Movendi International, the largest independent global movement for development through alcohol prevention, held its 70th World Congress between September 25 and October 1, 2022.
114 delegates representing 70 Member Organizations from around the world came together virtually for a week of democratic decision making.
New International Board with expert leaders from around the world
On the final day of the World Congress, delegates elected a new International Board.
The International Board oversees the strategic development of Movendi International’s work and the full implementation of the Strategic Plan for Alcohol Prevention 2022-2026. It is the highest decision-making body in Movendi International between the World Congress session. The International Board consists of nine leaders from among the Movendi International membership.
Kristina Sperkova (Slovakia) and Pubudu Sumanasekara (Sri Lanka) were reelected as President and Vice President. Adis Arnautovic (Bosnia and Herzegovina) was elected as International Treasurer. Representing the African region, Juliet Namukasa (Uganda) and Labram M. Musah (Ghana) were elected. Representing the Asian region, Dayana Vincent (India) and Theera Watcharapranee (Thailand) were elected. And representing Europe and the Americas region, Sanela Talic (Slovenia) and Carlton Hall (USA) were elected by the members of Movendi International.
It is a diverse team of outstanding leaders in the fields of alcohol policy advocacy, alcohol industry counter-action, prevention and health promotion, community mobilization, treatment and support for people affected by alcohol harms, awareness raising and public relations, as well as questioning the pervasive alcohol norm.
World Congress welcomes Board Report
Delegates and members participating in the 70th World Congress came together to discuss the work of the past four years, to take stock of the successes and challenges and to discharge the International Board of their responsibilities.
In a compelling presentation, Kristina Sperkova and Pubudu Sumanasekara reported on the work and shared an impressive list of achievements over the past four years. Part of the Board Report was a discussion about the positive effects of the name change and of the challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Across the six strategic areas of work, the International Board reported impressive progress and achievements.
- Impact through our work on alcohol as obstacle to development
- Impact through several innovative platforms to convene partners and stakeholders
- Alcohol Policy Futures
- World Assembly for Community Action on Alcohol
- Movendi Connect
- Impact through portfolio of capacity-building tools and courses
Alcohol policy advocacy
- Members-driven advocacy work
- Consultations contributions
- Mobilization for policy-making processes
- Presence in high-level meetings/ events
- Technical/ strategic support for alcohol policy development in 20+ countries
- Impactful advocacy
- SAFER Initiative (Global, Uganda, Nepal)
- WHO Global Alcohol Action Plan
- European Framework for Action on Alcohol
- EU’s Beating Cancer Plan
Exposing and counter-acting the alcohol industry
- Impact through implementing an effective system: Monitor, document, expose, counter-act Big Alcohol
- Since Sept. 2018: published more than 1000 news stories, science digests, blog posts, & community stories to expose the predatory practices of Big Alcohol
- Impact through co-authoring “Trouble Brewing” and contributing to “The Sobering Truth: Incentivizing Alcohol Death and Disability”
- Impact through supporting investigative journalists
- Campaigns against Big Alcohol interference and conflicts of interest
Awareness and discourse
- Impact through communicating in an accessible, evidence-informed, and community-driven way
- Communications universe that is useful and attractive for members, partners, policy makers
- Impact through collaboration with the scientific community and publishing of scientific articles
Treatment and recovery
- Impact through contributing to the WHO-UNODC International Standards for the Treatment of Drug Use Disorders
- Annual campaign to raise awareness of children from households with alcohol problems
- Impact through making an innovative digital tool available for our Member Organizations to increase access to support for people with alcohol problems
Highlights in Discourse, awareness and challenging the alcohol norm
- Online platform with IOGT-NTO Movement: “Learn about alcohol knowledge center”
- Research report series “Alcohol and Society”
- World Alcohol-Free Day© – every October 3rd
- Partner in ”Job Party” initiative to make workplaces safer, more inclusive and healthier through replacing the alcohol norm
- ”Sober Inspiration” campaign
Ambitious new Strategic Plan builds on achievements with long-term perspective
The virtual World Congress week was preceded by an extensive consultation period where members deliberated the theory of change, strategic plan, as well as budget.
During the World Congress session Movendi International adopted a new and ambitious four-year Strategic Plan based on a comprehensive theory of change.
The new Strategic Plan comes at a critical moment in time.
In May 2022, the World Health Assembly reaffirmed global commitment to accelerate action on alcohol harm as health and development priority by unanimously adopting the WHO Global Alcohol Action Plan to improve implementation of the WHO Global Alcohol Strategy. The period since the adoption of the Global Alcohol Strategy in 2010 has been a lost decade for alcohol policy. Between 2010 and 2022, countries achieved no progress in reducing population-level alcohol use and protecting more people from the harm caused by the alcohol industry.
To the contrary, alcohol’s contribution to the global disease burden is increasing:
- Alcohol remains the number one risk factor for death and disease among the age group 25 to 49 years; and
- In the last ten years, no low- and middle-income country has increased resourced for alcohol policy.
The need for bold action has never been more urgent.
The new Strategic Plan is rooted in a thorough analysis of the world. Movendi International members asked: What is the main problem we are facing? What are its consequences and what are the root causes of the main problem? This analysis facilitated the definition and mapping of concrete solutions. The Theory of Change is a comprehensive description of why and how Movendi International’s work will foster transformative change.
The Strategic Plan comprises seven areas of strategic action:
With this ambitious new Strategic Plan, Movendi International aims to make alcohol prevention in general and alcohol policy in particular the priority it should be, to lead civil society and to foster transformative change for people, communities, societies, and our planet – all burdened by the harm caused by the products and practices of alcohol companies.
Stronger budget thanks to increasing support from Member Organizations
In a sign of strong support and joint commitment to the common mission of Movendi International the Member Organizations agreed to increase their support for the global movement to be able to build on the successes of the past four to eight years.
Movendi International, together with the Member Organizations, works to unite, strengthen and empower civil society to address alcohol harm as serious obstacles to development on personal, community, societal and global level.
Growing movement and momentum
The 70th World Congress also decided to approve the membership of 56 new organizations, while the membership of 34 organizations was terminated.
That is a growth in membership of 22 organizations in four years – another clear sign of momentum and broad interest in the work that Movendi International is doing.
Movendi International is now 141 Member Organizations strong, with heart-driven work in 54 countries.
As Movendi International’s impact increases, more and more community-based and civil society organizations are reaching out with requests for capacity-building, other support, and often with interest to join the movement.
Many members used the opportunity of the Promising Practices Forum – a virtual exhibition space during the World Congress – to present, discuss and exchange about best practices from among the Movendi International membership. Members from 10 different countries presented 17 promising practices within four days. The topics covered advocacy, social mobilization, prevention and health promotion, awareness raising and informed discourse, as well as treatment and recovery support services and campaigns to counter-act the alcohol industry.
The lessons, insights, and inspiration from the Promising Practices Forum, combined with the forward-looking World Congress decisions have generated new and strong momentum for the new International Board to begin their mandate period.