The Contribution of Civil Society Organizations in Achieving Health for All
This project will allow the People's Health Movement (PHM) to assess, learn, and improve on its programming, as well as identify lessons to inform broader civil society engagement in achieving Health for All (HfA). PHM is a global network of community-based organizations undertaking advocacy to achieve HfA. Global gaps in health care The World Health Organization's Health for All declaration in 1978 called for addressing global public health challenges by incorporating a people-centered approach to national health systems. Since then, despite such efforts as including substantial social and economic reform, inequities have increased, resulting in widening gaps between the haves and have-nots. Global public health challenges Since HfA, there have been numerous national, regional, and international efforts to address global public health challenges. Most have taken a vertical approach to eradicating specific diseases, rather than comprehensive approaches to strengthening health systems. Various global actors have been involved in these efforts, including bilateral and multilateral organizations, private foundations and philanthropies, and civil society groups. Civil society groups have been mostly disparate and focused on issue- or disease-specific campaigns. To deal with this fragmentation, several groups came together in 2000 to form the People's Health Movement. Their objective was to strengthen collaboration to address public health challenges globally and to achieve HfA. About the People's Health Movement PHM is now an established global network of community and civil society organizations working toward HfA through six main programs: -organizing at the country level -providing training -supporting research -developing information resources -campaigning around specific issues -engaging officials in multilevel evidence-based policy dialogue The need for evaluation After more than a decade of supporting organizing, networking, and capacity strengthening activities, PHM is evaluating its experience and consolidating a knowledge base and framework to inform broader civil society engagement. The proposed internal assessment will inform PHM programming and guide future action. It will support a generational transition in PHM by strengthening junior and mid-level researchers' capacities to: -undertake research -apply insights in planning future activities -develop and implement a succession plan At the same time, the experiences will be used to deepen understanding about the role of civil society engagement in achieving HfA. Researchers will critically analyze how civil society engagement can take place and be supported so that it contributes to HfA. The project will allow the team to build skills in research methods and management, advocacy, and leadership. Research methods will include surveys, discussions, interviews, and workshops. Civil society researchers from eight countries where PHM is active will undergo training. Experts will also mentor them. Research-based results Project results will include a series of reports on all five programs with research findings informing training, production, and dissemination of information material, implementation of global campaigns, and support for country circles. One of the outcomes will be a framework on civil society engagement.