From Policy to Practice: Developing sustainable, scalable cancer care solutions in cities in LMICs.

Leveraging the policy ecosystem for transformative change in cancer care

The development and implementation of enabling policies at international, national and local levels are a fundamental component in strengthening health systems for sustainable cancer care solutions in cities.

“Within the context of public health, policy development includes the advancement and implementation of public health law, regulations, or voluntary practices that influence systems development, organisational change, and individual behaviour to promote improvements in health.” As such, fostering strong local ownership, leadership and engagement to drive innovation and transformative change in cancer care is at the heart of C/Can’s City Engagement Process and has resulted in the development and uptake of regional or national cancer legislation and planning in several cities.

Moreover, C/Can’s experience on the ground has generated early learnings on the barriers and enablers of implementing and scaling policy solutions for cancer care in cities in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). A deeper understanding of the related challenges and opportunities, their relative importance and interconnectedness, and how they can be addressed or leveraged, will be key to ensuring the long-term sustainability of cancer-care solutions developed through the C/Can process.

As a result and building on insights collected in a series of expert webinars on Cancer Legislation in Latin America conducted in 2020 and 2021, C/Can is embarking on a global initiative to map cancer-care policy ecosystems and strengthen policy implementation in its cities. The overall aim is to ensure sustainable and scalable improvements in access to quality cancer care in C/Can cities.

“As C/Can begins working in new cities, now is the time for a more systematic approach to policy mapping and political economy analysis, to inform the identification, planning, and adaptation of policy solutions developed through the C/Can process.”

Rebecca Morton Doherty, Director Policy and Global Impact, City Cancer Challenge

The first phase of work, with support from Bristol Myers Squibb, will focus on developing a methodology for conducting a comprehensive policy landscaping exercise and analysis to inform the local development and timing of priority solutions as well as their potential for scaling. Throughout 2022, the methodology will be developed and piloted in at least one C/Can city.

In parallel, a global and multi-sectoral network of specialists, academics and practitioners will be convened to assemble existing expertise and provide a thought-leadership forum for the exchange and sharing of effective practice, learnings and innovative approaches in cancer-care policy.

This effort is part of a comprehensive three-year work strategy which includes an emphasis on knowledge exchange and capacity building in 2023, based on the learnings from this first phase of work.  In the run-up to 2025, a significant milestone in the UN SDGs and global NCD agendas, C/Can aims to capture and share policy recommendations and findings that can support innovative strategies to meet the 2030 targets.

In our new blog series From Policy to Practice, we will share updates on insights from this initiative and our broader work strategy. More to follow throughout the year – so stay with us!

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