25 July 2016

CSOs engaging with health policy

Health Policy Action Fund

The Health Policy Action Fund began in 2009 as a way to support civil society organisations in IHP+ signatory countries to participate effectively in health policy processes at country level. This helps improve development cooperation effectiveness through stronger accountability mechanisms and better coordination. 

To date, there have been three rounds of funding from IHP+. Round one was from 2010-2012 and supported 13 CSOs in nine countries. Round two was from 2013-15 and supported 10 CSOs in eight countries.

The latest Round three of HPAF grants supports nine CSOs or CSO networks in nine countries. They are: 

  • Benin – Reseau des ONG Beninoises des Sante (ROBS)
  • Burkina Faso – Secretariart Permanent des Organiations Non Gouvernementales (SPONG)
  • Cambodia – MEDiCAM
  • Gambia – The Association of Non-Governmental organizations (TANGO)
  • Uganda – Coalition for Health Promotion and Social Development
  • Nigeria – Health Reform Foundation of Nigeria
  • Mozambique – NAIMA+
  • Cameroun – FIS – For Impacts in Social Health
  • Cape Verde Islands – Plataforma das ONG de Cabo Verde (PLATONGS)

Read more information about the grantees here on the HPAF website.  

The HPAF grantees are working on a range of projects due to be completed in September 2016. All of their efforts aim to improve engagement with health policy processes at country level, strengthening advocacy, accountability and coordination in the health sector. 

For example, the Health Reform Foundation of Nigeria (HERFON) received HPAF funding to work with a coalition of national health CSOs to support the Ministry of Health with an implementation plan for the roll out of the National Health Act. At the same time, they have been raising citizens' awareness around the provisions of the National Health Act. 

For Impacts In Social Health (FIS) in Cameroon seeks to strengthen accountability and transparency by producing an independent civil society shadow report to review the The Global Fund's operations in the country.

In Mozambique, two national CSO networks have come together for a more effective alliance. NAIMA is a national network of International NGOs working on health and HIV. Members share information about activities and funding and try to align efforts with government health priorities and strategies and international commitments and agreements. PLASOC is a Mozambican Civil Society Platform for health human rights and is a formal space for sharing information, coordination, articulation, consultation, and mobilization. The HPAF grant has enabled these two networks to come together to work more effectively in the health policy space in Mozambique. They are now better coordinated and speak with one united voice, meaning they can take advantage of advocacy opportunities more effectively. For example, in 2015 NAIMA and PLASOC joined efforts to write a position paper on drug stock outs and called for more financial contribution from the government to the health sector budget.

The HPAF grants are managed by Oxfam UK (won by a competitive tendering process). Later in 2016, we will report on all of the grantees’ activities so watch this space for more information about what each grantee has achieved through the grant.  

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