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May 21, 2024

Launching our Budget Advocacy Academy for Civil Society Organizations

Increasing domestic funding for epidemic preparedness is essential for countries’ abilities to prepare for and adequately respond to epidemics and pandemics. The Global Health Advocacy Incubator’s (GHAI’s) Prevent Epidemics program has been working since 2018 to raise public demand and political will for increased and sustained domestic resources for epidemic preparedness. GHAI’s country-led advocacy approach brings together policy leaders, civil society organizations and media in support of epidemic preparedness as a national priority in need of adequate and reliable funding.

Building on experience

To strengthen civil society capacity for budget advocacy and build a movement of advocates in the Africa region, GHAI, in partnership with Resolve to Save Lives (RTSL), has established a CSO Budget Advocacy Academy (The Academy). It is a comprehensive 9-month program to build the capacity of civil society organizations (CSO) for epidemic preparedness advocacy. This academy will share the knowledge generated from our budget advocacy activities across GHAI’s Prevent Epidemics program and promote peer learning across countries.

The Academy draws on lessons learned by GHAI and its civil society partners from budget advocacy since 2018, including successful advocacy campaigns in Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania and Vietnam. The Academy will therefore apply resources including GHAI’s Budget Budget Advocacy Toolkit for Epidemic Preparedness: Facilitator’s Guide, a step-by-step course for facilitators to teach epidemic preparedness advocacy techniques to officials in government and civil society organization advocates. The Facilitator’s Guide was developed based on GHAI’s Budget Advocacy Toolkit for Epidemic Preparedness to illustrate the program’s advocacy approach and provide learning tools to bring Prevent Epidemics budget advocacy to scale in multiple countries through workshops and potentially online learning platforms.

A look at the CSO Budget Advocacy Academy

GHAI launched an invitation inviting CSOs to submit applications from across Africa. A total of 169 organizations applied and after a rigorous selection process seven organizations were selected to participate in the program. These are: the Benjamin William Mkapa Foundation of Tanzania, the Professional Alliance for Development (PADet) of Ethiopia, the Lady of Peace Community Foundation (LOPECO Foundation) of South Africa, the Centre for Reproductive Health and Education (CRHE) of Zambia, Samasha of Uganda, the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) and the Network for Health Equity and Development (NHED) of Nigeria. The Academy is a comprehensive program that involves hands-on learning and peer exchange. The learning format is a combination of webinars and in-person workshops conducted in English and participants will be given assignments on topics relevant to the webinar and in-person workshop.

Faculty and Mentors

The Academy Faculty consists of professionals with background in global health, epidemic preparedness, public health law, media advocacy, financing and budget advocacy. Each participant will be paired with one or two mentors to support them throughout the program.

Capstone Project

The Academy participants will develop Capstone projects leveraging the knowledge acquired throughout the course. Each project will involve the development of one or more aspects of a campaign for epidemic preparedness budget advocacy in the participant's home country. At the end of the program, participating CSOs will have an opportunity to present their capstone project to the international donor community.

The Academy gives GHAI an opportunity to strengthen the capacity of CSOs with tools and resources for budget advocacy. The dynamic approach, rooted in real-world successes, ensures participants are equipped to navigate the complexities of advocacy for epidemic preparedness.

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