When it comes to encouraging global change, advocacy groups are an essential piece of the puzzle. Advocacy groups and non-governmental organizations (NGO) are organizations that support a cause politically, legally, or through other means of facilitation. In the fight against global poverty, and many other worldwide maladies, here are four NGO advocacy groups.

Advocates for International Development

Advocates for International Development, otherwise known as Lawyers Eradicating Poverty, is an advocacy group and charity that supports global change through a legal lens. This organization recognizes that developing nations may not have proper access to legal expertise and that in order to secure sustainable development, legal services need to be available everywhere.

Advocates for International Development provides pro bono legal advice, access to lawyers and law firms, law and development training programs and many more legal services. This organization’s reach has spread to over 100 legal jurisdictions worldwide, with a network of over 53,000 lawyers at the NGO’s disposal.

With its goals based on recent U.N. initiatives, Advocates for International Development aims to see the world ridden of extreme poverty by 2030.


MADRE advocates for female involvement in policy-making and legislative decisions worldwide. MADRE also provides grants and donations to smaller women’s advocacy groups, having donated over $52 million to those groups since MADRE’s founding in 1983. This organization recognizes unequal representation in legal processes across the globe and fights to ensure that society hears all voices.

MADRE also works alongside the City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law to provide quality legal services to women in need. Together, these entities use law-based advocacy to ensure the international security of human rights and to correct any human rights violations.

As of 2019, MADRE and CUNY School of Law have drafted a successful treaty, demanding the redefinition of gender in the eyes of the United Nations General Assembly’s Sixth Committee. This redefinition will pose to protect the rights of all genders in future international human rights disputes.

The Global Health Council

The Global Health Council advocates for global health awareness and legislation to pass through the U.S. Congress. On top of securing strong global health policies, this organization focuses on preventing premature death in children and adolescents worldwide. The Global Health Council also facilitates smaller organizations, working with them to achieve goals beyond the scope of U.S. Congress.

The Global Health Council is one of the world’s largest membership-based global health advocacy groups. This organization has over 100,000 members, with branches in over 150 countries. With the help of the Global Health Council and all its members, infant mortality has reduced by 50 percent worldwide and maternal mortality has reduced by 43 percent.

Amnesty International

Amnesty International is an NGO that advocates for the international security of basic human rights. Amnesty International gathers its information through direct research, sending crisis response teams across regions worldwide to record and report human rights violations. From this organization’s research, activists gain the necessary fuel to push for the protection of human rights everywhere.

One of the world’s largest grassroots human rights organization, Amnesty International has more than seven million members and offices in more than seventy nations. For upwards of fifty years, this organization has been an essential consultant to the United Nations for international human rights policies.

Amnesty International has made major humanitarian strides, such as helping free 153 falsely imprisoned people worldwide in 2018 alone, and influence international laws surrounding refugees, the death penalty and many other human rights issues.

There are countless more organizations worldwide fighting to make the world a better place. These four NGO advocacy groups are just a few examples of what public support and mobilization can achieve.

– Suzette Shultz
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Global Health
On August 2018, The Global Health Council welcomed the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) Extension Act of 2018 by the House of Representatives. This legislation reauthorizes PEPFAR for 5 years and is an example of bipartisan support for ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic and was sponsored by Representatives Barbara Lee (D-CA), Karen Bass (D-CA), Ed Royce (R-CA), Chris Smith (R-NJ), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), and Eliot Engel (D-NY).

Since 2003, PEPFAR has increased the likelihood of an AIDS-free world by providing more than 13.3 million people around the world with HIV treatments. This is but one example of The Global Health Council’s efforts to work with policymakers and community stakeholders to improve health worldwide.

What Is The Global Health Council?

Global Health Council is a nonprofit membership organization in The U.S. that identifies priority global health problems and reports them to an international and domestic audience. Formed in 1972 and originally called The National Council for International Health, The GHC’s primary intention is to ensure that all who strive to improve global health have the resources they need to do so. The initiatives and programs for which The Global Health Council advocates are funded primarily through membership dues, grants, and sponsorship funding.

Danielle Heiberg, Senior Manager, Policy & Advocacy of Global Health Council told The Borgen Project that The Global Health Council contributes to the implementation of health programs worldwide by supporting its members, who, in turn, work to implement the necessary programs. “Specifically, GHC provides its members with key resources, advocates on their behalf and amplifies their work through its varied communications channels,” Heiberg told The Borgen Project.

GHC is a membership-oriented organization that offers key stakeholders a platform for coordinated global health advocacy. Membership is offered to global health organizations and to individual global health professionals. Members receive important benefits, such as “high-level delegations and networking opportunities,” according to Heiberg. By creating a platform for the unification of global health issues and using the power of collaboration and collective action, The GHC uses advocacy to advance international health programs and policies, such as PEPFAR.

What Does The Global Health Council Do?

Since its inception, The GHC has worked towards advocating for strong global health policies, organizing and mobilizing stakeholders across geographic regions and improving health worldwide by building support. Although The GHC represents a range of global health issues, according to Heiberg, it makes global health security, global health financing, and health systems strengthening” a priority.

In addition to its current initiatives, The GHC’s efforts to advance global healthcare programs are noted in its organized calendar of events. The Global Health Council promotes awareness of global health issues by sharing news via social media, a bi-weekly newsletter, its website and by hosting events. “GHC also meets with U.S. Congressional staff and other government offices to advocate for sound policy and investments,” Heiberg said.

Most recently, The GHC has worked with the global health community to ensure there are U.S. investments going toward global health initiatives to have the maximum impact. The organization intends to implement and maintain a successful global health program by publishing join global health recommendations, promoting member or partner grassroots campaigns and consolidating global health funding.

“With the current administration placing less of an emphasis on foreign assistance, demonstrating how these investments and policies not only save lives around the world but also benefit Americans is crucial,” stated Heiberg. If organizations such as the Global Health Council continue to advocate for international health programs and policies, like PEPFAR, there is hope for improved health worldwide.

– Kara Roberts

Photo: Flickr