Health, Citizenship, and Human Rights Advocacy Initiative: Improving Access to Health Services in Mexico

By Almudena Ocejo (Centro de Contraloría Social y Estudios de la Construcción Democrática).

When it comes to health care in Mexico, “universal” has never meant equal, particularly when it came to the access to adequate care for the country’s 52 million uninsured. Civil society organization Fundar — a research organization with a background in budgetary analysis — developed a successful advocacy strategy on health policy to change this.

The full versionshort summary, and one page summary of this case study are available in English.

You Cannot Go it Alone: Learning from Cooperative Relationships in Civil Society Budget Campaigns

You Cannot Go it Alone: Learning from Cooperative Relationships in Civil Society Budget Campaigns

May 2016 | by Jillian Larsen

The International Budget Partnership has spent almost a decade researching how and why civil society campaigns on budget-related issues succeed or fail. Based on the findings of nearly 30 case studies spanning five continents, this paper synthesizes what we have learnt so far. It focuses particularly on the relationships between civil society organizations (CSOs) and both government and non-government stakeholders, establishing a typology of these relationships, and examining how and why they contribute to successful budget campaigns.

The main finding is that, when it comes to budget campaigns, CSOs cannot go it alone. Cooperation from either elite stakeholders, a wider network of non-state actors, or both, is crucial. Campaigns that failed to forge strong cooperative relationships were found to have much weaker outcomes. Those that were able to sustain relationships while adapting to ever changing circumstances exhibited the strongest outcomes.

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Maternal Health In Tanzania: Stuck Between Public Promises and Budgetary Realities

Maternal Health In Tanzania: Stuck Between Public Promises and Budgetary Realities

December 2015 | By Peter Bofin

case study: maternal health in tanzaniaOn paper, Tanzania is committed to reducing maternal, newborn, and child deaths. In practice, however, women giving birth often lack access to the basic obstetric care needed to prevent avoidable fatalities.

The White Ribbon Alliance (WRA) Tanzania has been dedicated to advocating for better maternal health for years. When they discovered that even experts find it impossible to determine how much districts in Tanzania spend on maternal health, they started a campaign targeting key players in the budgetary process. The campaign aimed to win greater transparency of maternal health spending and to get the government to uphold its commitment to provide emergency obstetric health procedures in half of all local health centers.

A number of important lessons emerge from WRA Tanzania’s campaign: the need to aim for achievable and measurable targets gleaned from broad public commitments; the usefulness of marshaling evidence; and the strengths of planning a multi-level campaign through power analysis. But the case study offers warnings too – notably the importance of critically evaluating how promises can be feasibly implemented given the requirements and restrictions imposed by the budgetary process itself.

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Open Budgets. Transform Lives. (video)

In this video three IBP partners share their compelling stories of how they used budget analysis and monitoring to improve government spending and policies to help the poorest and most marginalized people in their country.