NFP Bursary Reports Booklet 2017

Ágnes Szuda - World Health Organization

With the support of the Not-for-Profit Bursary, this summer I interned at the Headquarters of the World Health Organization in Geneva as part of the Cambridge Global Health Internship Scheme. During these incredible seven weeks, I was part of the Strategy, Policy and Information Department and my internship focused on how the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) influence health. Since their launch in 2015, the SDGs and the encompassing Agenda 2030 have become a guiding force for WHO’s work on health. My internship project aimed to deepen the understanding of how the SDGs can add value (and not merely repackage) the work carried out for the improvement of people’s health and well-being worldwide. Most research on the SDGs so far has focused on the overarching theoretical questions around Agenda 2030 and the relevance of global goals and targets, however, as the SDGs are owned by every country, it is also important to investigate how the SDGs operate in country-specific contexts. Consequently, two years after the adoption of Agenda 2030, my main responsibility during the internship was to review what a specific country, Hungary has done in order to implement the global goals, offering a particularly interesting point of investigation due to Hungary’s special status as one of the post-communist states among high-income countries. As part of this research, my task was to provide a comprehensive overview on the steps Hungary has taken for the implementation of the SDGs, investigate how the goals interacted with the existing national sustainable development and health strategies and policies, as well as identify further ways in which health in Hungary could benefit from Agenda 2030. Therefore, I carried out a policy evaluation by investigating the relevance of targets based on the country’s socio-economic status, checking the appropriateness of indicators for monitoring progress, as well as identifying gaps in SDG implementation and their potential causes. I particularly enjoyed this research project, as these questions are also related to the broader conceptual debates around the Agenda 2030 about which I learnt at university, as well as reflect on the potential ways in which the SDGs could be refined and improved to become a more comprehensive roadmap for global development. Moreover, as I come from Hungary, I found the investigation of Hungarian policy documents particularly interesting and I hope my findings contribute to the improvement of health and sustainable development in my home country. I feel incredibly fortunate that the report I wrote has been forwarded to a previous Hungarian Minister of Health and the WHO European Office where it will potentially be used as a supporting document during an upcoming policy dialogue. Therefore, this placement not only allowed me to understand the interactions between different policy-making and planning levels; but it also gave me a chance to put the analytical skills I acquired in Cambridge into practice, and I hope my work will have a positive impact on other people’s health. While my internship assignment has formally ended, due to the encouragement of my supervisor, I am currently drafting a potential journal article based on my findings which was one of the tasks I was given towards the end of my internship. Besides the professional development and the experience I gained in working at international organisations, the internship also allowed me to meet highly-skilled people from all over the world contributing to my personal development. I benefited from the lunch-time lectures organised by the Careers Service and the WHO Intern Board which improved my understanding of global health and international development. I also developed my language skills by attending French classes in the evenings and I greatly enjoyed the company of fellow interns who provided amazing company to explore Geneva and other cities on weekends. I highly recommend the Global Health Internship Scheme and internships at WHO for anyone who is passionate about global health and would like to make a positive impact on other people’s lives. I am highly grateful to my supervisor, Dr Christopher Dye for sharing his knowledge with me and being always

Made with FlippingBook - Online Brochure Maker