lobbying, public charities may not engage in "substantial" lobbying. Lobbying is divided into 2 main categories. Direct lobbying refers to communications with law-makers that take a position on specific legislation, and grassroots lobbying includes attempts to persuade members of the general public to take action regarding legislation. Even public charities may engage in some direct lobbying and a smaller amount of grassroots lobbying. Much public health advocacy, however, is not lobbying, since there are several important exceptions to the lobbying rules. These exceptions include "non-partisan analysis, study, or research" and discussions of broad social problems. Lobbying with federal or earmarked foundation funds is generally prohibited. (+info)
Exploring the scope for advocacy by paediatricians.
AIMS: To ascertain the type and extent of problems requiring advocacy in paediatrics. To develop an approach for analysing problems according to their root causes and the level of society at which advocacy is needed. METHODS: Nine paediatricians kept detailed clinical diaries for two weeks to identify problems. Classifications were developed to categorise problems by cause and the level of society at which they needed to be addressed. The press was surveyed for one week for childhood issues attracting media attention. RESULTS: 60 problems requiring advocacy were identified. Root causes included failures within agencies, between agencies, and inadequate provision. In addition to advocacy required individually, "political" action was needed at the community level (16 issues), city level (16 issues), and nationally (15 issues). 103 articles were found in the press, these did not relate closely to issues identified by clinicians. CONCLUSIONS: Many opportunities for advocacy arise in the course of daily work. A systematic way of analysing them has been developed for use in planning action. To optimise the health and health care of children, there is a need to train and support paediatricians in advocacy work for local as well as national issues. Ten issues were identified that might be prioritised by paediatricians working on an agenda for action. (+info)
Public health advocacy: process and product.
OBJECTIVES: In this article the author describes public health advocacy and proposes a conceptual framework for understanding how it works. METHODS: The proposed framework incorporates the image of an assembly line. The public health advocacy assembly line produces changes in societal resource allocation that are necessary for optimizing public health. The framework involves 3 main stages: information, strategy, and action. These stages are conceptually sequential but, in practice, simultaneous. The work at each stage is continually adjusted according to circumstances at the other stages. RESULTS: The framework has practical implications; for example, public health advocacy teams need members with complementary skills in distinct roles. Potential applications are illustrated via two public health advocacy efforts. CONCLUSIONS: The framework may be useful in assessing staffing and funding needs for public health advocacy endeavors, explaining common problems in these endeavors and suggesting solutions, and guiding decisions concerning effort allocation. Application of the framework to a variety of public health advocacy endeavors will clarify its strengths and weaknesses. (+info)
Baby food industry lobbies WHO on breast feeding advice.(4/97)
The power of survivor advocacy: making car trunks escapable.
Survivor advocates are powerful workers for injury prevention. Some of the major prevention successes have been due in large part to their efforts. This case history examines the four year campaign to prevent entrapment in car trunks (or boot) through the routine installation of interior trunk releases. It traces how a life altering event began a cluster of activities leading to product redesign and regulation to prevent injury. The following elements were key: data and the lack thereof, identification of possible solutions, newsworthy tragedies and media advocacy, politics and sympathetic lawmakers, an agency with regulatory authority, manufacturers, and trade associations. Survivors can assist the injury field because the personal and the professional complement each other in advocacy. Public health professionals can assist survivor advocates by sharing research, data and organizational skills, and by helping to secure grants. (+info)
Lessons learned from the tobacco industry's efforts to prevent the passage of a workplace smoking regulation.
OBJECTIVES: This study assessed the implementation of tobacco industry strategies to prevent a workplace smoking regulation. METHODS: Tobacco industry internal documents were identified; hearing transcripts for the affiliations, arguments, and positions regarding the regulation of testifiers were coded; and media coverage was analyzed. RESULTS: Tobacco industry strategies sought to increase business participation and economic discussions at public hearings and to promote unfavorable media coverage of the regulation. The percentage of business representatives opposing the regulation grew from 18% (5 to 28) to 57% (13 of 23) between the hearings. Economic arguments opposing the regulation rose from 25% (7 of 28) to 70% (16 of 23). Press coverage was neutral and did not increase during the period of the regulatory hearings. CONCLUSIONS: The tobacco industry was successful in implementing 2 of its 3 strategies but was not able to prevent passage of the comprehensive workplace regulation. (+info)
Tobacco industry allegations of "illegal lobbying" and state tobacco control.
OBJECTIVES: This study assessed the perceived effect of tobacco industry allegations of "illegal lobbying" by public health professionals on policy interventions for tobacco control. METHODS: Structured interviews were conducted with state health department project managers in all 17 National Cancer Institute-funded American Stop Smoking Intervention Study (ASSIST) states. Documentation and media records related to ASSIST from the National Cancer Institute, health advocates, and the tobacco industry were analyzed. RESULTS: The tobacco industry filed formal complaints of illegal lobbying activities against 4 ASSIST states. These complaints had a temporary chilling effect on tobacco control policy interventions in those states. ASSIST states not targeted by the tobacco industry developed an increased awareness of the industry's tactics and worked to prepare for such allegations to minimize disruption of their activities. Some self-reported self-censorship in policy activity occurred in 11 of the 17 states (65%). CONCLUSIONS: Public health professionals need to educate themselves and the public about the laws that regulate lobbying activities and develop their strategies, including their policy activities, accordingly. (+info)
The new battleground: California's experience with smoke-free bars.
OBJECTIVES: This study examined the tobacco industry's tactics in the political, grassroots, and media arenas in attempting to subvert California's smoke-free bar law, and the efforts of health advocates to uphold and promote the law by using the same 3 channels. METHODS: Interviews with key informants involved in the development and implementation of the smoke-free bar law were conducted. Information was gathered from bill analyses, internal memoranda, tobacco industry documents, media articles, and press releases. RESULTS: The tobacco industry worked both inside the legislature and through a public relations campaign to attempt to delay implementation of the law and to encourage noncompliance once the law was in effect. Health groups were able to uphold the law by framing the law as a health and worker safety issue. The health groups were less successful in pressing the state to implement the law. CONCLUSIONS: It is possible to enact and defend smoke-free bar laws, but doing so requires a substantial and sustained commitment by health advocates. The tobacco industry will fight this latest generation of clean indoor air laws even more aggressively than general workplace laws. (+info)