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Civil Society

Civil society refers to individuals and agencies independent of government. This includes professional associations, indigenous and community groups, and charitable, faith-based, and nongovernmental organizations. These entities are key to implementing community health programs that end preventable deaths of mothers and children.

For MCSP, civil society plays a crucial role not only in supporting innovative and evidence-based community health programs and policies, but also in increasing accountability for global initiatives, such as UNICEF’s A Promise Renewed. Linking civil society and government partners enhances program innovation and solutions for maternal and child health. How MCSP work is carried out in communities throughout the world depends on existing and newly formed civil society networks and relationships with local, state and national governments.

CORE Group, a civil society agency working with maternal and child health, has an extensive background engaging other civil society organizations to implement community health programs throughout Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. By collaborating with CORE, MCSP is able to tap into the group’s tools and network of more than 70 organizations that foster learning, idea sharing, and capacity building. This work is facilitated through holding global and U.S.-based conferences, conducting national and regional meetings, and building the administrative and technical capability of network associations and their members.

CORE also supports MCSP through its membership meetings and workshops, portfolio of tools and training packages, diffusion of learning through the Community Health Network, and country-level coordination. Additionally, CORE provides expertise in knowledge generation and management (creating, capturing and distributing information within organizations) and knowledge sharing (disseminating information to external organizations for widespread use and impact).

Community group in Bangladesh
Photo: Angela Nash Mercado/Jhpiego