Advocacy & Campaign

Budget Advocacy Work in Orissa and Madhya Pradesh

State Level Consultation on Health Sector Budget in Odisha at Redcross Bhawan in Bhubaneswar on February 7, 2011

Giving the significance of forthcoming budget section in Orissa, CEHAT along with NSA, JSA, BGVS and PRAYOG under the banner of “Odisha Budget Solidarity” came together on February 7, 2011 at Red Cross Bhavan & spoke about the fiscal governance, its poor management, and express their apprehension about and opaqueness in the way the economic governance in Orissa. The Consultation ended with the formation of Citizen’s Charter of Demand for the forthcoming budget 2011-12. Based on the outcome of the discourse, Odisha Budget Solidarity agreed to submit to the legislators, different standing Committee Members & other line Departments to carry forward the debate among the larger public domain on prioritizing the needs of the poor with regard to resource allocation and spending of the State... Report and News Coverage…

State level Training programme on "Health Budget Analysis at District Level Governance" on 27-28 December 2009

A training programme was organised on 27th and 28th December 2009 at Brainstain Conference Hall, Bhubaneswar to orient and train activists from civil society and members of the media community on “Health Budget Analysis at District Level Governance”. The training organised by Network for Social Accountability (NSA), Jan Swasthya Abhiyan (JSA)-Orissa and Centre for Enquiry into Health and Allied Themes (CEHAT) was attended by more than 40 activists from 14 districts across the State of Orissa. The training workshop was a part of an ongoing process of forming a vibrant civil society group called “Orissa Budget Solidarity” to hold the government accountable towards the developmental needs of the people of Orissa.

In February 2009, NSA and JSA in partnership with CEHAT organised a path-breaking state convention for preparing a People's Charter of Demand on public health budget in Orissa which was followed up with a widespread campaign to demand Mobile Health Units for all 314 administrative blocks in the State. Subsequently, the Government of Orissa announced its intentions to increase the number of mobile health units in the state. Although, some achievements have been made towards registering people's aspirations in public policies through consistent efforts of NSA and its partners across the state, much remains to be done in terms of implementations of policies. Network for Social Accountability (NSA) and other progressive forces of civil society activism such as Jan Swasthya Abhiyan and national level resource centres like CEHAT have joined hands to wage a continuous battle for removing structural bottlenecks and ensuring people's participation in health sector policy making and implementation. No doubt, there have been some earlier efforts by several groups both from civil society and academia in building a solid ground on budget analysis at state level governance from the perspectives of the poor and the marginalised. But, district level budget tracking still remains an unexplored area. The recent training programme was a move forward in that direction that aims to bring together district level activists towards civil society budget work and facilitate a process of tracking budgets at the district and state level in a much democratic manner.

State Level Convention on Health Sector Budget in Orissa: Demands for a Change

The public health scenario in Orissa is facing significant challenges of poor infrastructure, lack of human resources and acute government apathy. As a result, the poor and the marginalized sections of our society are going through difficult phases of pain and suffering. The process of neoliberal onslaught has aggravated this situation in last two decades. The latest Economic Survey highlighted some of the glaring deficits in the health sector situation in the State including severe incidences of infant & maternal mortality and malaria deaths in the state. Even common diseases like diarrhea and cholera take a tool of innocent lives every year. Under the influence of neoliberal policies, there has been a major rise in the number of private health facilities that are typically out of the reach of the masses. The new found dependence on the Centrally Sponsored Schemes has also marred the State run machinery in making provisions for the poor.

On 10th June 2009 the hundreds of Civil Society Groups (CSOs) from across the state came together to discuss the problems related to health sector in Orissa and prepared a Charter of Demands on Health Sector Budget for advocacy with the state government in the backdrop of the ongoing Budget Session in the State Assembly.

THe State level convention was jointly organized by Mumbai based organisation CEHAT, Human Rights Law Network (HRLN)- Bhubaneswar, Bharat Gyan Bigyan Samiti (BGVS) Bhubaneswar and Network for Social Accountability (NSA)-Bhubaneswar.Read more