Civil society advocay for reproductive health
Building civil society capacity to promote sexual and reproductive health in the new aid environment
The context, processes and financing mechanisms by which donor countries and development agencies, including the UN, are working to alleviate global poverty has changed significantly over recent years. International development co-operation policy prioritizes partnership between governments, donors, private sector and civil society to achieve sustainable development. The involvement of civil society is crucial to this process, as their voices of accountability to the health needs of the communities being served by national programmes is an essential element of ensuring universal coverage and equitable access to reproductive health care.
Intersecting trends in aid effectiveness is an increased sense of urgency in developing national capacity to improve reproductive health. The United Nations Secretary General's Global Strategy for Women's and Children's Health has its main goal to save 16 million lives by 2015 in the world's 49 poorest countries. The Commission on Information and Accountability for Women's and Children's Health works through key accountability principles, including strengthening countries capacity to monitor and evaluate. The Commission places accountability at the country level with active engagement of governments, communities and civil society. This most recent initiative draws attention once again on the important role that civil society has in ensuring equitable access to sexual and reproductive health.