News of our workshop and road map for engaging civil society organizations in the national health security agenda.
TDDA is working to help Niger’s government to develop the role of civil society organizations (CSOs) in support of its health security plans and policies. Having earlier appointed a consultant to carry out a mapping exercise to evaluate CSO capacity across the country, we recently led a workshop to present the results, refine the recommendations, and draw up a shared road map for action.
CSOs are often an untapped resource, with the potential to assist governments to deliver activities that strengthen health security. Many CSOs have close relationships with communities and are already working across the human, animal and environmental health sectors. This means they are potentially well-placed to support an integrated approach across all these sectors – known as a “One Health” approach - to reduce the spread of infectious diseases.
Taking place on 9 June 2021 at the MAFE/Niamey complex, the workshop welcomed not only representatives of the CSOs surveyed, but also key government ministries and partners such as WHO. Participants learned more about the mapping exercise, in which 43 CSOs were selected to receive a detailed questionnaire. Of the 23 who responded, 44% were assessed as suitable and up to date with relevant regulations.
At the end of the workshop a road map was drawn up, identifying the steps needed to further build the capacity of our selected CSOs. By engaging all relevant national stakeholders we have ensured that this plan of action addresses a number of criteria and concerns at both the central and local level, so that these CSOs will be ready and able to provide this much-needed support to aid the government’s efforts.
“Health security is a shared responsibility”, says Dr Goni Alassan Bashir, TDDA’s country coordinator in Niger. “The government works hard to protect our people from the spread of deadly diseases. Yet more can be achieved if CSOs also play a part. That’s why we are delighted to be assisting the relevant ministries, identifying which CSOs are capable of providing assistance now, and delivering capacity-building support to other CSOs where we have identified this is needed.”