New Report: Impactful approaches for community-wide engagement on antibiotic resistance

2024-01-31

In the fall of 2023, the Uppsala Antibiotic Center, ReAct and Antibiotic Smart Sweden initiated a webinar and workshop series for promoting a systematic and meaningful engagement of communities and civil society groups as key stakeholders in the global response to antibiotic resistance. Now the collaboration releases a summary report from the initiative this far.

The summary report “Impactful approaches for community-wide engagement on antibiotic resistance” summarizes key ideas from the discussions between participants at a hybrid workshop held in Uppsala, Sweden and online on 29 November 2023 and two previous webinars.

The report brings foward five key take-awya messages for community engagement in the area of antibiotic resistance:

  1. A clearer narrative on community engagement and antibiotic resistance is required to achieve meaningful change.
  2. Effective strategies for impactful community engagement should be contextualized and built on national and local analysis, targeting governments and including citizens as part of the solutions.
  3. Embed a One Health approach in community engagement and integrate antibiotic resistance in other established health agendas and interventions to ensure inclusion of different fields and related agendas and community ownership of the solutions.
  4. The integration of antibiotic resistance into health programs and National Action Plans must include co-creation of solutions between policymakers, communities and civil society, and foster both top-down and bottom-up approaches.
  5. The Political Declaration of the upcoming High-Level Meeting (HLM) of the UN General Assembly on Antimicrobial Resistance should reflect the importance of community engagement and ensure meaningful civil society and community engagement. This includes fair representations in governance structures and the decision-making process as well as the co-creation of community-led solutions.

The report also summarizes discussions on four challenges and their potential solutions for a stronger and meaningful community engagement on antibiotic resistance:

  • Difficulties to show a direct return on investment for community engagement initiatives, which discourages donors’ and governments’ investments in this area, especially long-term investments.
  • Lack of targeted advocacy efforts towards policymakers to include citizens as part of the solution and understand and acknowledge the importance of community engagement.
  • Lack of integration of antibiotic resistance in existing health programs at the community level, including in national and subnational frameworks.
  • Lack of understanding of antibiotic resistance, specifically lack of community-friendly narratives.

Among solutions suggested are to create a strong investment case for community engagement that showcase the power of communities and impact of interventions; Capitalizing on existing community engagement efforts both within and beyond the antibiotic resistance field to strengthen advocacy and; Integrating antibiotic resistance in other public health issues using both top-down and bottom-up approaches and where co-creation is considered from the outset.

Last modified: 2021-05-24