Side event at the 72nd World Health Assembly in Geneva on 21 May...
CSEM welcomes new advisory group members
In December 2018 and January 2019, CSEM welcomed two new Advisory Group Members, Brian Atuhaire who represents PATH, and Benoit Van Maele, representing Action against Hunger France. Both candidates bring a wealth of health advocacy experience in the Global South, and will contribute to providing technical direction to the work of the CSEM. To learn more about all the Advisory Group members, click here.
UHC Day celebrations
To complement initiatives by partners around the world, the CSEM organized the following exchanges:
UHC Day Webinar
Civil society organizations in countries around the world are playing a key role in ensuring that UHC policies are inclusive, equitable and that systematic attention is given to the most marginalized and vulnerable populations so that no one is left behind. CSEM is committed to showcasing the successes and challenges faced by civil society in advocating for leaving no one behind. In this UHC Day webinar, CSEM Advisory Group members from Kenya, Japan, Uganda and Zimbabwe shared their stories of civil society-led UHC advocacy at the country level. Watch the video here.
The CSEM and UHC2030 along with partners UHC Coalition, Joint Learning Network and Management Sciences for Health co-hosted a Twitter chat at 9am EST on UHC Day. The dialogue centered around how governments, communities, and development and civil society partners can better cooperate as they develop solutions to deliver UHC. Multiple, cross-sectoral stakeholder engaged on the chat, giving views on specific actions, approaches and challenges to reaching UHC through multi-sectoral collaboration. Follow the hashtag #UHCchat to view this conversation.
12 Stories on 12.12
CSEM partnered with the UHC Coalition and the Primary Health Care Strategy Group to curate the 12 Stories on 12.12: Civil Society Speaks on Leaving No One Behind in observation of UHC Day. The series, published on the Medium Health For All Publication and the UHC2030 website, features civil society perspectives from around the world on the importance of ensuring that no one is left behind as countries move towards UHC. Click here to read the stories on the newly launched CSEM website.
CSEM Advisory Group Meet to Review Progress and Revise Strategies
The CSEM Advisory Group met in New York City from December 10-11, 2018. During this meeting, Advisory Group members reviewed the CSEM Governance Charter and Communications Strategy, and finalized details of the new website. The Governance Charter and Communications Strategy will be uploaded onto the website e-library in February, 2019.
In addition to preparing inputs for the UHC2030 Steering Committee meeting, the Advisory Group members strategized on advocacy action in the buildup to the High-Level Meeting (HLM) on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) scheduled for September 23, 2019. CSEM representatives also actively participated in the 4th session of the UHC2030 Steering Committee, which took place on December 13-14, 2018 in New York City. The committee members and CSEM representatives reviewed the UHC2030 strategic focus, including UHC global monitoring, and the work plan and budget. The session also mapped out the process leading up to the HLM on UHC. For more information, visit the recently launched UHC2030 HLM on UHC webpage.
CSEM and GFAN Convene Global Action Plan Meeting
In October 2018, a consortium of 11 global health institutions released the Global Action Plan for Healthy Lives and Well-being for All: Uniting to Accelerate Progress towards the Health-Related SDGs. This initiative, aimed at accelerating progress towards SDG 3 at the country level, was led by WHO at the request of the leadership of Germany, Ghana and Norway. The Global Action Plan (GAP) framework was drafted without the participation of civil society or other sectors. CSEM wrote a letter, endorsed by more than 100 civil society organizations, to WHO Director-General Tedros recommending the inclusion of civil society in further development of the GAP.
In response, WHO expressed its intention to establish a transparent system for engaging civil society throughout this initiative. In preparation for this engagement, CSEM and the Global Fund Advocates Network (GFAN) organized a two-day strategy session from December 12-13, 2018 in New York City. The discussion centered on shaping how civil society engagement in the GAP, also referred to as the SDG3 Action Plan, should be undertaken. A total of 24 individuals attended all or part of the session — two thirds of them representing global or local civil society organizations (CSOs) that focus on health-related advocacy. The rest of the participants were representatives of some of the institutions involved in developing the GAP.
PMNCH Partners' Forum
UHC2030 and CSEM were actively represented at the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH) Partners Forum, through members Core Group DC and Women in Global Health. The forum was held in New Dehli, India on December 12-13, 2018. It served as a key advocacy moment to generate greater political momentum towards the “Survive-Thrive-Transform” agenda of the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health, and reaffirm its contribution to driving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
CSEM and UHC2030 representatives presented on the panel 'Towards UHC, throughout the life course,' aimed at identifying key lessons and actionable strategies to accelerate progress towards achieving UHC and the global strategy objectives. Speaking on the panel, Core Group DC Executive Director Lisa Hilmi advocated for three key actions towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC): increased investment in community health workers, partnership building beyond the health sector, as well as a more systematic focus on citizen-led accountability. She urged the engagement of civil society at all levels, but particularly the community level, to dialogue on primary health care.
“We need to do this as part of the planning process and not afterwards or as a second thought. By having the diverse stakeholders at the table, including community level engagement, district and national level planning, policies and implementation will be richer and have more buy-in. By involving the community at the start, we ensure an equitable process for even the less-resourced populations,” she said in conclusion of her remarks.
Roopa Dhatt of Women in Global Health also discussed the importance of engaging, and investing in, vulnerable and marginalized populations. She emphasized that investing in young people, women and girls as health workers will drive not just UHC, but also equality and economic development. Learn more about the forum here.