The CSO session brought together civil society and other participants attending the GAVI Partners’ Forum.
Copyright GAVI/2011/Saiful Huq Omi
The CSO session brought together civil society and other participants attending the GAVI Partners’ Forum. The objective of the Forum was to discuss the different ways in which civil society has contributed to the Results, Innovation, Sustainability, and Equity (R.I.S.E) theme of this year’s Partners’ Forum.
The Forum also examined the GAVI CSO Constituency’s immunisation advocacy goals and possibilities for advancement.
Finally, a Civil Society Call to Action was also developed.
This was intended to call on GAVI to deepen its engagement and support for civil society at the country level and to recognise civil society’s strength in service delivery and as advocates for immunisation and child health.
Samuel Mwenda from the Christian Health Association of Kenya (CHAK) shared the experiences of faith-based organisations in improving health equity by extending services in places that are difficult to reach and in fragile communities.
Similarly, Lubna Hashmat spoke of the Civil Society Human and Institutional Development Program (CHIP)’s experience in extending health services to people living in rural Pakistan.
Filimona Bisrat representing the CCRDA/CORE Group Ethiopia presented some of the results that had been achieved by civil society in Ethiopia and some of the problems that arose when CSO funding was interrupted.
Finally, Sharmin Zarmin shared some of the innovative ways in which BRAC Bangladesh has worked with community health workers to improve child health.
Audience members had the opportunity to discuss the challenges and successes that each of these organisations presented on.
Highlights of this session included the strengthening of the GAVI CSO Constituency with the announcement of a committed ‘civil society faith caucus’ in addition to the Francophone group and other affinity groups that already existed under the broad umbrella of the GAVI CSO Constituency.
The session ended with inspiring remarks by South African singer and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, Yvonne Chaka Chaka who called on civil society to magnify the voices of those they work on behalf of and to work in coordination for the improvement in child health.