IDRC Project - First Progress Report
|Date added||May 20, 2015|
This project aims to identify, in two sites, one in South Africa and one in Uganda, opportunities for best practice in utilising community participation as a vehicle for realising health rights. The focus on developing models for community participation in health is intended to speak to strategies that advance health equity and strengthen governance systems for health. By testing approaches and sharing experience gained using rights-based approaches to health, we anticipate generating knowledge of relevance to other developing country contexts.
The focus of the first year has been on identifying training needs for health committees and advocacy and networking to strengthen health committees’ voice, both locally and internationally. Strong links have been built regionally and international from engagement in the People’s Health Movement’s People’s Health Assembly in July 2012. The emphasis has been on building the agency of community structures to articulate more strongly claims for health rights, with a view to proposing models for best practice. The networking and sharing of experiences has worked well in the first year, which has also concentrated on identifying and recruiting students to conduct different sub-studies. In Uganda, it was realized that there exists ignorance and lack of knowledge on the need and importance of community participation. As a result, the first contacts with the communities including district leadership have been done and a workplan for a small intervention to improve community participation in the focus districts for the subsequent years has been developed together with the communities. As the project advances, it has been realized that the communities are becoming more knowledgeable and equipped with the rights that they are entitled to specifically the right to participate meaningfully and therefore claim for such a right. Although in South Africa we have been relatively successful in having 4 students and a post-doc on the project, we are still intending to recruit a postgraduate student or post doc to focus specifically on gender in the project. In Uganda three students have been successfully recruited and one PhD candidate registered on the project.