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Health in the last mile

POPULATIONS ON THE VERGE OF THE LAST MILE

A global, regional, and case-based mapping and conceptualisation

Norwegian Red Cross (Røde Kors/NorCross) commissioned IWORDS Global to carry out a desk research study to conceptualise Health in the Last Mile and what it refers to in different humanitarian settings. Our main job was identifying and understanding which populations and settings fall into this category (or are being pushed into the last mile), as well as identifying the main health challenges (at the global, regional, and local level) of those populations. The purpose of this study was to provide concise language for different last-mile considerations and challenges while addressing the vulnerabilities and needs of communities that are neither the most visible nor the most numerous. 

IWORDS Global developed a comprehensive and in-depth study based on a wide-ranging literature review (including grey literature), inputs from key informants, and an online survey. With the information gathered and the findings resulting from the analysis of it, our team was able to develop a definition of the last mile; identify 18 populations on the verge of the last mile in humanitarian crises settings; develop the health in the Last Mile Country Index (HLMCI), which is a data-informed projection of countries that are likely to be closer to/in the last mile in 2030 (including a comparison of where each country was in 2016); develop four in-depth case studies at the country/context level and detailing health in the last mile challenges in those particular humanitarian contexts (El Salvador, Pakistan, Somalia, and Iraq).

Participating in this desk research study with the Norwegian Red Cross was an enriching experience for our company because this type of consultancy is an exciting challenge, we required a large team and effort to collect data from the more than 100 reviewed documents and the surveys shared with over 400 stakeholders specialised in health and key actors based and with experience in humanitarian settings.

IWORDS successfully completed this consultancy in the last quarter of 2019. Our years of experience in human rights, development, and sustainability are our basis for providing recommendations for humanitarian and development actors. 

The report was launched by Røde Kors in June 2020 with the participation of health experts such as Austen Davis, Senior Advisor in Global Health, the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD), and Anine Kongelf, Public Health Coordinator (Norwegian Red Cross). Aksel Jakobsen, the State Secretary Norwegian MFA, who was present during the launch, said: “the report provides good advice about where and how we should concentrate our efforts”.

We are pleased with our contribution to this field and we are also proud of our team’s effort. You can download the report here.

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