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Association for Health and Environmental Development

The Association for Health and Environmental Development is an Egyptian NGO established and licensed by the Egyptian ministry of social affairs in November 1987, number 3527. The license was amended according to new laws in 1998.

The association works on developing and applying convenient policies and systems in the fields of health and environment. Those policies and systems should be able to apply the needs rights of Egyptian society in general and especially the most marginalised classes. The association also works on raising the awareness around the issues related to the previously mentioned fields, via establishing solidarity groups, spreading of information, issuing publications and organizing training programs.

Another part of the association's work is organising and participating in developing leading symbols at the local community level to improve the reality of health and environmental conditions.
It also participates in encouraging and strengthening cooperation and integration among different organisations and institutions working on health, environment and with the disabled, especially among local and regional NGOs.

The association participates in empowering marginalised groups and communities to establish organisations representing their interests and rights.
AHED works on three main programs; a health policies and systems program, a disabled program and an environmental development program. There are also units such as a resources unit, a publications and documentation unit and an administrative support unit.

The association worked hard from the very beginning to strengthen the cooperation and coordination among different institutions working in the same field either governmental, non governmental, local, national or international organizations.
As for the website, it does not benefit from the different fields of work the association is involved in. It does not make quick updates to publish and spread the news and does not use the different tools and internet options available.
This was confirmed by Mr. Abdul Mawla Ismail during a workshop, when he said; ‘there is not enough information manipulating either at the local or international level.’ He added ‘the association's work needs to apply many indicators and measure health and environmental problems which does not need the internet’.
Mr. Abdul Mawla stressed that the website is a part of the association's activities not the totality of them.
The website does not attract many visitors because:

* The issues on economic and social rights along with other collective rights or what is known as ‘third generation of human rights’ do not find interest in an average audience, the intellectual elite or even the human rights movement. The audience in Egypt is interested in political rights
* The nature of the association's work does not lend itself to regular updates on the website, as some studies and researches can take up to two years to reach internationally accepted indicators.
Sometimes the updating problems are related to the level of attention paid to the website.
* The website is not attractive. The spirit and message of the association is not clear on the website, as the person working on it is a technician who is not aware of the message of the association and not a human rights' activist

In spite of the notes of the association's official, the website can help solve some of the association's problems and achieve some goals; if the team considered it as an effective tool in achieving targets not just a complement to the association's image.