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APHA Scientific Session and Event Listing

Governance and health rights engagement: How to better listen "voice"

Ariel Frisancho, MSc, MD, CARE Peru, General Santa Cruz 659, Jesus Maria, Lima, Peru, + 51 1 4235842, afrisanchoarroyo@yahoo.es

It is generally agreed that social public policies have a paramount importance for the complete realization of health rights. At the same time, increasing understanding grows on the role of participation as a principle that contributes to more inclusive social policies, oriented to health rights realization.

Since 2004 a Peruvian Health Rights project has developed capacity building for strengthening citizen participation for analysis and decision-making in health actions. Moreover, the project has contributed to bring “the voice of the poor” to the policy design and public debate process through regional meetings for the construction of health policy proposals with a bottom – up approach, strengthening local civil society networks and public policy dialogues at five regions of Perú. Project also supports Bi-annual National Health Conferences, organized with Peruvian ForoSalud, a major civil society network, where nearly 3000 nation-wide delegates discuss and present health policy proposals with a rights-based approach to the National Health Authorities.

However, the analysis highlights that strengthening “voice” is not enough to strengthen governance: mechanisms for dialogue and capacities for both state and people are needed for “voice” to be effectively heard.

Project experience draws on the Peruvian Ministry of Health efforts to develop institutional capacities to fulfill its obligations on health rights and to prioritize organizational steps and strategies to follow when implementing right-based approaches. Presenting the project experience would also contribute with the analysis of conditions and factors that could influence the success of participatory spaces for strengthening both governance and rights engagement.

Learning Objectives:

  • At the conclusion of the session, the participant (learner) in this session will be able to