In Uganda, there are many ‘supply’ side programs working to improve the planning, coordination, and delivery of district-level health services. But the country lacks complementary ‘demand’-side programs concentrated on strengthening citizen engagement. In response to this gap, USAID launched the Advocacy for Better Health project in July, 2014. Implemented by PATH and Initiatives Inc., Advocacy for Better Health aims to empower Ugandans with the skills, tools, and systems to effectively advocate for accessible, high-quality health care.
Specifically, Advocacy for Better Health works to more fully engage communities in the planning and monitoring of health services. The project strengthens the capacity of civil society organizations (CSOs) to represent citizen interest and conduct advocacy. This results in stronger policies, budgets, programs, and services that ultimately improve the health and well-being of Ugandans.
Across 35 districts, 479 sub-counties, and at the national level, more than 20 local CSOs and hundreds of community groups are demanding change and holding duty-bearers accountable for health-related goals and commitments—from the facility to the highest-levels of decision-making.
Advocacy for Better Health’s model emphasizes three distinct but interrelated strategies: citizen mobilization and empowerment, social accountability, and policy advocacy. Capacity building underpins the success of this model—it is not only intended to accelerate project outcomes, but to leave behind a legacy of skilled CSO partners able to sustain a locally-led health movement leading to measurable and meaningful change.
This portfolio was created for health advocates interested in learning more about, or replicating, the Advocacy for Better Health model. It is a practical toolset, rooted in established advocacy practices and the experience of the many participants of the project. It contains tools, templates, and resources used by the project.
Watch this in-depth video to get a glimpse of how the Advocacy for Better Health program works to mobilize communities and strengthen the institutional capacity of civil society organizations (CSOs) to implement long term sustainable advocacy projects. It provides more information about ABH’s priority issue areas and contains interviews with program leaders, district health officials, and CSO partners about how and why the program is so successful.