NCD Advocacy, Accountability and Conflict of Interest meeting hosted by the Healthy Caribbean Coalition in partnership with the Antigua & Barbuda Ministry of Health and the Environment (Antigua, Feb 2017)
NCD Advocacy, Accountability and Conflict of Interest meeting hosted by the Healthy Caribbean Coalition in partnership with the Antigua & Barbuda Ministry of Health and the Environment (Antigua, Feb 2017)

Lessons learnt from five years of building NCD civil society’s capacity

29th August 2019

The NCD Alliance released a new report today on lessons learnt from a 5-year capacity development programme on strengthening civil society capacity to stimulate progress on prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs).

Civil society and people living with NCDs play a critical role in the NCD response by creating awareness, improving access to services, advocating for action and ensuring accountability. A response to the demand for, and effectiveness of, a unified and whole-of-society approach to NCD advocacy has been the emergence of a network of national and regional NCD alliances around the world. These alliances share a common focus and play an important role in stimulating government action on NCDs by providing a platform for coordinated advocacy.

The report, Expanding Access to Care, Supporting Global, Regional and Country level NCD Action: Programme Achievements and Lessons Learnt offers NCDA’s insights on a five-year programme (2013-2017) supported by the Medtronic Foundation that aimed to support and strengthen the capacity of NCD civil society organisations (CSOs) to stimulate government action and ensure accountability for NCDs in 4 regions: Brazil, India, South Africa and the Caribbean.

The programme’s in-country activities were led by CSOs and NCDA members – Brazil’s ACT Health Promotion, the Caribbean’s Healthy Caribbean Coalition, the South African NCDs Alliance, and India’s Healthy India Alliance. In these geographies, alliances monitored national progress on NCDs, identified gaps to address to meet global and national commitments, initiated dialogue with governments and other key stakeholders, and advocated for improved NCD policies, programmes and health systems strengthening. They also advocated for the inclusion of NCD civil society and people living with NCDs in decision-making processes, called for multi-sectoral action on NCDs and held decision-makers accountable for commitments made regarding NCD prevention and control. Building on the successes of this programme and drawing from the lessons learned, the NCD Alliance has expanded its efforts to strengthen NCD civil society globally.

“The NCD Alliance believes that a vibrant and strong NCD civil society movement powered by the insights of people with lived experiences is essential to accelerate and sustain progress on NCDs at national and regional levels. NCD alliances are powerful advocates for change, and across geographies have encouraged governments to accelerate the development and implementation of NCD policies, programmes and services at national and regional levels,” said Dr Cristina Parsons Perez, Director of Capacity Development at NCDA. “As the network of NCD alliances continues to grow across the world, with nearly 62 NCD alliances in 2019, it is vital that civil society is supported, drawing from lessons learned such as those shared in this report.

The programme report expands on the strategies used, shares achievements and lessons learned and makes the case for the importance of coalition building and capacity development of civil society to accelerate action on NCDs. It will serve as a resource for stakeholders interested in supporting and strengthening civil society efforts in the NCD space.

Download the programme report here