Government Partnering with Civil Society to Improve Reproductive Health in Mexico
November 4, 2020 | Perspectives | Our Work in Mexico

Karla Berdichevsky of Mexico’s Ministry of Health discusses how public and civil society partnerships are essential to achieving sexual and reproductive health goals.


Leer en español ›

Establishing strategic public and civil society partnerships is essential to achieving sexual and reproductive health goals in Mexico. Here at the National Center on Gender Equity and Reproductive Health, we are reflecting on what can make these public-civil society partnerships most fruitful in a time of competing priorities and limited resources.

In July 2019, our team at the Ministry of Health partnered with a group led by the Women & Health Initiative of Harvard’s T. H. Chan School of Public Health. They identified Mexico as a promising venue to hold a country dialogue on improving maternal health measurement capacity in order to raise awareness of the World Health Organization’s Ending Preventable Maternal Mortality Strategies. They saw an opportunity to leverage the strong public sector-civil society partnerships in reproductive and maternal health in Mexico.

The workshop was a promising example of public sector and civil society coordination. Feedback from participants helped us identify factors of this collaboration that may be relevant as we look to deepen our inter-sectoral partnerships moving forward:

  • We successfully adapted a global methodology to reflect national priorities and helped mobilize additional funds while the agenda, selection of participants and presenters, and materials were all driven by national priorities;
  • By using a participatory methodology and engaging a small diverse group of leaders from different sectors, we ensured the meaningful engagement of those affected by potential policy changes in the recommendations generated at the workshop; and
  • The methodology enabled working groups to generate and share concrete short-term recommendations. Small teams were nominated by participants to identify next steps and move the recommendations forward with the Ministry of Health. This commitment to transparency and follow up was key to arriving at a targeted ask.

The results of this participatory dialogue are more relevant than ever. The moment is timely for the launch of our new National Strategy for Eliminating Maternal Mortality, which integrates the Ending Preventable Maternal Mortality indicators and a revised national maternal mortality indicator framework. The strategy also seeks to allocate adequate resources and effective healthcare financing; applies a human rights framework to ensure that high-quality reproductive healthcare is widely available, accessible, and acceptable to all; and addresses inequities, especially for Indigenous groups. These were all principles that were reiterated during the workshop.

Our partnerships with the civil society sector will strengthen government institutions and provide accountability to citizens as implementation of the new strategy unfolds.

Stay Informed
Sign up for periodic news updates and event invitations.

Connect with us on social media or view all of our social media content in one place.

The privacy of your data is important to us. We've updated our privacy policies in response to General Data Protection Regulation.