“Nothing about us, without us” 

On 11-14 April 2023, CSCG members had a week-full of engagement at the World Bank/IMP Spring Meetings Civil Society Policy Forum:

On April 11, the CSPF kickstarted with a roundtable of the World Bank Executive Directors with Civil Society. Christina Chilimba, Co-Chair, RMNCAH-N Youth Coalition, Malawi, CSCG Steering Committee Member and Co-Chair of the CSCG Capacity Building and Country Engagement Working Group moderated the roundtable which highlighted the value and importance of a strong relationship and engagement with Civil Society for the World Bank Group Board of Directors.

On April 12, CSCG Members WACI Health from Kenya and CISDI from Indonesia addressed the World Bank Group and Meaningful Civil Society and Community Engagement in the Pandemic Fund. You can watch a recording of the CSPF session here.

On April 14, the CSCG Members Christina Chilimba, Co-Chair, RMNCAH-N Youth Coalition, Malawi,  Jackie Katana, Civil Society GFF Investors’ Group Alternate Representative and Executive Chairperson of Faith for Family Health Initiative (3FHi), Uganda and the NGO Host at PAI, together with the Action Secretariat, CITAM Plus Zambia, the Zambian Ministry of Health, and the GFF Secretariat, addressed the Critical Role of Community-Led Monitoring to Ensure SRMNCAH-N Equity & Accountability around a panel focusing on best practices and lessons from country engagement. The session highlighted that Communities—and the civil society and youth leaders that represent them—face powerful barriers that prevent them from holding country governments and other GFF stakeholders accountable. Sometimes they are excluded from decision-making, including from government-led policy and budget-making processes. Including civil society and youth leaders in decision-making processes yields strong results in terms of policy change and health outcomes and panelists called on all stakeholders to support initiatives that create incentives and accountabilities for CSOs/YLOs to have meaningful leadership roles. You can watch a recording of the CSPF session here.

Later on that day, CSOs from Cambodia, Ethiopia, Malawi, the United States and Zimbabwe took an active part in a high-level roundtable organized by the GFF on Accelerating Equality and Unlocking Women and Girl’s Empowerment through Advancing SRHR. The roundtable even featured video testimonials from Joyce from PHIL in Liberia and Hawa Youth RH/FP Ambassador from Mauritania.  You can watch the video on the Youtube Channel of the GFF here.

Overall, all events underlined that:

– Without UHC and stronger PHC, advances for women’s, children’s, and adolescents’ health and nutrition will fall short.

– Without sustainable financing mechanisms, SRHR gains, and pandemic preparation efforts will fall short.

– Without significant investments in civil society and youth engagement, global multi-stakeholder partnerships will fall short.

– Wins for SDG5 are wins for all SDGs

What have we been asking for? (CSCG Call to Action)

– GFF partners should support incentives and accountabilities to ensure that CSO/YLOs have meaningful leadership roles in decision-making about health policies and budgets, including through multi-stakeholder platforms.

– Governments should institutionalize ongoing, inclusive community-led feedback and CSO/YLO-led monitoring, as a core element of strong and resilient health systems.

– Donors should invest in predictable, multi-year funding for community engagement and to sustain effective civil society- and youth-led advocacy and accountability.

Read the full CSCG Call to Action here.

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