Long-serving International NGO, Project HOPE Accelerates Efforts in Health Advocacy

February 27, 2023

By Jed Meline, Director for Policy and Advocacy

While no longer a part of Project HOPE efforts, the organization began by providing health services to impoverished and war-torn communities from the repurposed hospital ship. S.S. HOPE.

Since 1958, Project HOPE has confronted the world’s greatest health challenges and daunting emergencies. Now, we have added dedicated resources to advocate for more and better health and humanitarian policies, funding, and engagement.  Project HOPE has responded to hurricanes and earthquakes and the humanitarian consequences of civil war. When deadly tsunamis hit Japan and Southeast Asia, Project HOPE was quick to deploy and stayed. We have built health systems from the ground up and repaired others in the developing world, building a legacy of functioning health infrastructure that will endure for generations. Two million trained health care workers around the world and many hospitals, from Asia to Africa and Central America to Eastern Europe, bear witness to HOPE’s legacy of care.

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Local Project HOPE staff providing services to a pregnant woman and her child in a conflict affected area of Ethiopia via a mobile medical unit. Copywrite James Buck, 2022.

With that experience comes expertise. When directly supporting communities comes local understanding. These two ingredients – expertise and local understanding, mixed with policy awareness and political savvy, can make for some of the most effective policy advocacy.

Health Affairs, the leading journal of health policy thought and research was founded and has operated under the aegis of Project HOPE for more than 40 years. The peer-reviewed journal hosts influential analysis and discussion on health and health care. Building on this foundation, about three years ago, Project HOPE specifically added direct policy advocacy to its strategy with a focus on global health and humanitarian assistance. Now with dedicated staff and resources for advocacy engagement, Project HOPE is growing its capacity to influence health policy and funding for the better. Building on decades of programming in health and humanitarian assistance from tuberculosis to tsunami relief, from HIV/AIDS to Haiti and cholera, the organization is very well positioned to further advance our noble mission by working with fellow stakeholders to drive actionable policy change in the United States and globally. 

While we further think through when and how we can have the greatest impact through advocacy, our focus will remain around what Project HOPE knows and does well – health and humanitarian assistance for communities in need overseas or in the U.S. Specifically, we will aim to strengthen global health action, empower local health workers, and improve humanitarian assistance. We look forward to working with partners here and around the world that are similarly dedicated to improving health and health systems. 


About Project HOPE:

Founded in 1958, Project HOPE is a leading global health and humanitarian organization operating in more than 25 countries around the world. We work side-by-side with health workers and local health systems to save lives and improve health. Our mission is at the epicenter of today’s greatest health challenges, including infectious and chronic diseases, disasters, and health crises, maternal, neonatal and child health and the policies that impact how health care is delivered. For more information on Project HOPE and its work around the world, visit www.ProjectHOPE.org and follow us on Twitter @ProjectHOPEorg.

About the author:  

Jed Meline is Director of Policy and Advocacy at Project HOPE. Prior to this role, he served for 25 years as a foreign service officer with USAID in roles including Director of Health and Humanitarian Assistance at the National Security Council and most recently as Deputy Global Malaria Coordinator with the President’s Malaria Initiative.