Global Health Practitioner Conference
Silver Spring, 9 May 2014
Dr. Roma Solomon
Individuals and organizations
independent of the government
Civil society includes…
Activist groups
Civic groups
Clubs
(sports, social,
etc.)
CBOs & FBOs
Environmental groupsNGOs
PVO...
How are we perceived??
Watch Dogs/Pet dogs?
Activists/Champions of rights?
Fault finders?
How do we perceive
ourselves?
• Backbenchers ?
• Loud campaigners / Belligerent activists?
• Champions of the underdog ?
•...
Credible
Equal partners with a supporting attitude
Technically sound and armed with data
Action oriented
Innovators
What s...
Why should Civil Society be engaged?
Civil Society is usually understood as the social arena that
exists between the state...
Key features of civil society
organizations
• Articulating citizens' interests and demands
• Defending rights
• Providing ...
Civil society & Government
Expectations from each other?
• Is only the government expected to be
accountable?
• Mutual res...
CSOs provides excellent laboratories for
pioneering new methods and strategies in a
relatively efficacious and cost-effect...
Harnessing this Potential
An Example
The India Polio Programme
• Government – Prime implementers
• WHO - Technical support & surveillance
• Rotary International – Advocacy & Funding
• U...
What was the need to engage
civil society?
• Children were
being missed
• Rumours were
spreading
• Resistance was
building...
Understanding of community needs
• Communities were being
taken for granted
• Communication was
prescriptive
• Baggage of ...
• Community/leaders/institutions did not
believe in the program
• It was not a priority for families
• Suspicions about th...
Overcoming these Barriers
Lessons we Learnt!
• The key - Equal
partnership!
• NO blame game
• Timely response – put
out smaller fires before
they spread
• Give facts
http://youtu.be/6wzatF6TiHI
Workers need to be
equipped with
knowledge and the
ability to transfer this
knowledge to other...
Capacities of front
line staff were built
to analyse resistance
and develop
‘Negotiation'
approaches
Shift from instructiv...
Identification
and engagement
of influencers –
children, priests,
local healers,
barbers, ration
shop owners,
film stars,
...
• Strategies were
tailor made for
various audiences
• Special initiatives
kept the program
exciting & alive for
implemente...
Involvement of religious & other
community leaders
• Religious institutions
engaged to handle
communication with
specific ...
Religious scholars were able to counter negative
propaganda against immunization based on their
interpretation of the Qura...
Importance of Data
• Data collection and compilation
• Recording & documentation of successes and
failures.
All led to a s...
27th
March 2014
Declaration of A Polio-Free India
Sharing lessons with other
CORE Group Polio Project countries
Nigeria, S. Sudan, Angola, Ethiopia
&
Horn of Africa
Support...
Using the Polio Legacy to improve
Routine Immunisation
• Shoring up Routine Immunisation alongside
polio
• Microplanning
•...
Recognition at last!!
Traditionally CSOs have provided services to the
underserved but are usually left out of policy
maki...
GAVI’s Strategic Goal 2
Strengthening health systems to deliver
immunisation
Under this goal, GAVI provided an umbrella
gr...
WORKING
TOGETHER
WORKS!
Engaging Civil Society_Roma Solomon_5.9.14
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  • Can watch dogs become partners not just followers of instructions like pet dogs wagging their tails?
  • People, or their opinions or perceptions completely left out
  • Civil society is not from Mars! It is us and most of us fall into the definition – even a government bureaucrat is a parent!
  • To put out the fires
  • Engaging Civil Society_Roma Solomon_5.9.14

    1. 1. Global Health Practitioner Conference Silver Spring, 9 May 2014 Dr. Roma Solomon
    2. 2. Individuals and organizations independent of the government
    3. 3. Civil society includes… Activist groups Civic groups Clubs (sports, social, etc.) CBOs & FBOs Environmental groupsNGOs PVOs Policy institutions Professional associations Political parties Social enterprises Trade unions Non-Profit Organisations (NPOs) Academia Charities Cooperatives Men’s /Women’s groups Consumers
    4. 4. How are we perceived?? Watch Dogs/Pet dogs? Activists/Champions of rights? Fault finders?
    5. 5. How do we perceive ourselves? • Backbenchers ? • Loud campaigners / Belligerent activists? • Champions of the underdog ? • Hesitant Do-gooders ? • Spies & fault finders? • Anti government ?
    6. 6. Credible Equal partners with a supporting attitude Technically sound and armed with data Action oriented Innovators What should be our perception?
    7. 7. Why should Civil Society be engaged? Civil Society is usually understood as the social arena that exists between the state and the individual or household * Though it lacks the coercive or regulatory power of the state and the economic power of the market, it provides the social power or influence of ordinary people. This social power/capital is our USP * WHO Discussion Paper Dec. 2001
    8. 8. Key features of civil society organizations • Articulating citizens' interests and demands • Defending rights • Providing goods and services directly.
    9. 9. Civil society & Government Expectations from each other? • Is only the government expected to be accountable? • Mutual respect for each others’ experience and potential to make efforts, complementary • Ability to see eye to eye and recognizing each others’ limitations
    10. 10. CSOs provides excellent laboratories for pioneering new methods and strategies in a relatively efficacious and cost-effective manner. They combine the spread and reach of government with depth and flexibility - the ideal method for achieving development objectives. Potential of civil society
    11. 11. Harnessing this Potential An Example The India Polio Programme
    12. 12. • Government – Prime implementers • WHO - Technical support & surveillance • Rotary International – Advocacy & Funding • Unicef & CORE– Communication & Social mobilization The Polio Partnership
    13. 13. What was the need to engage civil society? • Children were being missed • Rumours were spreading • Resistance was building up
    14. 14. Understanding of community needs • Communities were being taken for granted • Communication was prescriptive • Baggage of “We know what is good for you” unloaded • Timing as per vaccinators’ convenience • It was NOT positioned as a peoples program
    15. 15. • Community/leaders/institutions did not believe in the program • It was not a priority for families • Suspicions about the vaccine • Trust deficit between government & community Identification of Barriers
    16. 16. Overcoming these Barriers
    17. 17. Lessons we Learnt!
    18. 18. • The key - Equal partnership! • NO blame game • Timely response – put out smaller fires before they spread • Give facts
    19. 19. http://youtu.be/6wzatF6TiHI Workers need to be equipped with knowledge and the ability to transfer this knowledge to others Knowledge leads to change in attitude and behaviour
    20. 20. Capacities of front line staff were built to analyse resistance and develop ‘Negotiation' approaches Shift from instructive to negotiation approach
    21. 21. Identification and engagement of influencers – children, priests, local healers, barbers, ration shop owners, film stars, cricketers, etc
    22. 22. • Strategies were tailor made for various audiences • Special initiatives kept the program exciting & alive for implementers & caregivers
    23. 23. Involvement of religious & other community leaders • Religious institutions engaged to handle communication with specific groups • Each query was heard & responded to with facts • Burning issues were tackled immediately
    24. 24. Religious scholars were able to counter negative propaganda against immunization based on their interpretation of the Quran and Hadees
    25. 25. Importance of Data • Data collection and compilation • Recording & documentation of successes and failures. All led to a strong MIS that supported planning and implementation of effective activities
    26. 26. 27th March 2014 Declaration of A Polio-Free India
    27. 27. Sharing lessons with other CORE Group Polio Project countries Nigeria, S. Sudan, Angola, Ethiopia & Horn of Africa Support in communication strategies, disease surveillance, IEC material, M&E systems, mHealth, etc
    28. 28. Using the Polio Legacy to improve Routine Immunisation • Shoring up Routine Immunisation alongside polio • Microplanning • Identifying High-risk groups and tracking unimmunised children • Capacity building of frontline workers
    29. 29. Recognition at last!! Traditionally CSOs have provided services to the underserved but are usually left out of policy making and planning. GAVI formed a CSO Constituency Providing a seat on the Board not only gave recognition but also paved the way to the engagement of CSOs in other health programmes
    30. 30. GAVI’s Strategic Goal 2 Strengthening health systems to deliver immunisation Under this goal, GAVI provided an umbrella grant to the Steering Committee of the GAVI CSO constituency. CRS was nominated as the fund manager and national level CSO platforms were formed in 23 countries for effective engagement in health systems strengthening and immunisation.
    31. 31. WORKING TOGETHER WORKS!

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