The Nick Simons Institute works to change perceptions and policies that affect the rural healthcare worker. Advocacy and NSI’s other programs complement each other. Advocacy urges policy changes that will augment training and rural staff support. Fieldwork provides ‘on-ground-information’ that makes advocacy credible. Although healthcare workers are essential members of every rural community and local people realize this often the government and public living in the cities don’t appreciate the role of rural workers nor realize the situations they work under.
NSI also organizes a Rural Healthcare Worker Conference each year and provides NSI Awards to those exemplary service providers who serve in rural Nepal.
Some key advocacy issues are:
Creation of adequate numbers of appropriate government posts to complete.
Development of institutional environment, including management systems, to promote rural healthcare workers' work.
Realization that rural healthcare workers often perform heroic tasks that go on.
Reducing the sense of professional isolation, which is a barrier to effective work. NSI work through several mechanisms to advocate for rural healthcare workers: radio, print, and public speaking; worker conferences and newsletters; and knocking on the doors of policymakers.