For over 700 years, the Hofburg Palace in Vienna, Austria has been the documented seat of power in the country, first hosting the Hasburg dynasty and, today, the official residence and workplace of the President of Austria. Three months ago, on 3 May, the Royal Palace bore witness to the Union for International Cancer Control’s own coronation, as it was recognised with the International & European Association Award for Membership Engagement.
UICC membership has grown drastically over the last years, from 458 members in 2011 to over 1,000 member organisations across 162 countries at the end of 2016. This achievement is due to the work to establish a strong strategy for increased and improved membership engagement.
For us, growth doesn’t mean anything if we are not able to translate it into reducing the global cancer burden, promoting greater equity and integrating cancer control into the world health and development agenda. Just like country leadership is nothing without its citizens, UICC and its purpose relies on its growing, engaged members.
The membership growth was a natural result of an in-depth exercise UICC conducted in 2010 while developing a long-term roadmap to respond to the needs of the international cancer community. Since then, improving the understanding of UICC members has been an ongoing process, involving the whole UICC staff and Board of Directors. We tend to say we have created an army of staff and members working together for the greater good of cancer control.
Our army works to advance three priority areas, all of which have seen success in the last year:
When members feel engaged and enthusiastic about UICC’s plans, they benefit from convening, capacity building and advocacy opportunities, and are able to share best practices and showcase their work on UICC platforms as well. Through this mutual exchange, UICC has a better knowledge of its stakeholders and can better respond to their needs. These responses include technical assistance in country; a tailored World Cancer Congress to meet the needs of its delegates; a rich set of translated, interactive materials on World Cancer Day; a global platform to share national leadership and achievement around the world; and strengthened national, regional and global ties to transform the cancer control landscape.
Strong engagement from members is the foundation of UICC’s success in the global fight against cancer. It was because of the full strength of this membership army and UICC staff that we won the Best Membership Engagement award, and we look forward to soldiering on in our convening, capacity building and advocacy, with the hopes of continuing to engage new members, partners, supporters and funders along the way.
If you’re interested in joining UICC's community of members in the global fight against cancer, visit www.uicc.org/who-we-work/members.