SUPPORT-SYSTEMS (76) Q3 Examples of civil society organisations and health policymaking (17)

7 June, 2022

Dear Sunanda [Sunanda Reddy, India]

Thank you for highlighting this point: “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.” [ ] If you would be willing to expand further, especially explaining the main shortcomings to conventional ways of organizing policy dialogues in a policy making process and how power differences between stakeholders (since you mention that such meetings tend to be dominated by academia and funding organizations), that would be very useful.

On this point on implementing more inclusive methods for participation, recently the OECD has produced a report on the shortcomings of current modes of enabling participation and proposing alternative institutions for citizen participation in the spirit of “deliberative democracy”. While OECD formally has a limited geographic reach (38 member countries - see ) I think the report itself was informed from experiences across a range of settings.

Thank you also for highlighting that CSOs can contribute to inclusive and accountable formation of health policy through a range of activities beyond direct participation in policy making forums, e.g. generating awareness to educating, building capacity and also through roles in the delivery of services, including strengthening access.

Best wishes


HIFA profile: Unni Gopinathan is a Senior Scientist aat Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Norway. Unni is joint coordinator of the HIFA working group on SUPPORT-SYSTEMS: How can decision-making processes for health systems strengthening and universal health coverage be made more inclusive, responsive and accountable?

Email: Unni.Gopinathan AT