Civil society engagement
CSOs play a critical role at country as stakeholders in policy discussions, planning & budgeting processes, and scrutinizing sector performance. At both country and global level CSOs engage with development cooperation principles. Both areas contribute to the goals of IHP+.
CSOs can do this in the following ways:
- Engage in developing and assessing a national health plan through policy dialogue
- Commit to support a national health plan and be part of a country compact
- Engage in national planning and budgeting processes, ensuring that national strategic priorities are actually reflected in the implementation of the plan.
- Monitor sector performance highlighting shortfalls both to the authorities as well as the broader public.
- Be part of mutual accountability processes and discuss finding from the rounds of monitoring of effective development cooperation
- Be part of IHP+ governance structures and working groups, through IHP+ civil society representatives
- Advocate and communicate that effective development cooperation helps get better results.
Strengthening the role of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in health sector processes and adherence to development cooperation principles has been a high priority for IHP+ since the outset, both at the global and country level.
- making sure the role of civil society is adequately reflected in IHP+ guidelines, such as JANS and mutual accountability monitoring;
- that civil society is represented in IHP+ bodies and at relevant international meetings;
- providing some funding for country-based CSOs through the Health Policy Action Fund (HPAF), with a view to creating a much larger and more comprehensive funding modality for strengthening civil society’s ability to engage in health sector dialogue and processes.
CSOs and IHP+ at global level
At the global level, international and national CSOs are a part of IHP+’s governing body, the Steering Committee. Also, a Civil Society Consultative Group discusses CSO engagement with IHP+ issues and membership includes country-level CSOs, Faith-Based Organizations, and International NGOs. IHP+ thematic working groups also include civil society representation.
To find out more about how Civil Society is engaging with the transformation of IHP+, please read the concept note from May 2016.
CSOs and IHP+ at country level
IHP+ has previously supported country-level CSOs through the Health Policy Action Fund, which has given small grants through three rounds of funding in 2010, 2012 and 2015. IHP+ intended the HPAF small grants programme to strengthen civil society engagement in national health policy, monitoring and accountability. A review of the first two rounds of grants found that the fund stimulated and enabled CSOs to engage in national health policy, monitoring and accountability processes and allowed them to bring ‘bottom-up’ insights to national policy mechanisms.
In the future, IHP+ is exploring how to scale up an approach to support country-based CSO participation in sector policy dialogue, planning, budgeting and performance monitoring.
If you are a CSO and wish to find out more about how you can engage with IHP+ goals in your country and at global level, please contact:
Southern IHP+ CSO representative:
Dr Rozina Farhad Mistry – Pakistan
Visiting Faculty, Health Policy and Management Programme, Aga Khan University
Alternate: Guy Tete Benissan
Le Réseau des Plates-Formes d'ONG d'Afrique de l'Ouest, REPAOC, West Africa
Northern IHP+ CSO representative:
Head of the French Office, Global Health Advocates