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Case study

Raising investments for local cancer care: Lessons from City Cancer Challenge’s work in health financing

Cities are complex — they have enormous potential to generate health, yet they require effective governance to meet this potential and ensure equitable access to quality health services. Cancer care offers a case in point. Many countries state a political commitment for action on cancer and (NCDs) yet national health authorities may struggle to build enabling environments for effective implementation of NCD strategies. The reasons for this stem from health systems building blocks to governance. C/Can brings a unique approach to this challenge by convening major decision makers in cities’ cancer care ecosystems to drive locally led, multi-stakeholder and multisectoral approaches for equitable, accessible, and quality cancer services.

C/Can’s work originated through funding from Access Accelerated in 2017. Over six years the success of its citybased model has catalyzed investment in local cancer care. C/Can raised over 3 million USD in 2021, and over 2 million USD in 2022.

How is C/Can raising investments to advance their work to improve local cancer care? With the organization’s nimble structure and expertise in health financing, it serves as a facilitator of last mile implementation by connecting global experts, knowledge, and funding to local stakeholders with the determination to address local needs and demands in cancer care. C/Can convenes local actors and works with them to identify key areas of growth and improvement for cancer service provision based on local evidence. C/Can then strengthens the technical capacity and global visibility of local partners’ work, making them central in developing innovative financing structures.

C/Can’s convening power plays a key role in facilitating catalyzed investments, offering a lesson on how organizations can address complex problems by leveraging different types of stakeholders. In this way, C/Can’s work also creates connective tissue, enabling the exchange of opportunities and resources from one end to the other. C/Can’s approach to health financing is not unnoticed. Global actors are increasingly paying attention. The International Finance Corporation joined forces with C/Can to identify up to four pilot cities to implement scalable cancer care projects. This partnership develops and co-funds market and pre-feasibility studies for cancer care interventions which can extend private sector investment beyond C/Can’s project cycles. New partnerships with global institutions and the private sector augment the pool of global resources that C/Can makes accessible to cities in its network. A whole-of-society approach that advances cancer care through collaboration, partnership, and local ownership is the cornerstone of the uniquely effective and sustainable model for which C/Can has earned global recognition.


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