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The following activity report outlines CSEM activities from June-September, 2019, mainly around preparations for the UN High-Level Meeting on UHC. Activities include CSEM speaking engagements, co-hosting events, webinars and other communications.
UHC: Reaching the most left behind through community-based health care programmes
The "UHC: Reaching the most left behind through community-based health care programs" event happened on June 10 in parallel with the inter-governmental negotiations of the UN HLM on UHC political declaration. The event was hosted in New York City by International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), WHO, the International Organization for Migration, and UNAIDS. Amy Boldosser-Boesch of the CSEM Secretariat moderated a high-level panel, including the Permanent Representatives of Morocco and Spain to the UN, which highlighted how the humanitarian and sustainable development imperative to leave no one behind is key to achieving UHC. Most importantly, participants, including high-level officials, got to hear directly from those who are left behind on a daily basis.
Universal health coverage was a central theme at the Women Deliver Conference on 3-6 June 2019. CSEM Advisory Group member Khuat Thi Hai Oanh spoke at the "From global movement to local action: Gender and SRHR within UHC" side event, organized by IPPF and SIDA. Panelists shared their experiences on practical solutions to addressing gender inequalities and achieving Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) through local commitments to UHC. Dr. Khuat emphasized the importance of closely monitoring services in countries where donors are transitioning out. She pointed out the gaps in contraceptive services in her country Vietnam, sharing her organization's plan to advocate for the inclusion of these essential services into the national UHC package.
CSEM Advocacy and Communications
UN HLM on UHC Country Advocacy Meetings
The CSEM contributed to the inception stages of the UN HLM on UHC Country Advocacy Meetings which were facilitated by IFRC and UNAIDS. The meetings were a national level platform to advocate for an effective high-level meeting that results in ambitious national commitments to advance UHC. Meetings were held in 13 countries including Argentina, Benin, Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Georgia, Ghana, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama and South Africa.
Call for Evidence: Left Behind in Health
The CSEM Secretariat sent out a call for submissions of evidence on inequity in the accessibility of good quality health services, financial burdens, and the impact on the people who are left behind. This evidence was used to inform the CSEM Commentary on the 2019 UHC Global Monitoring Report (see below). Tens of civil society organizations submitted over 50 documents showing evidence on inequity and how it affects specific populations based on certain factors (this may include issues arising from stigma and discrimination — for example gender, sexual orientation, legal status, ethnicity, mobility, religion — or based on place of residence, geographical location, poverty, lack of education or living in humanitarian, urban poor or rural remote contexts). The call was published on our website, and shared via email and on social media.
CSEM kept the civil society constituency updated on UN HLM on UHC processes and opportunities for engagement through dedicated UN HLM on UHC page on the CSEM website.
The CSEM, in collaboration with UHC2030 and the UHC Coalition, ran the #Asks4UHC Twitter Storm, seven days of activity on Twitter from September 17-23, culminating in demanding political leadership for UHC on the day of the HLM. Global stakeholders shared UHC-related perspectives, which you can view by following the hashtag #Asks4UHC on Twitter. During the week of the HLM, the CSEM and UHC Coalition co-curated the UN High-Level Meeting on UHC Blog Series published on the Medium - Health For All Platform. Read the different views calling for community engagement, accountability, and leaving no one behind here.
The CSEM also published articles online in the lead up to the HLM.
CSEM Blog Article - World Bank
Why 5% Brief – CSEM e-Library
CSEM Article – Devex
Increase investment in primary healthcare by 1% of GDP, says WHO - BMJ
Events during UN HLM on UHC
Civil Society Post-HLM Strategy Session
On September 25, 2019, following the long-awaited United Nations High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage (UN HLM on UHC), the CSEM hosted the Post-HLM Civil Society Strategy Session. The event provided a platform for civil society organizations to share plans and strategize on advocacy and accountability efforts at the country level for the operationalization of the UN HLM on UHC political declaration. Over 100 representatives of civil society organizations from various regions participated and came up with key messages which were shared with UHC2030 to inform post-HLM planning. Read more.
Launch of the CSEM Commentary on the Global Monitoring Report
WHO and the World Bank launched the biennial global monitoring report, entitled "Primary Health Care on the Road to Universal Health Coverage," which provides a picture of progress on UHC. The report, launched on the eve of the HLM on UHC, aims to highlight the global coverage of health services and financial protection, address gender- and equity-related challenges, and identify primary health care as the route to universal coverage. Watch the launch here. The CSEM produced the "Leaving No One Behind: Delivering on the Promise of Health for All" commentary, which was informed by evidence submitted by civil society organizations and reflects on the findings of the report. Launched alongside the WHO report on September 22, the commentary examines how the world is delivering on the promise to leave no one behind. Read more.
On September 24, 2019, 12 agencies brought together by the Global Action Plan for Healthy Lives, and Well-being for All (GAP) launched the GAP during UNGA. The plan aims to strengthen collaboration among multilateral organizations to accelerate country progress on the health-related Sustainable Development Goals. Angela Nguku, a member of the CSEM-hosted Civil Society Advisory Group for the GAP, was a speaker at the event. Watch it here.
Community and Civil society Engagement: The Key to Universal Health Coverage
On September 24, CSEM co-hosted a civil society event with UNAIDS, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and other partners to reflect on the UN HLM on UHC country advocacy meetings held in 13 countries leading up to the HLM, and strategize on the post-HLM period.
Making Voices Heard: Social Participation for Equity and Accountability in Pathways Towards UHC
CSEM Advisory Group members Khuat Thi Hai Oanh and Rosemary Mburu participated as panelists in the event at the UN Headquarters, chaired by Advisory Group member Justin Koonin on 23 September right after the UN HLM. Governments, civil society, and WHO got together to discuss why social participation matters, where the gaps currently are, and how this can be implemented effectively, drawing on country experiences. Read more.