Moved to Act : What can we learn from HIV social movement communication?

Social movements can tell us much about how people have their own distinctive means of expression and set their own development agenda, and how this sustains social change. Independent initiative among civil society has been a key component in successful responses to HIV and AIDS. For example, the energy and sense of belonging that drove the early gay responses in the US, or the social mobilisations around treatment in South Africa, show a vitality and momentum that is often lacking in the externally designed initiatives of health and development agencies

Social movements of people living with HIV and AIDS have generated solidarity and mutual support, and developed resistance identities to challenge their marginalisation. People with HIV, gay men, women, sex workers and injecting drug consumers have developed a variety of innovative responses to HIV and AIDS in different settings, and organised to counter stigma and discrimination in institutions and law.

This list of key resources was compiled from research carried out for Spark, a joint discussion series initiative by Panos London and Healthlink Worldwide to facilitate the sharing of good practice, innovations and cutting edge thinking in health communication among health and development NGOs, policy-makers and practitioners.

Healthlink Worldwide is a partner in Source. This key list offers a sample of many more resources available by searching Source’s online databases, at the Source website: Resources on this key list that are not available on line are available in hard copy format at the Source Resource Centre. You are welcome to visit Source at: Institute of Child Health Library, 2nd floor, 30 Guildford Street, London WC1N 1EH.

Source welcomes additions to this list. Please email any resources you know to be useful (eg printed and electronic materials, websites, CD-ROMs, programme evaluations, organisations) to

Selected resources

Books, reports, etc

A new weave of power, people & politics : the action guide for advocacy and citizen participation

MILLER, Valerie
March 2007

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This comprehensive action guide provides an approach for building people’s participation and collective power that goes beyond influencing policy and politics to transforming public decision-making. It offers easily adaptable 'modules' for NGOs trainers, activists, grass-roots organisations, who wish to develop ideas around advocacy. One of the strengths is that it focuses on peoples participation and explores ideas relating to power and politics in citizen-centred advocacy. It emphasises power and constituency-building discussed through the lens of gender/race/class and is based upon the concrete experiences of social change worldwide
It also offers facilitators tips, sample exercises and easily adaptable handouts, along with core information to support anyone through the learning process. Based on long-term experience of a range of practitioners, the guide provides well-tested methods for promoting citizen participation and practical ways of realising a rights-based approach.
The contents, chapters 1, 3, 5, 10 and 13 can be accessed electronically

Intellectual property rights and access to ARV medicines : civil society resistance in the global south|Brazil, Colombia, China, India, Thailand

REIS, Renata
TERTO, Veriano Jr
PIMENTA, Maria Cristina Pimenta

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This book looks at "...the recent history and the many struggles related to advocacy for access to [antiretroviral] medicines of engaged civil society. Through the experiences of five middle-income countries - Brazil, China, Colombia, India, and Thailand." It presents "...the perspective of local civil society organisations about the national impact of intellectual property protection and access to medications. "These five countries were chosen due to their accumulated experience in this field, their capacity to produce generic medication, their activist efforts, and the exchange of ideas and information that already exists between them"


Journal articles

Social movement communication

The Communication Initiative
July 2005

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This issue of The Drum Beat focuses on 12 articles summarised from peer-reviewed journals which examine the communication strategies of various social movements around human and civil rights, health campaigns and ethical issues


KC team : speak your world

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This website has health and development stories from Key Correspondents (KC) as well as tips about writing and posting stories. The KC Team is a vibrant network of more than 250 citizen journalists, from all walks of life, based in over 50 countries. They write about health and development issues affecting them and their communities and in doing so, ‘speak their world’. A large number are people living with HIV, TB or other health conditions. Together they help document local realities and give a voice to the voiceless. The aims of the KC Team are to: * Train and empower community voices by developing writing skills, critical analysis of information and advocacy reporting; * Increase people’s awareness of local/international HIV/AIDS/TB and other health issues by publishing KC articles through a range of multimedia platforms and supporting KCs with media outreach; * Enable grassroots involvement in national strategies on HIV/TB and health by documenting issues, producing policy briefs and publicising recommendations from KC stories; and * Document and publish local issues locally and globally through KC reporting of global, regional and national conferences and events. To become a Key Correspondent, register on the website