Advocacy for health:

A combination of individual and social actions designed to gain political commitment, policy support, social acceptance and systems support for a particular health goal or programme.

Reference: Report of the Inter-Agency Meeting on Advocacy Strategies for Health and Development: Development Communication in Action. WHO, Geneva, 1995

Such action may be taken by and/or on behalf of individuals and groups to create living conditions which are conducive to health and the achievement of healthy lifestyles. Advocacy is one of the three major strategies for health promotion and can take many forms including the use of the mass media and multimedia, direct political lobbying, and community mobilization through, for example, coalitions of interest around defined issues. Health professionals have a major responsibility to act as advocates for health at all levels in society.

Source: Health Promotion Glossary (1998), WHO/HPR/HEP/98.1