Public Officials and Civil Society at World Health Assembly Emphasize the Importance of Domestic Resource Mobilization for Health
Alongside this year’s World Health Assembly and in partnership with the People's Republic of Bangladesh and Republic of Maldives, the Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI) convened a group of global health experts to discuss the importance of budget advocacy for sustainable, equitable and effective country-owned health systems and to share best practices and budget advocacy approaches from around the globe on May 23. The “Advocacy for Domestic Resource Mobilization for Health” event featured:
- Vandana Shah, Vice President of Health Systems Strengthening, Global Health Advocacy Incubator
- Dr. Md. Anwar Hossain Howlader, Secretary, Health Services Division, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Bangladesh
- Aishath Rasheeda, Head, Department of National Registration, Deputy Minister, Ministry of National Planning Housing and Infrastructure, Government of Maldives
- Ifedayo M. O Adetifa MBBS, FWACP (Paed), MSc PhD, Director General, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control
- Ms. Aniqa Marshall, Manager of Collaboration and Policy, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance
- Emmanuel Alhassan, PhD, Nigeria Coordinator, Global Health Advocacy Incubator
Vandana opened the event by describing how locally and nationally-owned budgets set countries’ priorities and are the key to effective, equitable and sustainable health systems.
Following the opening remarks, the panelists discussed best practice for securing budgets and mobilizing resources to make sure the money gets where it is needed and that increases can be maintained over time.
Dr. Howlader stated that civil society organizations as well as government leaders and other stakeholders all have roles to play in building and sustaining the political will and public support necessary to robust health budgets.
Ms. Rasheeda described how domestic resource mobilization is essential for meeting national objectives that aren’t always prioritized by international donors, such as building better health data systems to improve public health decision making.
Dr. Adetifa explained how advocacy has been key to doubling the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control’s budget, and the roles played both by public officials and civil society.
Ms. Marshall noted that civil society plays a crucial role in encouraging governments to meet their co-financing obligations holding governments accountable for how and what they spend on public services, such as immunizations to reach zero-dose children.
Dr. Alhassan spoke about how advocacy is the key to domestic resource mobilization. Securing budgets is just the first step. For effective advocacy and implementation, it is important to build broad based coalitions that can prioritize critical issues and ensure that money gets where it is needed and increases can be maintained.
GHAI works with partners to execute effective, multi-stakeholder advocacy that builds the political will, constituency and accountability for effective public health budgets mobilization and utilization. GHAI’s experience with budget advocacy comes from across our programs, including Data for Health, Drowning Prevention, Epidemic Preparedness and Prevention, Hypertension, Immunization, Maternal and Child Health, Non-Communicable Diseases, Primary Healthcare and Tobacco Control.
Learn more about our budget advocacy work here. GHAI has a number of advocacy resources on our website. We also have a training resource, the “Budget Advocacy Toolkit for Epidemic Preparedness,” available for download. It provides explanations, examples and worksheets to guide an entire budget advocacy campaign for epidemic preparedness.
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