Capacity Building for health System Engagement with a Sexual & Reproductive Health Rights and Accountability Perspective
In August 2017, Centre for Health and Social Justice (CHSJ) undertook the task of capacity building of mid-level leaders in partner organisations of National Foundation of India (NFI) engaged in innovative interventions of reproductive and sexual health among young people in six states of India – Assam, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan. Two rounds of training interspersed with field work and evidence gathering were conducted with the following objectives:
1. To build capacities and perspectives of participants on key issues related to maternal and reproductive health in a rights framework.
2. To orient the participants on the health system with specific focus on maternal and reproductive health provisions.
3. To introduce the concept of Social Accountability in Health with a focus on community based enquiry.
Workshop on Health System Engagement for Advancing Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights
1st Training 28th-31st August 2017 USO House, New Delhi
The first training was conducted from 28-31st August 2017 in New Delhi which saw a participation of 17 participants from 8 states. Since these participants had been primarily working with youth on gender and sexuality issues it was important to orient them on the foundational concepts of maternal, reproductive and adolescent health with health as human rights perspective in mind. This was followed by focused thematic sessions on maternal health, access to contraception, safe abortion and adolescent health with their policy framework and related entitlements.
Small group discussions were used as part of methodology to deliberate on case studies which helped the participants to understand the issues related to each theme and also the related socio cultural determinants and gaps in the health system functioning.
As part of the learning about health system engagement an exposure visit to All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Hospital was organized for the participants which gave them an insight into the working of a tertiary care hospital especially the Trauma Centre which is unique in its functioning in the country. This was followed by a session with a senior doctor who talked about the specialized health services offered by the hospital, efforts taken to streamline the patient load and also the challenges faced by the institution. He also spoke in brief about the Good Samaritarian Law related to road safety and Organ Donation which garnered a lot of interest from the participants.
The last day of the training was dedicated towards understanding the concept of social accountability in health where orientation to community based monitoring process was done using examples from the field. The participants were then introduced to the different tools to be used for data gathering and each tool was discussed in small groups. This was followed by preparing a plan of action by each organization for the activities to be undertaken by them in their field area which involved visiting the health centres, interviewing the frontline health providers and group discussions with women.
2nd Training 12th-15th December 2017 Don Bosco Institute, Guwahati
The second training was conducted from 12th-15th December 2017 in Guwahati which saw a participation of 15 participants from 8 states. These were the same participants who were a part of the 1st training and data gathering in the field.
On the first day each organization made a presentation about their experiences of the health system and services based on their field visits in the past few months. This exercise of data gathering in the field had helped each of them to get a sense of the maternal and reproductive health status in their work area and also the gaps in the health service delivery. The presentation was followed by orientation of the participants to the basics of advocacy i.e. concept, process, importance etc.
On the second day an exposure visit to the SMK Civil Hospital of Nalbari district was done which helped the participants to learn about the structure and functioning of the District Hospital along with the healthcare services it offers. A group session with the Joint Director, Distirct TB Officer and Hospital Administrator provided an opportunity to the participants to ask questions to clarify their doubts and also learn about the various internal as well as external challenges faced by the institution while providing services. This interaction also helped them to understand the gaps in the functioning of the health centre in their own working area thereby developing a strategy to engage with the health system at their local level.
On the third and fourth day the participants revisited the Community Monitoring Process and learnt how to review the data collected and convert it to score cards to be used for advocacy at various levels. They were also oriented on writing skills to develop other supporting documentation such as case studies, testimonies, memorandums and press release. The participants practiced writing case study, memorandum and press release based on the information from their field data collection and presented it to the larger group wherein feedback was given for improvement. This was followed by understanding the use of evidence for advocacy through role play by participants on ‘Organising Public Dialogue’ at the community level, PHC Level and at the policy holder level.
The training ended with a future plan of action and feedback session by the particpants.
Reading Material -English
Reading Material -Hindi