‘Voice needs teeth to have bite’! Strengthening social accountability in health systems through participatory learning and action
In November, we engaged with colleagues in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Amsterdam and at the University of Ghana. Drawing on political scientist Johnathan Fox’s work on citizen voice, we delivered a learning session to build understanding of and skills in approaches to strategically advance social accountability in health systems. We explored embedding participatory and cooperative learning and action in health systems to improve care and outcomes, and progress broader shifts towards ‘state-society synergies’.
There were interactive talks on core concepts followed by a discursive case study, drawing in participant experiences and knowledge. Content was consolidated in a plenary review on application of theory raising citizen voice and capacity of states to respond through embedded participatory and cooperative action learning.
There were 4 learning objectives:
Understand participatory and cooperative learning as intrinsic to strategic social accountability
Identify influences on and for social accountability arising from social, political and health systems contexts
Develop shared understandings of key processes for participatory learning and action building social accountability in health systems
Relate and draw connections between case examples building social accountability, participation and cooperative learning into local practice