Using Social Accountability to Improve Reproductive Health

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Experiences from India and Nigeria: Webinar Brief (COPASAH)

Reproductive health concerns – especially maternal health and family planning – have emerged as important agendas of global health programming over the past two decades. In the MDG paradigm as well as within the SDGs, maternal health remains an important target. Goal 5 explicitly includes a target of universal access to sexual and reproductive health services as a marker of gender equality. Similarly, access to contraception has received a boost through the Family Planning 2020 partnership. On the one hand there is great financial investment in improving “inputs” through capacity building, infrastructure strengthening, filling human resource gaps and so on. But on the other, quality of care, appropriateness of solutions, and respect and dignity in services remain significant challenges.

Using practical examples from India and Nigeria, a webinar on the theme Using Social Accountability to Improve Reproductive Health was held by COPASAH on June 28, 2018. The webinar saw participation from different parts of the globe, including Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, Macedonia and India. The webinar began with a context to Social Accountability (SA) and SA in the domain of Reproductive Health, which was laid out by Dr. Abhijit Das, COPASAH Convener. Following the background context, experiences of practices of SA from India and Nigeria were shared by different speakers. Dr. Sana Contractor, CHSJ; India shared experiences of Family Planning related practices in India. Dr. Aminu Garba, founder Africa Health Budget Network (AHBN), Nigeria shared the experiences of budget monitoring in Family Planning. Sandhya Y K, SAHAYOG India shared the insights from the experience of monitoring informal fees for maternal health in India. While Dr. Fatima Adamu, Women for Health, Nigeria deliberated the gendered dimension of accountability and health workforce in Nigeria. The webinar saw presentations and discussions on how community-led, women-centred social accountability approaches can help to address some of the challenges. Moving away from a top-down, efficiency driven model of accountability, the webinar provided  insights into experiences with using multi-level, iterative, political mobilization of communities to improve maternal health, especially for the most marginalized.

For more details on the theme of the webinar, speakers deliberations and reflections and discussions with the participants, please see the recording of the webinar.

The recording of the Webinar can be accessed on https://www.copasah.net/accountability-dialogue-7.html

And on

Youtube Direct Link – https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=127&v=CS0RVWZCUAY

About COPASAH

The Webinar was held by the Communication hub of COPASAH. Community of Practitioners on Accountability and Social Action in Health (COPASAH) is global network of practitioners from global South sharing a community centric vision and human rights based approach to health, health care and human dignity. (www.copasah.net) The Global Secretariat of COPASAH as well the Communication Hub is currently hosted by Centre for Health and Social Justice (CHSJ), New –Delhi.