In October 2016, 35 activists and advocates from around the world met in the city of Amsterdam to discuss the need for coordinated advocacy, capacity building and communications efforts to address the funding crisis in middle income countries, in the light of the current rapid withdrawal of international donor funding for the HIV/TB and malaria responses. What followed was the development of an action plan and the birth of a solidarity movement in support to countries and populations that are being most affected. The concept of a Civil Society Sustainability Network (CSSN) was developed with the idea of having a civil society-owned group of experts to advocate for and support a medium and long-term sustainability of HIV- and TB-related programming for civil society and key and vulnerable populations.
In order to progress the idea of CSSN forward, between March-June 2017, International Civil Society Support conducted a consultative process that reached out to participants that attended the Amsterdam 2016 meeting and other civil society activists. This process asked for more detail feedback in order to determine profile, roles and tasks of the core team of CS advocates that will steer CSSN and ultimately identify ideal candidates for the core team. Furthermore, the consultation also aimed to gain more understanding of the type of communication and coordination platform or central internal communications mechanism that will be needed as part of an effective communications strategy for the CSSN. This strategic framework is a result of these series of consultation processes that ultimately form the identity, role and mandate of CSSN.