Improved Dialogue Among Coalitions & Governments

Packaging Evidence
E4A-MamaYe has produced two case studies in Nigeria and Kenya that explore if and how dialogue between government and civil society advocates has increased and what impact this may have on accountability for RMNCAH issues in the locations we work in. The study also looks at the challenges encountered in the process of bringing together advocates and government and proposes strategies for improving dialogue between government and civil society in the selected States and Counties.

Over the years, E4A’s approach has shown that a regular and institutionalised space for engagement and dialogue is the first step towards a better collaboration between actors.

In Nigeria, Lagos is a good example of how, when different stakeholders work together, significant progress can be achieved towards common objectives. Coalition members in this State recognised the change that happened over the years when E4A-MamaYe commenced project implementation in the state. At the start of this process there were no funds allocated for the Family Planning (FP) programme in the Primary Health Care Development Agency budget. The advocacy that originated from efforts of Lagos State Accountability Mechanism (LaSAM), led to an increase in budget allocations for Family Planning consumables. 

In Kenya, CSOs are already working to access traditionally closed spaces to influence decision making. Before, most government fora were not accessible to the public and citizen engagement with county officials or assemblies was very limited and brief. In September 2020, the Nairobi Maternal, Newborn Health MNH Coalition wrote to the Health Committee of the County Assembly seeking to discuss sectoral budget issues ahead of the budget formulation stage. This was followed by a formal invitation to the CSO coalition to a meeting on health services in the Assembly chambers. This was a breakthrough for the coalition, considering the limitations to CSOs and citizens accessing assembly members directly, and transformed this closed space to a claimed one.