GOAL is an international humanitarian and development agency established in Ireland in 1977. It is committed to working with vulnerable communities to achieve sustainable and innovative early response to crises and attain lasting solutions to poverty. GOAL has worked in over 60 countries and has responded to all major humanitarian crises. Today, GOAL works in 14 countries across Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and Ukraine, reaching more than 14 million people annually.
GOAL’s Strategy 2025
GOAL works on building resilient health systems that respond to the communities’ needs and address the underlying causes of poor health outcomes.
GOAL also prioritises working with communities to explore social, cultural, and institutional barriers to good health using its systems approach. Each programme is underpinned by inclusion and social and behaviour change (SBC) methodologies that encourage communities to work together to find solutions and improve their resilience. GOAL contributes to strengthening crisis-affected health systems through analysis, partnership, and preparedness, emphasising WASH, nutrition, maternal and child health.
Cornerstones of GOAL’s Resilient Health Programme: Approach to Resilient Health
- Resilience for Social Systems
GOAL’s Resilience for Social Systems (R4S) approach analyses critical health service delivery systems’ resilience, shock responsiveness and inclusiveness, building resilience and inclusiveness through systems thinking and SBC. Based on GOAL’s previous work measuring and analysing the resilience of communities to disasters (ARC-D), GOAL has also adapted this tool for analysing community-level health resilience to shocks and stresses.
- Emergency Preparedness and Response
GOAL strengthens emergency preparedness and response to disease outbreaks and public health emergencies. This includes technical assistance to operationalise early warning and response systems and support to disease surveillance systems, including community surveillance systems and contact tracing. GOAL supports various efforts to fight global epidemics, including Cholera, Viral Haemorrhagic Fevers, Measles, Meningitis, HIV, TB, Malaria, and Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs). Programming includes surveillance, diagnosis, treatment, improving medicine supply chains, engaging communities through SBC approaches for preventive and positive care-seeking behaviours and support for mass immunisation campaigns.
Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) is also essential to emergency preparedness and response to disease outbreaks. GOAL supports Ministries of Health roll-out IPC standards to healthcare workers through training in preventative healthcare-associated infections and mentoring to support sustained behaviour change.
- Social and Behaviour Change (SBC) for resilient health
GOAL is a leader in designing and implementing locally-led SBC empowerment approaches such as Community Led Action (CLA) for disease outbreaks and Nutritional Impact and Positive Practices (NIPP), endorsed and utilised by numerous Health Ministries and international partners. The CLA approach is combined with traditional/digital media activities and local partnerships using the Social Mobilisation based on Research and Training (SMART) framework for Risk Communication and Community Engagement – evolved from implementing a coordinated Social Mobilization approach during the 2014 Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone. The NIPP approach was designed by GOAL as a gendered, grass-roots approach, directly tackling the underlying behavioural causes of malnutrition and provides a framework to improve the nutrition security and care practices of households either affected by or at risk of malnutrition.
Using a systems approach, GOAL works with communities to explore social and gender norms and other barriers to achieving good health. In Sierra Leone, GOAL designed an approach incorporating a package of Health Systems Strengthening and SBC Communication interventions to address the interrelated challenges of high adolescent pregnancy rates and preventable maternal deaths, significantly impacting the uptake of contraception and reduction in adolescent pregnancy in target communities. The SBC element included Community Dialogues, complemented by engagement with key influencers, multimedia messaging and community/ health facility interface engagement.