Mobilize national financial resources for the development of CSOs in healthcare
Sept. 14, 2018
How to mobilize available financial resources for CSOs in health care in Vietnam? This is a question regarding the sustainability of civil society organizations in the field of community health development. On August 23rd and 24th, 2017, the Center for Supporting Community Development Initiatives (SCDI) brought together management authorities, international sponsors, and CBOs representatives to bring their insights, discuss and find alternatives for sustainable financing for CSOs, at the seminar "Proposing mechanisms to mobilize domestic financial resources for CSOs in HIV, tuberculosis and malaria control" at Vietnam Trade Union hotel, Hanoi.
"The role of CSOs has become increasingly important for social development, they excel in addressing social issues where the State policies can not reach or work ineffectively. This is the opinion of Mr. Dang Thuan Phong, Deputy Chairman of National Assembly Committee for Social Affairs. The CSOs also participate in policy advocacy and represent the community in multiple conferences, seminars and workshops, working as a bridge between the State and the people, reflecting the aspirations of the community, participating in social policy discussions, promoting solidarity and boost international relations, etc.
"In Romania, after the Global Fund withdrew their aids in 2010, the Government did not provide resources to continue implementing social harm reduction programs in the community, resulting in a sharp increase in HIV prevalence among injection drug users - from 3% in 2010 to 30% by 2015 "
Ms Rodelyn Marte, director of the Asia Pacific Council of AIDS Service Organisations (APCASO)
Photo: Mr. Dang Thuan Phong, deputy chairman of the National Assembly Committee for Social Affairs, speaking at the seminar
Same idea with Mr. Dang Thuan Phong, Mr. Phan Van Toan, Deputy Director of Health Insurance Department – Ministry of Health highly appreciated the role of the CSOs in the process of developing and implementing policies on health insurance. Through his practical experience with SCDI for many years, Mr. Toan stated that the CSOs are “an important bridge between the people and the policymakers; provide positive support for disadvantaged people, promote policy awareness; And contribute significantly to the dissemination of legal policies to people, especially to vulnerable populations.
However, so far, resources for social organizations are still mostly "imported". Most of the financial resources for social workers in our country today are from foreign sponsors. Thanks to these funding sources, in 2016, SCDI, one of the most effective and transparent NGOs in Vietnam, has helped nearly 50,000 vulnerable people access to health services, improve heath knowledge, reduce stigmatization and to improve the community capacity to play an important part in the society and improve the quality of life in overall. Therefore, it can be seen that about 191,000 working CSOs have made great contributions to national development.
Vietnam has escaped from poverty. This good news doesn’t come without worry. Over the next two years, by 2020, the international aid will be cut sharply, with many international organizations withdrawingfrom Vietnam. The financial burdens on social issues are unavoidable, the HIV issue for instance. According to the Vietnam Administration for AIDS Control (VAAC), total funding for HIV prevention and treatment in Vietnam will be cut from over $100 million (2012) to $40 million (2019). 60% of funding will be cut short. Hundreds of thousands of patients will face the risk of lack of funds for treatment, lack of resources to ensure safety tools in preventing HIV infection, hundreds of thousands of future parents living with HIV will face the risk of HIV infection in their children. In other countries, this situation has been happening and turning complicated. Ms Rodelyn Marte, director of the Asia Pacific Council of AIDS Service Organisations (APCASO) said: "In Romania, after the Global Fund withdrew their aids in 2010, the Government did not provide resources to continue implementing social harm reduction programs in the community, resulting in a sharp increase in HIV prevalence among injection drug users - from 3% in 2010 to 30% by 2015 ". Could we learn any lesson from this failure?
Dr. Nghiem Vu Khai, Member of the National Assembly, Vice President of the Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations, pointed out "There are three types of financial resources in the country: State budget, enterprises, and from the people themselves, etc. The CSOs need to work together to mobilize in order to have the appropriate mechanism to access these resources. "
Photo: Dr. Nghiem Vu Khai, Member of National Assembly, Vice President of VUSTA, deliveringthe opening speech
Dr. Hoang Dinh Canh, Deputy Director of the VAAC, shared difficulties in mobilizing state budget. "The State now has a mechanism to support peer educators working on HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment but only at 500,000 VND per month. The wage is low, therefore few people could stay longer, and it’s difficult to sustain the project. The Department has proposed several times to increase the pay to meet the minimum wage but it’s not succesful yet. "
Photo: Dr. Khuat Thi Hai Oanh, SCDI Director, in the Steering Committee of the Seminar
According to Dr. Khuat Thi Hai Oanh – SCDI Director, in the context of cutting staffing in State policy, the role of CSOs has become more important than ever. But to promote the role of these organizations, the State needs to have effective policies and mechanisms to enable CSOs to access and mobilize domestic financial resources, reducing dependance on international financial resources, therefore, the CSOs could contribute to the sustainable development of the society.
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Translation: Vân Anh