Why participatory approaches for health systems strengthening?
In many countries around the world, people are not able to access the health services they need, which has dire implications for individuals, families, communities, and the ability of countries to meet their commitments to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being. The specific reasons why countries struggle to deliver health services effectively vary by country, within countries, and across different health issues. But many of these reasons have some roots in governance and accountability breakdowns, which are sometimes overlooked when actors focus on the technical challenges that health systems face. Our project aims to support the people and organizations who are part of health systems to address the interrelated technical and political economy problems that limit the performance of those systems and their ability to deliver health services effectively. Our approach involves providing tailored support and facilitation of a Participatory Systems Thinking Approach (PSTA) and associated cycles of collaborative action and learning. This approach builds on a growing consensus about the contribution that problem-driven cycles of action and learning can make to addressing complex challenges that have both political economy and technical aspects, and to improving the governance and functioning of such systems. At Global Integrity we believe that when this system of actors works well together, health service delivery improves. When they don’t, it doesn’t.