On 9-10 July the WHO South East Asia Regional Office (WHO SEARO) and the NCD Alliance hosted the first-ever regional meeting for NCD civil society, bringing together 95 participants from 9 of the 11 SEAR countries. This included 70 representatives from civil society organisations (CSOs) from the region as well as representatives of the NCD Alliance, and WHO staff from SEAR country and regional offices.
The meeting provided an opportunity to strengthen the civil society movement in the region by sharing experiences, reviewing CSOs' capacity and fostering national and regional alliances to drive advocacy, policy and accountability. Ahead of the event, the NCD Alliance commissioned a background paper mapping SEAR CSOs, which has now been published on the WHO SEARO website.
Engaging in focused group work and lively plenary discussions, meeting participants jointly developed a set of seven SEAR CSO priorities for joint action and follow-up. A meeting report including these regional priorities and recommendations for follow-up will be made available by the end of August. Meeting outcomes will inform the Global NCD Alliance Forum in November in Sharjah, UAE.