Civil society is especially valuable in its ability to organize social action for health

Three important features characterize positive civil society actions for health at local level.

  • Civil society organizations rooted in communities, such as representative membership associations, draw information and social attitudes from communities, rather than imposing them on communities. Participatory problem-solving methods further generate collective identification of problems and a commitment to actions.
  • Bottom-up civil society ways of organizing allow communities to take greater control of and responsibility for sustained health outcomes. They also allow communities greater control over resource inputs.
  • Civil society contributes an existing base of networking and social organization. This is necessary for more effective health service outreach and community action, sometimes in areas where such organization is otherwise weak.

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Enhancing civil society

Priority health problems

Facilitating roles
Interactive exercise

Policy accountability

Equity in health
Responding to communities
The potential for success
Interactive exercise