Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) play an indispensable role in advancing progress in reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health and nutrition. CSOs help promote accountability and contribute to evidence and technical assistance as well as service delivery and demand generation for access to high quality health services — particularly in hard-to-reach areas and fragile settings where the poorest and most left behind populations live.
In GFF partner countries, CSOs help ensure investment cases prioritize affected populations and hold governments accountable to execute plans and allocate sufficient budget for women, children and adolescent health. Increasingly, more GFF partner countries are including social accountability and advocacy activities in their investment case, with CSOs leading implementation. CSOs have also been instrumental in delivering last-mile services and supporting community-based primary health care.
The GFF’s governing body, the Investors Group, also includes CSO representation through two principal and two alternate members, along with a newly designated youth representative seat and an alternate.
CSOs have successfully engaged in the GFF process and contributed to results:
- In Cote d’Ivoire, the health CSO coalition FENOSCI supported dialogue on health financing reforms and contributed to the development of the investment case by leading capacity building activities and coordinating community feedback to develop a unified campaign for increased resources for health. This advocacy has contributed to a 16 percent increase in the country’s 2020 health budget.
- In Kenya, the CSO coalition has developed a scorecard for assessing investment case design and implementation. In addition, the coalition has supported a campaign that helped establish a functional multi-stakeholder country platform.
- In Nigeria, CSOs in Bauchi State now participate in the prequalification and assessment of health facilities and are collaborating with partners to shape the development of a basic minimum package of health services.
- In Senegal, the local CSO coalition supports the Ministry of Health in monitoring investment case implementation in selected priority regions. CSO advocacy to increase domestic resources for health has led to local mayors committing more budget resources toward family planning, and to religious leaders calling for a percentage of mosque revenues to fund health programs for women and children.