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Save the Children International
Accountability – the beating heart of UHC is the second briefing of our series ‘COVID-19 and the Case for Universal Health Coverage’. The connection between civic space, civil society engagement and access to healthcare has been sharply highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Civil society around the world has mobilised to bring attention to the needs of the most vulnerable people, and demonstrated the invaluable role it plays in addressing inequities and championing health for all. It is this commitment and zeal that will make UHC possible.
A concerted effort from governments, in partnership with national and global civil society and United Nations institutions, is needed to support the opening of civic space. This will also require investment and commitment from governments and global health actors to build the capabilities of civil society to engage effectively with institutions. A strong civil society is a prerequisite for inclusive governance and for holding governments to account. However, without an enduring commitment of time and resources, civil society – including children and communities – will struggle to engage effectively, particularly during crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
Accountability – the beating heart of UHC sets out why accountability is vital to achieving universal health coverage. It also makes the case for protecting and expanding civic space as a way of encouraging civic engagement, resulting in accountability. We put forward recommendations to governments and global health actors to improve meaningful civil society inclusion in health governance.
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