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[afro-nets] Civil Society Skills Building Workshop

Civil Society Skills Building Workshop
Entebbe, Uganda
17-23 February 2008

Interested in access to medicines? Interested in governance, transparency and 
accountability processes? If the answer to either of those questions is yes, 
and you are working in a civil society organisation in Ghana, Uganda or 
Tanzania, an upcoming workshop in Entebbe, Uganda in February 2008 may be of 

The workshop is the first step in a two-year programme of civil society 
capacity strengthening as part of the work of the international Medicines 
Transparency Alliance (MeTA). MeTA aims to use a multi-stakeholder approach 
towards increasing transparency around the regulation, selection, procurement, 
sale, distribution and use of medicines in developing countries, thereby 
strengthening governance, encouraging responsible business practices and 
ultimately improving access to medicines, especially for the poor.

The meaningful participation of civil society in these multi-stakeholder 
activities in the countries in which the MeTA process will be launched during 
2008 is critical to the success of the process. This seven-day workshop, with a 
particular emphasis on strengthening those with the least power to engage with 
the process, will help participants:
*       feel more prepared and comfortable to engage with national policy 
processes, including the multi-stakeholder working groups envisaged by MeTA
*       acquire specific knowledge on issues related to access to medicines, in 
particular transparency, accountability and efficiency issues
*       acquire skills to promote greater transparency and accountability at 
national, district and community levels 
*       strengthen networking in their own country, and across countries
*       develop ideas on campaigns and advocacy on medicines issues for use in 
their own MeTA pilot countries.

The workshop will be participatory in nature and make use of the knowledge, 
skills and experiences of participants as a major resource throughout. Hosted 
by HEPS (, working in partnership with HERA (Health 
Research for Action: and Healthlink 
Worldwide, and fully funded by the UK Department 
for International Development (DFID ->), a 
multidisciplinary team of facilitators drawn from Uganda and other African 
countries, will be guided by Wilbert Bannenberg and Andrew Chetley acting as 
course directors. Both have more than 25 years experience of work in improving 
access to medicines and their rational use, much of it in Africa. 

The workshop will include knowledge sharing, skills development, experience 
sharing and country planning sessions each day. A mid-week field visit will 
provide participants with an opportunity for direct learning about the issues 
of transparency in the Ugandan pharmaceutical sector. Topics to be covered will 
include: an introduction to MeTA; availability, accessibility and affordability 
of medicines; medicine financing; the procurement and supply chain for 
medicines; governance, transparency and accountability - the role of civil 
society; ethical practice and the rational use of medicines. Skills that are 
likely to be covered include: monitoring prices, interpreting data, networking 
and collaboration, negotiating policies, working with media, advocacy, 
understanding policy processes, interview techniques, computer and knowledge 
management skills, documentation and effective communication.

There are a limited number of places available (7 from each of the three 
countries) for participation in the workshop. Accordingly, an application 
process will be used. Participants who are:
*       active in a reliable, active CSO or network 
*       interested in MeTA issues (medicines, health, transparency, governance, 
*       willing to write half page motivation letter, which should state how 
the participant intends to use the knowledge and skills acquired 
*       if invited to participate, willing to write one page about a project or 
campaign that they have personally been involved in, highlighting the 
significant change that occurred and why they think it was significant OR one 
page analyzing something that you think needs attention in your country, and 
why it is important to work on this in your context are invited to follow the 
following application procedure:
*       Consider whether you qualify (using the participant criteria above)
*       Notify the organizers of your interest to participate by 15 January 
2008 by email to, attach a participant form 
(see below) and motivation letter
*       The organizers will study your application, consider the participants 
mix and take a decision. They may also ask you more questions by email or phone.
*       If the organizers invite you, which will be done by 22 January 2008, 
write your one page story, attach your CV, sign a conflict of information form, 
and submit by email or fax (details for this will be sent out to you with the 

Participant form (No more than 1 page)


Name of organisation/network
Address of organisation/network
Telephone/Fax number of organisation; your home/mobile phone number (indicate 
which is preferred)
Your email address
Organisation/network website

Brief (100 word) summary about what your organisation does in relation to 
medicines, health or governance/transparency

Brief outline of major linkages your organisation has with institutions in your 
country that work on health, medicines, development or governance/transparency: 
civil society, governmental, academic, private sector

Don't forget to add an additional half-page motivational letter about how you 
would apply the learning from the workshop in your work.

Send the completed form and motivational letter to by 17.00 GMT on 15 January 2008.

If you are invited to attend the workshop, you will be notified by 22 January, 
and all travel and participation costs will be met, thanks to funding from DFID.

Please feel free to circulate this email to other civil society organisations 
or networks who you think might be interested in attending.

A second workshop for civil society organisations working in Jordan, 
Kyrgyzstan, the Philippines and Peru, will be held in the Philippines in March. 
A detailed announcement about this workshop will be circulated in early 2008.

For more info on MeTA see website

To contact the course directors directly:
Andrew Chetley, Healthlink Worldwide, 
Wilbert Bannenberg, public health consultant,

Warm regards


Shampa Nath
Head of Knowledge Sharing
Healthlink Worldwide
56-64 Leonard Street
London EC2A 4LT
Direct line: +44 20 7549 0272
Switchboard: +44 20 7549 0240

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