A virtual CSOs forum has been organized by ARHR in partnership with the Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG) and Coalition of NGOs in Health on Wednesday 22nd July, 2020. The ARHR, PPAG and Ghana’s Coalition of NGOs in Health have been facilitating CSO’s participation in the GFF processes.
The forum provided CSOs with an update on Ghana’s development of a Prioritization Operation Plan (POP) for the Universal Health Coverage Roadmap under the Global Financing Facility (GFF) and solicited views on pertinent issues in Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Children and Adolescent Health (RMNCAH), mental and non- communicable diseases (NCDs) which will be addressed under Ghana’s POP.
Twenty (20) CSOs who work in the area of health participated in the virtual forum and contributed massively to the issues on the table. Of top priority to participants was the need to allow rapid flow of information on the facility to enable them contribute adequately to the process and ensure its success. Further, participants bemoaned the lack of representation of CSOs on the Ministry of Health’s Technical Working Group (TWG) and felt one slot for CSOs was inadequate. However, members agreed that CSOs representation should not be about large numbers but about the effectiveness of the existing slot for CSOs in order to make a greater impact in the process.
The TWG Task Force Lead, Nii Sarpei, informed participants that not much activity had been done by the Government of Ghana with regard to the facility and this is mostly due to the covid 19 pandemic. ‘Government’s priority has been diverted to curbing the spread of covid 19’, he said. However, Ghana was now developing an investment case which will kick start the entire process.
By way of moving forward, participants agreed to schedule another meeting to develop a CSOs strategy on how to engage with the GFF process in Ghana. The strategy will include key issues on health affecting women, children and adolescents which must be addressed under the investment case.
The GFF for Women, Children and Adolescents is a multi-stakeholder partnership that is helping countries tackle the greatest health and nutrition issues affecting women, children and adolescents and Ghana was accepted to receive support from the facility from May 2019. The GFF works with multi stakeholders including the Government of Ghana and its health agencies, the private sector and other developmental partners as well as CSOs to accelerate progress on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).