Who we are
The Regional Malaria CSO Platform in the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) was established in 2014 with the initiative of Louis Da Gama and Promboon Panitchpakdi, CSO representatives the RAI RSC (2014-2017) to fill the gap of coordination and communication at the national and regional level. It is also aimed to address an issue of malaria vulnerable and at-risk population who are always not the priority for the countries due to their legal status or nature of work. To date, the platform has been able to create a network with more than 50 CSOs, CBOs and community network at national and regional level.
The Regional Malaria CSO Platform in the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) is a network of Civil Society Organizations (CSO) from the Global Fund RAI implementing countries: Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Lao PDR and Vietnam. The Platform serves as the CSO consultation mechanism for the RAI and RAI2E RSC CSO member.
CSOs have played and are playing a crucial role in malaria control and elimination in the GMS, especially in providing services to remote and hard-to-reach communities where governments have limited access and capacity to reach out for providing services. As the malaria burden in the GMS is increasingly concentrated along borders and forested areas, CSOs have built unique relationships of trust with the affected communities, many of which are mobile and migrant populations (documented and undocumented), illegal workers and marginalized groups allowing CSOs the opportunity to provide essential health services. Eliminating malaria needs greater coordination and collaboration as well as harmonization of activities on both side of the borders.
Community health workers (CHWs) have unique field-level insight making their contribution essential to ongoing to national and regional policy dialogue (e.g. around their unique role including integrated community case management). CSOs can also contribute to health system strengthening by advocating for greater financing and human resources support, and by engaging the private sector to increase the capacity of CHW creating strong community systems. The platform also help build engagement among the CSOs in national responses and Global Fund country governance processes (e.g. national Country Coordinating Mechanisms).
What we do
The Regional Malaria CSO platform plays a key role in advocacy, communication and community engagement through different activities, for example, meetings, consultations, site visit, connecting CSOs for the technical assistance, and developing capacity in malaria grant implementation. The Platform provides a common space to all CSOs from the GMS that are working on malaria or working with malaria vulnerable and affected communities through other development programs (e.g. for education, human rights, and other health services).
The Regional Malaria CSO Platform is essential to document and share best practices, challenges and lesson learned in CSO engagement. Improved coordination between CSOs and government programs is important for better planning and collaborative work. The Platform supports CSOs and communities to understand different pathways for access to services and avoid unnecessary legal and policy barriers, discrimination, and stigma by reaching out directly to organization and networks that provide services and managed and run by the community.
- To provide an enabling environment for civil society actors to deliver and advocate for the delivery of adequate services to affected communities currently beyond the reach of mainstream services.
- To ensure a strong ‘last-mile’ response in national and regional elimination programs, thus safeguarding the Global Fund return on investment, and progressing elimination in the hard to reach areas and populations.
- To improve the coordination of CSO actors at all levels, NGO, Ethnic Health Organizations and National Programs and link them with the networks in the GMS region.
- To improve the technical capacity of CSO actors, where they sit outside the capacity building systems of national governments (peer support and formal training).
- To ensure a strong program focus on strengthened community systems through engagement with malaria volunteers (VMW/VHW/MMW/MMV/CHV).
- To bring the unique insight of CSO organizations to malaria elimination efforts, and in doing so, provide a voice to affected communities.
- Envision the forward-looking role of CSOs within the Health security agenda.
How Regional Malaria CSO platform works
The Regional Malaria CSO Platform leverages existing CSO networks in each RAI2E implementing country through three main structures; the Project Advisory Team, the Steering Committee and the broader CSO community. These mechanisms also work closely with the RAI2E Regional Steering Committee (RSC) to ensure CSOs remain engaged in all decision making levels (country, regional and global).
The Project Advisory Team consists of one CSO focal person from each country, who facilitates the country level coordination and information sharing to the Regional CSO Platform. Their role is also to provide guidance and oversight to the Platform Secretariat.
The Steering Committee is the main decision making body of the Platform. It consists of 3 CSO members from each RAI2E country, elected by each national network, who collaborate on technical aspects of malaria elimination activities and coordinate regional work which meets the needs of each country and affected community.
The broader CSO community is consulted and engaged in all regional activities through the national networks. Their role is to share the voice of communities, and learn from others’ experiences and evidence to improve efficiency and effectiveness of malaria elimination activities.
Who can be the network of malaria platform
Any non-governmental organization (NGO, INGO, CBO and networks) working in Malaria or for at-risk populations in the Greater Mekong Sub-region countries can be the network member of the platform.
The CSO platform helps all CSOs working in malaria or with the at-risk populations to raise their issues. Being a part of Platform’s network, you will have the opportunity to contribute to national and regional dialogue related to RAI2E. You will also be able to share challenges, issues and best practices from your countries with the regional CSO platform for advocacy.