Written by Taahira Rajudin and edited by SDG and PVaW teams, 2020
AMES and SDG 3 & 17
How does the global community collaborate to make progress on some of our toughest challenges? In part, by setting shared goals and targets.
Adopted in 2015, the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are an integrated set of 17 goals which seek to ‘Leave No One Behind’ aiming for ‘zeros’ in several categories of poverty, hunger, AIDS and discrimination against women and girls. Overall, the SDGs call for universal action to ‘end poverty, protect the planet and ensure all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030’, and this work requires high- and low-income nations to take part.
AMES work touches on a number of these 17 Goals, and in the coming weeks and months we’re going to share with you how some of our work connects to the global community while making impact here in Australia.
We take a holistic approach to migrants' social and economic participation, and so beyond our core program areas of education, employment, settlement, social participation, and gender and equity, we partner with a range of institutions to achieve health and wellbeing for our clients.
SDG 3 seeks to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages. t first glance it seems beyond the scope of AMES’s functions. However, through AMES partnership with the Settlement Health Coordinators Project (SHC), and other health sector organisations, AMES plays its part in meeting the targets set out in SDG 3.
By partnering for the Goals, AMES is also working on SDG 17, strengthening the means of implementation and revitalising the global partnership for sustainable development. SDG 17’s language focuses on larger scale cooperation between ‘national governments, the international community, civil society, the private sector and other actors’, however, AMES collaboration with state-level government and local organisations, contributes to progress towards this goal as well. But let’s take a look at how AMES works on SDGs 3 and 17 in more detail.
AMES & SHC
The Settlement Health Coordinators project directly contributes to the following targets:
The collaboration between AMES and SHC is an important one, in that it provides migrants with direct access to appropriate health-care services in a timely manner. The SHC employs highly skilled nurses and have assisted the AMES settlement program in:
- capacity building on access to health-care services
- providing training in refugee specific health concerns to hospital staff and up-skilling GPs to undertake Refugee Health Assessments
- transitioning to the new Humanitarian Settlement Program
- evaluating and placing new arrivals in the correct tirage to receive appropriate care
- using a health database for migrants to identify and attend to pre-arrival health concerns in a timely manner
- running health-education sessions for AMES staff
- secondary consultations on health pathways of clients by liaising with local health services
Another uniquely collaborative aspect of the program is that the SHCs, who are employed by IPC Health and DPV Health, are co-located at AMES offices in the Northern and Western suburbs.
In working with AMES, SHCs are working towards achieving universally accessible health-care services for humanitarian entrants both on a financial and culturally welcoming level that is of a high quality (Target 3.8). With access to HAPlite, SHCs can assist in the correct tirage of clients, thus ensuring they receive effective and timely care (Target 3.d).
And again, all this work takes place in partnership with a number of collaborators: IPC Health, DPV Health, the Department of Health & Human Services, Refugee Health Programs in Community Health Centres, hospitals, General Practitioners (GPs) and Disability Service Providers.
CULTURALLY DIVERSE DISABILITY COMMUNITY CHAMPIONS
Another project working towards SDG 3 is the Disability Community Champions. With support from the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), AMES assisted in the capacity building of knowledge surrounding disabled migrants, who need access to appropriate health-care services for their specific needs. AMES helped CALD communities connect to the NDIS by breaking down stigmas around disability and providing knowledge on disability service providers. Twelve ‘Champions’ were recruited from CALD communities who delivered 50 capacity building information sessions in their first language reaching over 850 people. Positively, there was a very high percentage of ‘Champions’ who gave favourable feedback on the attainment of knowledge for their communities.
The partnership between NDIS and members of CALD communities has enabled greater knowledge on health and well-being for disabled persons, effectively increasing CALD access to health-care services (Target 3.8).
ROYAL WOMEN’S HOSPITAL: REFUGEE FOCUS GROUP
AMES partnered with the Royal Women’s Hospital to organise a focus group of 15 women from refugee communities to assist in the development on an ‘Over 55 Women’s Health Strategy’. The session brought into light health concerns experienced by older women and fostered understanding of the lived experience as a health consumer. This partnership links to Target 3.8 in ensuring universal health-care to all.
Partnership (SDG 17) with healthcare organisations is the cornerstone of achieving SDG 3 – improved health and well-being. Refugee and migrant health has unique complex issues that need a wide range of actors to properly address them:
- refugee knowledgeable clinicians to provide tailored support
- case managers who link the range of social and institutional supports available
- and community members to explain health issues in plain language and break down barriers to accessing care.
The programs outlined here are only a few examples of how AMES partners with different actors to meaningfully contribute to the health and wellbeing of all clients. This is the spirit of the goals.
*Within a reporting period of July 2017 to December 2018.