Building a Movement for Health

Building synergies, building bridges: the growth of PHM (SCOTLAND)

Region: Europe

Language: English

Year: 2016

Source: Contribution for manual

Author(s): Anuj Kapilashrami and Sara Marsden, with contributions from Tony Robertson, Sue Laughlin and Eva Gallova; all PHM Scotland steering group members have been consulted on the draft

Summary: PHM Scotland was founded as a result of discussions at the first UK People’s Health Assembly held in Nottingham in 2012 as part of ongoing mobilising around a UK PHM. The analysis of the politics of health is informed by a robust understanding of health issues and policy climate in Scotland, deemed essential for organising locally to develop a programme of action that could feed into UK-level organising and action and inform change at local, national and regional levels. PHM Scotland developed a Scottish People’s Health Manifesto through an approach combining participatory action-resarch and public health advocacy. The process was mobilising in that it facilitated the collaboration between different organisations and bridged the worlds of research/policy with community. Moreover, the Manifesto is being used for advocacy and policy dialogue. Key lessons for local PHMs, according to this experience: 1) a range of perspectives in any central steering group with a willingness to adapt to one another’s perspectives; 2) a focus on building links and collaborations with other organisations addressing health, democratic accountability including corporate accountability, corporate power, poverty, discrimination; 3) timely action to make use of advocacy windows: for example, national and local government elections. Challenges for movement building: academic environment and its constraints; job insecurity; austeirty and cuts weakening the third sector. Read more at this link:

For more information on this experience, please write to Anuj Kapilashrami at

Key practices: tructure and organisation; advocacy; participation, community action; networking, alliances and cooperation; participatory action-research

Read the full report here