Civil Society – The Missing Link in Health Systems?

Global Health Council (GHC) jointly with Results for Development (R4D) Institute organised a seminar entitled
‘Civil Society – The Missing Link in Health Systems? at the GHC conference hall, Washington DC, on March 29, 2010. The objective of the seminar was to highlight the work done by civil society organisations (CSOs) which has led to improvement in various aspects of health systems, including human resources, efficiency of public spending, access to pharmaceuticals, and quality of health care; and to explore ways in which CSOs could strengthen their existing work to bolster health systems and how others could support their work.

The seminar was mainly to convey the message that CSOs have existing capabilities and comparative advantages in studying the efficiency of health systems, recommending possible improvements for a variety of health care components, and undertaking evidence-based advocacy to strengthen systems. While many CSOs cited specific success stories that have helped to improve the quality of and access to health care for marginalised groups with collaborations and support from other development agents which can make the work of CSOs more impactful and sustainable.

George Cheriyan (Director, CUTS International) made a presentation on ‘Community Monitoring of Health Worker Absenteeism’. Out of the three presentations, the other presentations were from Neil Overy, Public Service Accountability Monitor (Grahamstown, South Africa) and Denis Kibera, Coalition for Health Promotion and Social Development (Kampala, Uganda). Nicole C Klingen (Senior Health Specialist, World Bank) was one of the discussants, who shared the World Bank’s work in health sector in various countries. The other discussant was Jeffrey L Sturchio, President and CEO, GHC. The event was moderated by Nicholas Burnett, Results for Development Institute, Washington, DC.

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