The 20th Century was one of great success for health provision. New technologies and discoveries rapidly accelerated the ability of health professionals to prevent and treat disease and to care for populations to levels previously unimaginable. Establishing healthier populations helped provide economic prosperity. As the World Health Report explains,
Promoting and protecting health is essential to human welfare and sustained economic and social development.
All World Health Organisation members agreed in 2005 to ensure that all people can use health services, whilst being protected against financial hardship associated with paying for them. Establishing effective and efficient financial systems for health provision is a problem heightened by the global financial problems. Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General of the WHO, has made clear that
The need for guidance in this area has become all the more pressing at a time characterized by both economic downturn and rising health-care costs, as populations age, chronic diseases increase, and new and more expensive treatments become available.
Challenges for health provision continue; preventable diseases are still a major issue across much of the world and the education of populations in basic health safety measures is progressing. The fight against HIV and AIDS is ongoing and difficult, with major ramifications for entire regions.
Health professionals also face new and evolving challenges. These take the form of healthcare issues, such as ageing populations, personalised healthcare requirements and evolving diseases, and management issues, including new regulations, establishing efficient best practices, and ever increasing public expectations in a time of increased financial constraints.
The International Centre for Parliamentary Studies (ICPS) carries out a substantial amount of work to support administrations across the world in their efforts to bring about change and reform, providing a range of different services:
ICPS research makes a significant contribution to learning about electoral processes, highlighting best practice, current trends and leading thinking. The Centre has a repository of materials, including research papers, films and documentaries, and works in collaboration with a number of academics, universities and research organisations across the world.
High level networks
ICPS has developed a network for senior officials that have a professional interest in the field of electoral affairs, and provides opportunities throughout the year for them to gather and share ideas and best practice
ICPS provides consultancy services to public administrations around the world on areas including: voter registration, the role of technology, working with stakeholders, communications strategies, project management, managing data, training personnel, electoral psychology, managing polling day, awarding and managing contracts, holding the ballot count, technology and counting the vote, ensuring robustness and transparency, delivering reliable and internationally credible results, statutory models, boundary commissions, programmes for inclusion of minorities, all the way through to rebuilding states after conflict, and basic human rights.
ICPS provides training and advice to those involved in organising and overseeing elections, through working in collaboration and delivering bespoke training programmes which are tailored to their precise requirements. The Centre also provides internationally recognised professional qualifications in the areas of electoral processes, governance, Parliament and policy, and these are accredited by the Chartered Management Institute.