The Evolution of Noncommunicable Diseases: A Case Study of a Danish NCD Advocacy Network and its Role, Position and Drivers in an Evolving Field

Morten Bach

Student thesis: Master thesis


Noncommunicable diseases, cancer, diabetes, lung and heart diseases are today the major cause of death globally. Therefor it has increasingly become a major part of the international health agenda, where the World Health Organisation has played an active role, along with the United Nations General Assembly, which has officially recognised NCDs as in international priority.This agenda the traditional health actors in the developed countries also has to take into account, and it has made some of the international patient organisation go together to form an NCD Alliance.However, it is not only on the international plan the new agenda has to be taken into account, it is also at national level. Therefor this thesis uses a social constructivist lens to try to explain and understand the field, by investigating a case where three national Danish patient organisations joint forces in response to the new international agenda and formed a Danish NCD Alliance.
This thesis finds that the Danish NCD Alliance was founded mainly due to the drive of one actor. Despite being a national alliance, it is not active in a national context, however internationally it has managed position itself in a unique position in the international community. This it has done by building and supporting a structure of patient organizations in East Africa, which is organised in a structure going from locally and up to regionally, something that has proven a very strong structure for these organizations in advocacy. This structure has enabled the Danish Alliance to contribute to the legitimacy of the international actors, by providing them with access to and cases from theses country. In return, the international actors have legitimatised the Danish alliance by endorsements, and provided it with unique access to themselves.

EducationsMSc in International Business and Politics, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2018
Number of pages117