|Community Monitoring in Health Resources for the Practitioner|
Mechanism and Processes
C. Operational Mechanisms
The following steps may be considered integral to developing community monitoring mechanism with the active participation of marginalised communities around the domain of health:
Mobilisation and Entitlement Awareness – Marginalised communities will be mobilised around their health entitlements and lack of corresponding health services. They will take leadership in engaging with local government officials for negotiating improved health services. These will initially require the facilitation and support of a (local) NGO.
Capacity Building for Enquiry - Leaders from within the mobilised communities with the support of a facilitating NGO will develop skills in assessing the health status and health services utilised by the community, and for negotiating with local government officials on the basis of the information that they have collected.
Negotiating with Local Government Officials – The local government officials will provide space to members from the communities and their leadership to present their own experiences/and evidence about problems faced in accessing and utilising existing health services. The facilitating NGOs will support in creating such a space for dialogue.
Develop an Ongoing Process - It is not enough to collect information only once or occasionally. If the information seeking process is ongoing and regular, then it is also possible to make timely improvements in the services.
Combination of Monitoring and Planning- Representative committees should not limit itself to collecting information, but should also be involved in planning of health services at a local level.
Monitoring at Multiple Levels- While it may be possible to address or seek solutions for large number of problems in accessing quality health services at the local level, however all problems are not amenable to local solutions. It is thus necessary to link the process of community monitoring to a larger process of advocacy which allows more deeply embedded systemic issues to be address.
Collaborative Advocacy – Organisations working on health rights issues will work together for advocacy around health. Community based organisations will develop relationships with other human rights/social justice organisations and this will lead to mutual support for each other’s issues.
Forums for Accountability will fulfill their Stated Functions – When approached by Communities/their Leadership/Facilitating NGOs on issues of health service delivery established forums for accountability like Ombudsman’s office will entertain the reports. They will issue the necessary directions to practitioners and government bodies to follow the appropriate policy guidelines relating to fulfillment of health rights.