Public Voice (PV) is the agency through which ASK Justice hopes to achieve its overall objectives. By making our collective voice heard, activities completed by the research and teaching teams are shared with our various audiences, which include policymakers, civil society groups, academics from various disciplines and regions, and the general public. Ultimately, this should benefit the public in improved access to medicines (A2M) and access to knowledge (A2K).
Public Voice is the communication component of the project. We focus on policy developments that affect intellectual property, human rights and the public interest. The objective is to enrich the overall project by providing a way to interact with our audiences, mainly in Southern and East Africa, but also across the continent and internationally. We aim to:
- Build a strong network of academics;
- Communicate with and educate policymakers and their advisors;
- Stimulate discussion and advocacy in partnership with civil society groups;
- Create and increase awareness among the general public that A2M and A2K are human rights issues.
- Engage with policymaking institutions (including human rights bodies);
Public Voice highlights human rights issues to policymakers who draw up IP policies in the East and Southern African region. One way of achieving this is to build a higher education network that can provide research and teaching that can be used to contribute to changes in IP policy so that it will allow greater access to medicines and knowledge, thereby improving human rights.
The general approach is for researchers and teachers to contribute to the discussion by communicating their own findings and activities online. This ensures that ASK Justice speaks from a position of scholarly expertise. In addition to our online presence, we also use the print and broadcast media to communicate our message, while our team members regularly attend and/or host events, workshops and conferences, where we make sure the ASK Justice voice is heard.
Public voice aims to inform and educate stakeholders on the role human rights have played and may yet play in contributing to positive policy reform to IP law in Southern and East African countries.