By involving people in marginalised and rural communities in the processes that determine their health services and policies, health outcomes for those communities will be improved.
How are we helping
Supporting a project to scale up participatory structures for health service governance at the local level.
About the project
Health Poverty Action is helping civil society organisations in Kenya, Namibia and Rwanda to build their capacity to share best practices for the participation of marginalised groups in health service governance. This project is looking at the participatory structures that are already in place in three African countries – Kenya, Rwanda and Namibia – and exploring how they can be enhanced, documented, and potentially scaled up and shared with other countries.
At the moment, a Community Conversation approach is being used in Kenya, where solutions are directly sought from communities themselves through discussion sessions with community leaders and influencers, facilitated by trained moderators. In Namibia, designated Clinic Health Committees (CHCs) support dialogues with health service providers to make sure solutions are relevant, culturally appropriate and fit to meet the needs of the communities. And in Rwanda, the traditional Ubudehe social protection system sees communities – under the guidance of trained facilitators – select a priority community project from a list of options and decide collectively on actions to take.
With a grant from the Commonwealth Foundation, Health Poverty Action is helping civil society organisations in each of these countries to build their capacity to support and enhance these systems. The organisations in Namibia and Rwanda are supported in building Kenya’s Community Conversation into their systems, while also being trained in participatory methods that help them to draw inputs and contributions from communities that have previously been unable to make their voices heard on this vital aspect of their existence. In each country meetings will be held with decision makers to share their learnings on participatory methods, with the aim of embedding the on-going contributions of these under-heard communities into the fabric of their national healthcare systems.
The Commonwealth Foundation awarded a grant of up to £45,000 over 18 months for this project.
The Foundation is the Commonwealth's agency for civil society. We support people’s participation in democracy and development by providing grants, platforms for civic voices and opportunities for sharing expertise.