The Role of Civil Society in Development in Egypt

Civil society and work are two of the most important elements of any country’s development. Several non-governmental associations and organizations provide citizens with services in many fields, such as: (health care, education, and social aid). For these associations and organizations to play their role in the best possible way, they need protection and independency, through a law that protects civil work in Egypt. The Role of Civil Society in Development. Civil society is a group of people trying to intervene socially, aiming to achieve some development in society and to fill gaps the state cannot fill. Even though the efficiency of civil work in Egypt begun not so long ago, it is still one of the most essential elements for a developed country, and a quick look at any developed country is a proof. For instance, in USA, civil society is a very important partner in health care and education. The most prestigious universities around the world are civil organizations. Civil work is very important in Egypt, just as it is in any country around the world. It is well known that the developmental triangle consists of the state, private sector, and civil society. There will be no development without the role of civil society, or non-governmental organizations. The development of societies depends on the strength of civil society. All strong societies have a very strong civil society Even though civil society in Egypt is not as strong, its role is still very significant. In health sector, particularly in Egypt, the problems and weaknesses are major; hence civil society plays a role of great importance in this sector. This role includes charity hospitals providing services, organizers of these services who also try to reach a wider scale of citizens through different insurance systems. It also includes providers of direct aid such as medications, and treatments, or more serious cases that need surgery. The newest role of civil society is monitoring health services, and enabling citizens to be the drive of health care system. The role of civil society in any country is an indispensable part of the state’s journey and success. One of the most significant roles of civil society is adopting the voice of society, through direct communication with citizens within the law and legislations. Contrary to misconceptions, civil society is a bigger sector than charity work. Educational non-profit organizations are part of civil society, just as human rights, women rights, children rights, and environmental organizations. All non-governmental and non-profit organizations are a part of civil society. The size of charity sector and number of non-profit organizations aiming to provide different kinds of services in Egypt is huge. Compared to international standards this sector is not very strong; however within Egypt it is efficient and very beneficial. What we are focusing on is the project “Community Monitor of Health Service Portal”, this is one of the projects civil society is responsible for. More than 50 civil society organizations are partners in this initiative, and they work for providing a mechanism for community monitoring of health services provided by private and governmental sectors. The goal is evaluating the development of health services’ providers and hospitals, while presenting the standpoint of the citizens, or particularly patients. The achievements of “57357” have been made by the Egyptian nation. And the best way to thank the Egyptian people is to assure them that this hospital has been built to serve them, that they have built the biggest children’s cancer hospital around the world, with the best medical appliances, and that they have trained the best medical staff. Fellowship programs with universities such as Harvard prove that Egyptian doctors are excellent in their fields. This project has been ongoing for 2 years, during which we have worked in 11 governorates, starting in Upper Egypt. Now, in every governorate we have a group of evaluators, more than 80% of which are women, they are responsible for community monitoring of hospitals, they meet with officials to inform them of the problems, and cooperate with different parties in order to improve health services. Civil society is the only party capable of doing this kind of work, hence the role of civil society in such field is essential for achieving sustainable development of health care system, unlike efforts that come to an end once the funding is over. Thanks for everyone who participated in the video, and for supporting civil society in Egypt.

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