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What is the Platform for Community and Civil Society Representatives to the ACT-A?

The Platform for Community and Civil Society Representatives to the ACT-A is co-led by Global Fund Advocates Network, WACI Health and StopAIDS UK.

The main objectives of this collaboration are to:

  1. convene and support the identified civil society and community representatives in ACT-A and
  2. provide a platform for engagement for broader civil society and communities with ACT-A civil society and communities representatives; facilitate broader, global collaboration by bringing the expertise in civil society and communities to inform the work of the representatives in ACT-A; and provide a space for information sharing, consultation and cohesive action and advocacy.

Why is the platform needed?

This is a critical moment in global health: a challenge unlike anything we’ve seen before and a broad demand for a response unlike anything we’ve seen before.

Communities and civil society (C/CSO) bring significant on-the-ground experience in all aspects of global health delivery: from delivering services to the poorest and most marginalised and community-led monitoring to identify issues at the local level, to critical policy and resource mobilization at the sub-national and national levels.

The COVID-19 response can only succeed with a multi-stakeholder approach that utilises the skills and expertise of all stakeholders. Communities and civil society play an essential role in reaching the poorest and most marginalised and partner at all levels with various global health institutions, bilateral donors, domestic governments, and private sector. They have a broad knowledge based on what works on the ground that few others can match and their experiences and voices must be heard at the level of the ACT-A partnership to ensure key decisions can have the optimum impact.

Institutions like the WHO, the Global Fund, Gavi, the World Bank all have models of engaging with civil society and communities – but approaches are diverse. The Platform would provide an additional common space and focal point for all the partners in ACT-A to engage with civil society and communities on ACT-A related issues.

Whilst the ACT-A is a project-driven partnership, rather than a new multilateral organisation, it is critical that civil society and communities have representation within the ACT-A structure (in both technical workstreams and decision-making bodies) for the length of time it is in existence. This representation gives civil society and communities the ability to observe and influence decisions over time, as the partnership evolves, rather than only being able to inform discussions or decisions in an ad hoc manner.

This platform will ensure civil society and community representatives are supported and have access to resources to adequately carry out their responsibilities. The representatives are expected to consult and be accountable to expansive, dispersed constituencies and the many actors and other networks that are engaging or have been created to respond to the challenges of COVID-19.

To date zero resources have been secured to support the efforts of the Platform. If you are interested in learning more or discussing how you can contribute to the conversations please be in touch with Katy Kydd Wright from GFAN at katy@globalfundadvocatesnetowrk.org

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