In September 2008, the Office on Women’s Health (OWH) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Coordinating Committee on Women’s Health (CCWH) launched a year-long multi-phase initiative to identify opportunities and strategies to advance the concept of women and girls’ health beyond 2010. The desired outcome was to lay the groundwork for a comprehensive, compelling and forward-looking Action Agenda to improve the health of women and girls living in the U.S. and its territories.
CSI worked closely with OWH to design and facilitate the organization of this three-phase process.
Phase I: Using the Concept System® methodology, experts from government, academia, health services, consumers, research, and advocacy groups provided input to develop a well-informed, current-state conceptual framework to identify the topics, issues and concerns of most relevance to those working in fields related to the health of women and girls. Phase I invited relevant and diverse perspectives to contribute to an iterative process in developing a broad framework for this initiative.
Phase II: Building upon the conceptual framework that emerged from Phase I, Phase II incorporated three targeted inquiry approaches that enriched the framework with current opinions on the topics represented.
The inquiries included: 1) The development of an annotated bibliography; 2) Conduct of web-based facilitated discussions with women’s health experts throughout the United States and its territories; and 3) A series of interviews with twelve well-regarded leaders in the fields related to women and girls’ health.
Phase III: The convening of A Summit for Action: The Health of Women & Girls Beyond 2010 invited more than one hundred stakeholders from across the US and its territories. The Summit was the culmination of the structured assessment conducted in Phases I and II, as well as a catalyst for action. Summit attendees worked together to lay the groundwork for a comprehensive, compelling, and forward-driven Action Agenda to improve the health of women and girls.
Through the engagement of key stakeholders this initiative yielded a strategic framework that provided DHHS with a set of prioritized recommendations and a foundation for policy and program action. Summit participants expressed interest in supporting the development of an Action Agenda for policy and program change, and supporting the expectation that such an Agenda must lead to measurable milestones that are agreed upon in the planning stages.
With the support of DHHS leadership, CSI has begun to work with OWH and the CCWH to build a policy and program Action Agenda by using the knowledge and priorities contributed by participants from this initiative.