SUPPORT-SYSTEMS (62) Q3 Examples of civil society organisations and health policymaking (10)

29 May, 2022

Dear All,

Thank you for the ongoing interesting discussion on CSO role in shaping Health Policy. Dr. Esha Ray Chaudhuri's observations are very appropriate and come with valuable insights.

This is just to add a few of my thoughts on the subject.

CSOs are, again, not a homogeneous group of organisations just like the communities or the population groups they serve. Except for a handful of big Organisations capable of studies or Action on scale, the evidence base for Policy or the findings from Implementation research may not be robust enough to capture the nuanced context-specific picture required for Policy action locally. Most CSOs rarely get an opportunity to participate in Health Policy making beyond a nominal participation in the occasional Policy dialogue at some multistakeholder meeting dominated by Academia and Foundations funding the Projects.

However, many of us are involved in activities that play an important role in shaping Health Policy. Awareness about Public Health programmes and schemes to improve accessibility or Advocacy for quality services in Health, Capacity building of local health care providers and collaboration with regional health centres has or Participation in dialogues related to convergence for Equitable Health care, are only some of the ways they contribute - not easily measurable, yet contributing significantly. Fortunately, there is a growing realisation that people's participation must provide the impetus for Policy dialogues and facilitatory action for Health for All.

With the spotlight on Primary care for UHC, we can expect more collaborative endeavours with Community based CSO organizations adding the missing dimension to the growing Public-private partnerships worldwide. The outcome can be that the information feeding into Systematic reviews in the near future will make them more meaningful and relevant for Policymakers who are serious about leaving no one behind.

Thanks and best regards,


HIFA profile: Sunanda Kolli Reddy is a Developmental Paediatrician from New Delhi, India, with a special interest in Early Child Care and Development of children with neurodevelopmental problems in underserved communities. She is actively involved in health promotion, community-based research, care provider training for promoting abilities of children with special needs, through the various programmes of Centre for Applied Research and Education on Neurodevelopmental Impairments and Disability-related Health Initiatives (CARENIDHI), which she heads ( Her work in the community settings to widen the disability-in-development model of CBR encompasses the wider determinants of health and human capabilities and issues which impact the lives of the poor. She combines her experience in developmental paediatrics with the core work of CARENIDHI's grassroots convergence programmes in partnership with groups working in the area of Implementation research and policy. She is a member of two HIFA working groups: Community Health Workers and mHEALTH-INNOVATE.

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