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GHAI Event

June 6, 2024

Civil Society Leaders Discuss Importance of CSO-Led Accountability Mechanisms to Ensure Sustainable Health Financing

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Alongside this year’s World Health Assembly, the Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI) convened a group of experts to discuss the importance of civil society organization (CSO) involvement in ensuring sustainable health financing. The event, “CSO-Led Accountability Mechanisms for Sustainable Health Financing,” took place on May 29, 2024 in Geneva, Switzerland. Speakers included:  

  • Yolonda C. Richardson, President and CEO, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and the Global Health Advocacy Incubator (Opening Remarks) 
  • Vandana Shah, Vice President of Health Systems Strengthening, Global Health Advocacy Incubator  
  • Hon. Dr. Bernard Okoe-Boye, Minister of Health, Republic of Ghana 
  • Dr. Salma Ibrahim Anas, Special Adviser to the President on Health, Nigeria 
  • Benjamin Loevinsohn, MD, Director of Immunization Financing and Sustainability, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance 
  • Cecilia Senoo, Executive Director, Hope for Future Generations, Ghana 
  • Emmanuel Alhassan, PhD, Deputy Director for Immunization, Global Health Advocacy Incubator, Nigeria 
  • Huyen Doan, Vietnam Director, Global Health Advocacy Incubator 

Ms. Richardson opened the event by emphasizing the critical role that CSOs play, both in advocating for and ensuring accountability in health financing. She highlighted the necessity of locally and nationally-owned budgets to create effective, equitable and sustainable health systems. 

Following the opening remarks, the panelists shared insights and best practices on how CSOs can work alongside other partners not only to secure budgets and mobilize resources but to ensure funds are allocated efficiently and increases are maintained over time. 

Hon. Dr. Bernard Okoe-Boye discussed Ghana’s approach to integrating CSOs in health financing decisions. He highlighted the collaborative efforts between the government and civil society to improve health outcomes and ensure transparency. 

Dr. Ibrahim Anas shared Nigeria’s strategies for utilizing CSO-led accountability mechanisms to enhance transparency and effectiveness in health budget allocation and expenditure. She emphasized the importance of advocacy in securing political and public support for robust health budgets. 

Dr. Loevinsohn explained the critical role of immunization financing and how sustainable practices are achieved through collaborative efforts between governments and CSOs. He explained why multilateral organizations are fostering these collaborations to ensure that essential health services like immunization programs reach all populations. 

Ms. Senoo provided insights from the perspective of Ghanaian civil society, detailing how grassroots organizations hold the government accountable and advocate for health policies that serve the most vulnerable communities. She emphasized the importance of building strong coalitions to support health financing. 

Dr. Alhassan discussed the specific challenges and successes in Nigeria’s immunization efforts, highlighting the role of robust advocacy and accountability frameworks in maintaining and increasing health financing and sharing some of the tools that GHAI has developed with our local partners (see below). He noted that securing budgets is only the first step; effective implementation requires ongoing advocacy. 

Ms. Doan shared Vietnam’s experiences with CSO involvement in health system strengthening. She focused on how these organizations contribute to policy development and resource mobilization, ensuring that health financing aligns with national priorities. 

GHAI works with CSOs in their own communities, and partners around the world, to execute advocacy campaigns across multiple advocacy areas including, Data for Health, Drowning Prevention, Epidemic Preparedness and Prevention, Food and Nutrition, Hypertension, Immunization, Overdose Prevention and Road Safety. 

Learn more about our budget advocacy work and download both our Advocacy Action Guide—a resource to help guide and equip advocates to take on pressing public health challenges—and our Budget Advocacy Toolkit. And be sure to watch the recap of our event in English, Spanish or French below.