National Consultation for Inputs on Developing a Curriculum on Health Rights Advocacy for Organisations Working with Marginalised Communities
Delhi, 21st April 2014
Context: National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) was introduced in 2005 as a major programme to strengthen the healthcare system in India. It also articulated health rights and entitlements while providing a major role for the communities to engage in the process of the realisation of health rights through communitization. A number of public health and human rights organisations such as CHSJ, SATHI, SAHAYOG, SAHAJ and others have effectively used this process to catalyse community participation for effective health rights advocacy. It has been now acknowledged that community monitoring is an important process for leveraging community’s participation in the advocacy for health rights of the marginalised communities. This advocacy can range from community level process to those at the state level for the realisation of health rights and entitlements. Despite of the very successful experiments of deep engagement with the public health system in some of the states in India, the marginalised communities especially in some states such as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa and West Bengal have shared experiences of denial and discrimination in accessing health care services. They have expressed the need for support in building health advocacy process and a capacity building for the same. Centre for Health and Social Justice (CHSJ) is offering technical support to Poor Areas Civil Society (PACS) which is financially supporting number of organisations working with disadvantaged communities in these states. The technical support is primarily aimed at building capacity of these organisations to initiate health rights advocacy at their community level and link them up to other campaigns at various levels to strengthen the existing advocacy campaigns. Many of these organisations in the said states are already partners in number of the known campaigns such as Jan Swasthya Abhiyan, National Alliance for Maternal Health and Human Rights (NAMHHR) and Maternal Health Rights Campaign (MHRC). Having been part of the collective efforts of using community based monitoring (CBM) processes and methodologies for advocacy in the country, we feel that it is important to learn from the experiences of engaging with such processes for CBM to be used as an effective tool for health rights advocacy. There is a need to adapt and simplify these processes and develop an advocacy framework so that many community level organisations can be enabled to engage with this process through capacity building for effective advocacy. Towards this end, one day of national consultation is organised in Delhi at Centre for Health and Social Justice with the following objectives:
To learn from the experiences of using CBM as a methodology for health advocacy especially in the context of the marginalised communities.
To explore the framework on developing the curriculum for advocacy on social inclusion and health rights for the organisations working with marginalised communities.
Explorations at the national consultations will be around the following questions:
Advocacy Framework: What can we learn from the intensive experience of advocacies for health rights towards integrating learnings from such processes within the work of the organisations who are working with a primary focus on rights of the socially excluded communities?
Core content: What would be the core minimum content (subject matter) that is required for such activists as perspectives, knowledge components and skills for CBM and health advocacy?
Methodologies and processes: What would be the simpler and effective methodologies of capacity building of community level workers in CBM and health advocacy processes