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Global Health Advocacy and Political Priority: Malnutrition Assessment 1 Answer

Assessment 1 - Global Health advocacy and political priority

Analysis of global health advocacy to ensure political prioritising (2000 words excluding references). Each student will provide an analysis in preparation for health advocacy based on one of the Sustainable Development Goals that is “Quality Education” by,

a) addressing social determinants of health;

b) applying a ‘what’s the problem’ (Bacchi, 2009) analysis;

c) outlining a theory of change incorporating an analysis of the power dynamics of the issue (political context)

Weighting: 50% 


Within public health, there is a focus on research, epidemiology and program development. However, very often effective action on the part of governments does not occur without significant influence from civil society in the form of health advocacy.

This assessment task requires students to critically appraise a health issue related to one of the UN’s sustainable development goals (excluding the Health Goal) and discuss the application of a theory of change for effective health advocacy.

Assessment specifications

Purpose: To apply knowledge of the social determinants of health, the process of ‘problem identification’ and a theory of change for health advocacy. Learning outcomes assessed: 1, 2, 3


Your task is to write an academic essay that:

Uses a theory of change framework to prepare for health advocacy on an issue related to one of the UN sustainable development goals

This essay requires you to use a “What’s the Problem?” approach to identify a health advocacy goal relevant to one of the SDG’s (Excluding the Health Goal). This problem framing process will explicitly incorporate an understanding of the relevant social determinants of health. The key elements of a theory of change for the identified health advocacy goal will be discussed for a particular national or sub-national setting.

Your essay should: 

1.Include an introduction that briefly outlines the importance of the health issue and its relevance to the chosen sustainable development goal.

2.Outline the application of a “What’s the Problem” analysis to justify the way the problem is represented. Explicit application of social determinants of health will be included in this process. 

3.Most of your essay should be dedicated to discussing how a theory of change for health advocacy could be applied to address the identified problem in a particular setting. Use of relevant reports, statistics, and potential NGO alliances will be included.

4.Include a conclusion that concisely summarises your key points. 

Useful resources:

Please refer to the ‘readings and resources’ for modules 1-6.


APA6 is the required referencing style for this assessment task. Please ensure that you are familiar with the formatting and usage requirements for this style. Aside from the ACU Library materials provided, you may wish to use the Academic Referencing Tool from the La Trobe University Library.

Turnitin: Turnitin is a tool used to assist in the detection of referencing problems and/or plagiarism. Turnitin generates a similarity index for a document: that is, what percentage of the document contains material that is matched to accessible sources. Presence of similarity does not necessarily indicate plagiarism: there are many reasons why similar text is discovered in student documents.

Turnitin often classifies reference lists themselves as “similar”—this is similarity, but not plagiarism.




Malnutrition has been the major problem in Australia wherein more than 5,400 cases of malnutrition among patients have been reported in the year 2018 (Gov, 2019). Most of these cases are seen to be coming from the aged care facilitiesAccording to a recent prediction, this malnutrition is estimated to be affecting near about 35-43 % of the patients in the hospitals in Australia (ASN, 2019). Hence, the needs for health care bodies for the health care organizations of the country that could be looking for the integration of the emotional and mental state of the patients in the health bracket. The need for the integration of social relationships and ability to function effectively in society is also an aspect of the health (Baum, 2016). The health and well being is not only limited to the restriction of the prevention of the diseases, and yet the use of the quality education among the patients and the health care professionals to improve and stress the importance of health is often overlooked and undervalued. 

Sustainable development Goals by UN

The UN has designed SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) that could help in mitigating the issues as faced by the public in their daily lives. The sustainable development goal of quality education can be a precursor of health as the knowledge of the importance of health can be instilled in the older generation and in that way the entire future is knowledgeable about the necessity of health (Curtis, 2016)This project undertakes the aim of linking the importance of quality education in health with a focus on creating awareness about the malnutrition and its effects among the patients and the health care professionals as well.

Social Determinants of malnutrition in Australia

Access to health services: One of the major causes of the ill-health situation of the elderly people is that most of the frail older patients are discharges home (Charlton. & Walton, 2019). This increases the possibility of increasing illness among the older patients.

Unhealthy behaviors: Another major reason for the malnourishment among the older adults is their inability to meet with the dietary requirements. Hence, the patients are more prone to diseases like depression, dementia, dental issues, decreased vision and other chronic diseases (Charlton. & Walton, 2019).

Biology: The age related physical changes could also be affecting the nutrient absorption and digestion. With age, the vitamin B12 absorption becomes less and thereby making them prone to anemia (Charlton. & Walton, 2019). 


What problem would be represented?

Malnutrition issue requires an innate understanding of the associated value of health among the aged population in the country. The involving problems for deteriorating health issues are also a more significant concern. The representation of the aged care and malnutrition among the aged should be considerate of the implications as the public opinion and views are shaped by how they are represented in the media or other sources. The policymakers are also highly influenced by these representations of health issues. The considerations should look into the bigger picture, and the presentations of the evidence to the policymakers and the education of the significance of proper nutrition among the aged should be carried out responsibly. The need for the use of the framework which provides a viable response from the masses should be the path taken up to spread awareness of the health issues (Douglas, 2015). The steps which can be followed for the "what's the problem" analysis could have consisted of the following:

(1). What problem would be represented in the policy proposal?

Malnutrition among the older patients is the problem which could be reflected in a specific program or policy. Thus, the representation of the health problems in older patients must be done in a conclusive manner which proves incrementally harmful for the society and the well being of the people (Baum, 2016). The problem should also be supported by required data and facts for the use of the policymakers and attracting a general inclination for the problem which may not be considered to be of greater importance than others. The education of the elderly about the significance of proper nutrition would go a long way to ascertain the actual problems of the patients.

(2). What are the assumptions made for the policy and representation? Is it necessary?

According to a report, more than one-third of the population of the hospitalized patients in the country aged above 65 years is overtly suffering from malnutrition (Charlton. & Walton, 2019).  Two cases have been identified in this case; one is the discharge of the older patients by the health care professionals despite their inability to meet with the dietary requirements. The other important reason is the lack of awareness about the proper nutrition among the elderly. The policy should be made by considering these concerns conjointly. 

(3). How was the problem identified?

Most of these cases are seen to be coming from the aged care facilitiesMajor cause of the ill-health situation of the elderly people is that most of the frail older patients are discharges home. The effects of how the problem is represented often provide necessary incentives for being considered serious and the problem is taken up by the policymakers for solving (Galvin, 2015). 

(4).What are the silences?

It must be mentioned in this regard that it is never possible for the policymakers to choose every solution at the same time and so the silences of the problems must be wise and framework to choose the most severe of the problems is necessitated. However, it must not also be assumed that the other health problems are not significant, but the preferential choice is clearly to take a step by step approach for finding the best solutions. 

(5). What are the effects of social determinants and problem representation?

The inclusion of social determinants has provided the required context for solving the health problems of the country. The social determinants included lack of education and awareness about malnutrition which is deciding the health of the older patients in Australian hospitals. The need for the fortifying these would improve the health of the people to a great extent. The improper access to health services, unhealthy behaviors, biology and such factors are responsible for the degrading health of the people. The chain of events is interrelated, and the changes made to these would have an impact on the people as they are directly affecting the wellbeing of the health (Cohen & Marshall, 2017). The lack of education and awareness, for example, has a deep impact on the health of the people. 

(6). What are the areas in which the problem has been disseminated? What are the relationships between the SDGs and problem?

The need for the sustainable goals of the United Nations provides security and solving the root of the problem rather than just the prevention of diseases which are prevalent in the current political scenario. The Quality education is also such a sustainable development which may solve many of the problems as the people are educated, and they learn the importance of health and also have a way to earn their needed nutrition from the educating of the people also removes the dependence of the people from the health support provided by the governments which are temporary (Cohen & Marshall, 2017)The education of the older patients and health care professionals would result and serve an all-round use of the skills and information to decide and learn by themselves the need for a healthy mind and body.

Theory of Change for Health Advocacy

 The theory of change for health advocacy provides a systematic framework for the development of the problems and the use of the strategies which could help mitigate in an orderly fashion. The assimilation of the vision of the company with the process of achieving it involves the theory of change (Dignitasinternational, 2019). The advocacy for the malnutrition among the older patients involves the complex process of persuasion and convincing to the policymakers to push the envelope. Thus, the need for a theory of change is of paramount importance, and the presentation of the problems requires an astute foundation. The steps of an effective change theory involve the following:

Foundations: The foundation for health advocacy starts with the strengthening of the capacity of the organization. The health care professionals must be able to handle the older patients and make them aware about the significance of getting adequate nutrition and complete the work in time to push for the changes in the health issues of the world. Hence, the health care organisations must be equipped with the necessary workers, and the education of the workers determines how the organization looks at the problems of malnutrition in its patients and allocates resources for the same (Shawar, Shiffman&Spiegel, 2015). The support for the advocacy is also another dimension which the health care organizations in the country must generate through their association and alliance with reputed and well known and documented problems as well as people. The alliance of the organization defines the dissemination of the problems knowledge with the society and the policymakers. It is also essential for drawing further support for health advocacy through alliances and partnerships. The foundation for the health advocacy must be backed by relevant data and statistics which offer authenticity to the problems, and the urgency of the matter is also presented.

Key markers: The key markers of health advocacy also involve the identification of the problems related to the malnutrition among the older patients. While it is very natural that there would be numerous problems of health which need solving and yet the determination of the health issues of the patients to be presented and advocated by the organization requires consensus. The consensus is important for the conjoined efforts of all the employees to the problem definition and also for the unified efforts. The policy which is adopted by the organization for the solution of the health problems must be decided and deliberated for providing the best solutions to the health problems (Farmer, 2019). The examination of the level of awareness about proper nutrition would provide sufficient context for the organization in the argument for the best-suited solutions for the problems. The widening and deepening health problems of the society which has to be solved immediately can be found in this way, and a hierarchical development plan can be formed by the health care organizations to follow. These are the most significant markers of the progress of the advocacy towards sustainable health development. The accurate policies are adopted by this consideration of deep and wide social significance. 

Influence: The adopted policies by the health care organizations must be used to influence concerned society and garner support for health problems. The visibility of the issues must also be increased by using various advertising channels about nutrition among patients. The increased visibility would ensure those health care professionals and the patients to be aware of the malnourishment problems and also their opinions and views are also known. If required, the opinion can also be changed by influencing the people and garnering support for health advocacy in the process (Lam & Mattson, 2019). The use of the influencing factors of the society is also responsible for the positive outcomes of the policies which have been taken up for implementation. The generation of public awareness and support for the health advocacy prepares to mount pressure on the policymakers for the implementation of the policies. The garnering of support in favour of health advocacy is often the expression of the mood of the people of the country that actions are required for dealing with malnutrition in the country. This forces the hand of the policymakers and the political scenario in invested in the fulfilling of the health welfare of the people. This is especially true for the mounting pressure on the political agenda.  

Long term goals: The long term goals of the health care organizations shift the social norms of society. The use of the implementation by the policymakers helps develop a long term for the government to follow. The common understanding of the malnourishment issue is also greatly changed due to the presentation. Thus, presentation plays a decisive role in modifying the existing notion of health issues and the change in the social paradigm helps to associate preventive and mitigating measures to it (Cairney, 2016). The solutions which have been identified by the health care organizations and the acceptance of the solutions by the society is largely influenced and affected by it. The long term goals also aim to alleviate the problem of society and develop a sustainable healthy world which has been outlined in the SDGs by the United Nations.  


The above discussion clearly shows the need for the development of health advocacy which is not limited to the conventional prevention of diseases but the inclusion of the associated factors which influences the health of the people. The improper access to health services, unhealthy behaviors, biology and such factors are responsible for the degrading health of the people and the inclusion of them in the health issues is at a high time. The United Nations SDG (Quality Education) is also supporting it. The change theory can be used by the organizations to develop sufficient advocacy in favour of the health reforms and the support of the policies. This project has also revealed the berating of the health problems as common, which had degraded the condition of health of older patients in the country. However, the presentation of the health issues to the society supported by required and relevant data and statistics are also beneficial for generating public sympathy and support. This forces the policymakers to implement the policies into the legislature and improve the way of life into a healthier alternative.  

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