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October 2019

In October, three members of the ARC team (director Jonathan Fox, managing director Angela Bailey and American University School of International Service (SIS) faculty and ARC affiliate Adam Auerbach) were in India for the COPASAH Global Symposium on Citizenship, Governance and Accountability in Health. After the conference, ARC advisor Dr. Anuradha Joshi joined on visits to multiple partner organizations in Maharastra and Telangana States.
COPASAH Advancing Action for Health Accountability

The Community of Practitioners for Social Accountability in Health (@COPASAH) hosted the Global Symposium on Citizenship, Governance and Accountability in Health in New Delhi, India from October 15-18, 2019. The convening attracted hundreds of practitioners from 40 countries, primarily from the global south, for broad ranging discussions on key themes:
  1. Community action in governance and accountability for health systems strengthening
  2. Improving access to quality health services for indigenous, excluded, and vulnerable communities and those in fragile contexts
  3. Advancing the agenda for sexual and reproductive health rights
  4. Setting the framework and agenda for people-centered accountability of private health care actors
  5. Forging alliances between community members and health care workers
ARC director Jonathan Fox, managing director Angela Bailey, American University School of International Service (SIS) faculty and ARC affiliate Adam Auerbach, representatives of many ARC partner organizations, and several advisors to ARC joined this impressive convening of activists, movement builders and researchers advancing public accountability for the full right to healthcare.
Panelists discussing the location of health care workers and the interface of the health system and the community. Two panelists – Ms. Neelam Jatav and Ms. Martha Ghosh – grounded the discussion in experiences of India’s community-based health workers. Ms. Sarah Ngoma of the People’s Health Movement and a health workers’ union in Zambia provided a perspective from southern Africa. This all-woman panel reflected deeply on gender imbalances in the health workforce, with managerial positions dominated by men. October 2019.  
Wilson Asibu of Country Minders for People’s Development (CMPD) and member of the Regional Network for Equity in Health in Eastern and Southern Africa (EQUINET) presents a health map of a community in Malawi. Community Health Workers are active in poor neighborhoods but are under-trained, under-resourced, and not prioritized in government policy. October 2019.
SATHI’s Multi-Sector Social Audits in Maharastra State, India  

Maharastra-based health rights organization Support for Advocacy and Training to Health Initiatives (SATHI) is piloting a multi-sector social audit approach in 30 villages in Maharastra State, India. This approach builds on their work since 2007 on Community Based Monitoring and Planning (CBMP) initiatives under India’s National Rural Health mission. A small ARC delegation visited SATHI and their collaborators after the COPASAH symposium to learn more about working with communities whose accountability agendas include health and other government schemes and programs. SATHI and collaborators have learned a great deal in the pilot, and have even seen the emergence of federations of village-level social audit groups working to address issues at levels above the village. For more emerging learning, download SATHI’s September 2019 publication "Social Audit of Public Services: People's Initiative to Make Public Systems Accountable.“
Social Audit of Public Services:
People's Initiative to Make Public Systems Accountable

September 2019
Some community members who participated in the multi-sector social audits shared experiences in monitoring and advocacy, with a focus on the health sub-center which services 5 area villages. Beed district, Maharastra. October 2019.
Community participants in social audits sharing reflections from an earlier public hearing with government officials which surfaced a variety of issues related to delivery of government health and agriculture programs. Beed district, Maharastra. October 2019.
State-led Social Audits in Telangana State, India

Society for Social Audit, Accountability and Transparency (@SSAATTelangana) is an independent parastatal agency set up by the Indian state Government of Telangana. In partnership with social activists and government, SSAAT promotes the empowerment of rural communities directly benefiting from anti-poverty programs to minimize waste of public funds. Two ARC partners -- SSAAT and Factly (a data journalism/public information initiative that works on opening and communicating public data) -- are in dialogue with the National Institute of Rural Development & Panchayati Raj Centre for Social Audit to leverage data analytics and qualitative learning from the operationalization of multiple Indian State governments’ social audit units.  An ARC delegation visited SSAAT and observed some processes of the social audit of the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme designed to serve children, pregnant women and lactating mothers.
Three members of SSAAT social audit team (left) leading discussion on health and nutrition program entitlements during a house to house visit in Telangana. Household members (right) also provide feedback on what they know about the government program and what they have received. October 2019.
Two SSAAT social auditors (standing, right) present findings about health and nutrition program delivery to both community members and government (anganwadi) workers who manage local care for pregnant women, children and lactating mothers. October 2019.
Coming Up: Find us at GPSA 2019!

The November 19-21, 2019 Global Partnership for Social Accountability Partners Forum with a focus on Social Accountability and the Challenge of Inclusion is just around the corner. ARC’s new Research Professor Dr. Naomi Hossain (@nomhossain) will be on a panel "Accountability Tactics in Fragile Settings," exploring what changing civic space means for social and political action for accountability in fragile and conflict-affected settings. This session draws from the Institute for Development Studies' Action for Empowerment and Accountability (A4EA) work. We hope to see you there!
Please share with colleagues who may be interested to sign up for future monthly updates on publications and highlights of our partner organizations’ work for social change and greater accountability. Those who prefer can also follow ARC on Twitter (@AcctResearchCtr) or Facebook
With Regards,
Jonathan Fox
Director, Accountability Research Center
Professor, American University School of International Service
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