Throughout the early months of this year, the CSEM and its civil society partners have been advocating for health equity and progress in all dimensions of universal health coverage (UHC) at the country, regional, and global levels. Read highlights from our recent work.



Round-up of Recent Events


In the first half of 2021, the CSEM Advisory Group and Secretariat participated in and hosted over a dozen events. A few highlights are presented below. If you would like to collaborate on future events, please email

On the sidelines of the World Health Assembly, the CSEM co-hosted “Social Participation Works: Engaging those left behind to drive Universal Health Coverage”, an event on social participation and particularly the participation of the most vulnerable populations in UHC discussions and implementation. Partners included the NCD Alliance, Communities at the Heart of UHC, Global Health Council, IFRC, Save the Children, and UNAIDS. The event included a range of UHC stakeholders. Speakers advocated for the rights of those left behind to participate in health governance processes and amplified the importance of social participation at all levels.

For key messages, see event summary and recording. 

On World Health Day, the CSEM hosted a ‘Partnering for UHC’ Roundtable with the UHC2030 Private Sector Constituency. The event saw representatives from the two constituencies discussing preliminary results from the UHC2030 Rapid Response Survey on Civil Society and Private Sector Collaboration for UHC and examples of partnerships for UHC.

Speakers included Dr. Judy Kuriansky (International Association for Applied Psychology), Dr. Githinji Gitahi (Amref Health Africa), Anthony Gitau (Johnson & Johnson), Dr. Roopa Dhatt (Women in Global Health), and UHC2030 co-chairs Dr. Justin Koonin (President, ACON) and H.E. Gabriela Cuevas Barron (Honorary President, Inter-Parliamentary Union). The event was live-streamed.

Hosted by Amref Health Africa, the Africa Health Agenda International Conference (AHAIC) included a session launching AHAIC’s State of UHC in Africa report where UHC2030 Co-Chair Gabriela Cuevas Barron participated (Twitter thread), a town hall on women’s leadership in health with CSEM Advisory Group member Evalin Karijo (Twitter thread), and a plenary on UHC and accountability with CSEM Advisory Group member Esther Njoroge (CSEM Twitter thread).

For a summary, see blog on CSEM’s participation.

On the sidelines of the High Level Political Forum, Humanity & Inclusion with the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the Co‑operative Republic of Guyana and CSEM  hosted “The importance of rehabilitation for achieving SDG3: Challenges and best practices to access quality rehabilitation services and inclusive health systems.” CSEM Advisory Group member Smitha Sadasivan spoke about barriers to access rehabilitation services, including accessing information and infrastructure for health as well as additional barriers created by the pandemic, and the need to integrate into the UHC conversation.

See recording.

The CSEM Secretariat presented at an NCD Alliance training as part of the Advocacy Institute NCD and UHC Accelerator Programme, which aims to increase the capacity and knowledge of established NCD alliances. Eleven alliances in Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Vietnam participated. CSEM Coordinator Aishling Thurow previewed the upcoming Health for All Advocacy Toolkit and CSEM Advisory Group member Nupur Lalvani spoke on a panel about social accountability for UHC and NCDs.

Read more about the Accelerator Programme.

At the 2021 Global Youth Meeting on Health (GYM), CSEM Advisory Group’s Evalin Kajiro, and her team at Amref hosted a virtual workshop about meaningful youth engagement. The session aimed to capacitate young people to apply Youth in Action (Y-ACT)’s principles to hold policy makers accountable for the commitments made towards the improved access to their sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Watch plenary remarks from Dr. Justin Koonin (UHC2030 co-chair) from GYM 2021.

The WHO launched the Noncommunicable Disease Lab (NCD Lab), a new platform supporting innovative solutions to accelerate progress towards achieving the NCD and NCD-related SDGs. For each thematic area, the NCD Lab established a steering group comprised of 10-15 individuals, and co-chaired by the WHO Secretariat and a selected participating organization. CSEM Advisory Group Member Lloyd Nunag (Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights) was selected to be on the Steering Group of the NCD Lab on Next Generation and NCDs.

Explore the featured solutions on the knowledge action portal on NCDs platform.

In conjunction with World Immunization Week, Dumiso Gatsha from the CSEM Advisory Group moderated a high-level event hosted by the IFRC, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and the International Organization for Migration. The event “Advancing Access to Immunizations for People on the Move” focused on vaccine access for vulnerable communities such refugees, IDPs, and migrants. Dumiso emphasized the importance on leaving no one behind, best practices for achieving equity, and lessons from CSEM’s paper on the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on the most vulnerable (see: Twitter thread).

See event summary.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies held its Health and Care Conference in early March. The conference discussed many themes including the commitments to reach communities often left behind. The “Empowering Communities for Better Health: Perspectives from the field” session discussed perspectives from the field on community engagement and empowerment in the road to UHC.

CSEM Advisory Group’s Khuat Thi Hai Oanh (Executive Director, Center for Support Community Development Initiatives) provided insights from her work with communities in Viet Nam.