Citizen Engagement in Health Service Delivery: Exploring Approaches and Outcomes

DATE: Thursday, November 3, 2016
TIME: 12:30 – 2:00pm
LOCATION: OpenGov Hub, 1110 Vermont Ave NW, Washington, DC 20005 (RSVP for entry into the building)

A light lunch will be served.

Richard Stern
President, Partnership for Transparency Fund

Judith Edstrom
Adviser, Partnership for Transparency Fund

Kenneth Sklaw
Senior Capacity Building Advisor, Systems and Program Sustainability Division, Office of HIV-AIDS, USAID

Shomikho Raha
Senior Public Sector Governance Specialist, Governance Global Practice, World Bank

The inclusion of citizen engagement in the health sector is based on the premise that giving citizens a voice will help ensure that programs are tailored to their needs, will build a greater sense of ownership by the community, and will make service delivery more accountable. All of these are expected to contribute to more effective service delivery.

What constitutes citizen engagement in health service delivery? Is there a difference between ‘engaging citizens’ and ‘citizen engagement’ in the health context? Health service providers, including volunteers at community level, have generally sought to “engage” or educate citizens in some manner to promote healthy behaviors, whether by talking at them or with them. However, “citizen engagement” conveys a somewhat more structured, often collective, exchange aimed at given citizens a greater stake in decision-making and outcomes.

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And what does the evidence tell has about the impact of single or multiple citizen engagement instruments on health service delivery and health outcomes? What factors contribute to successful interventions, and in what circumstances?

This seminar sponsored by PTF brings together practitioners from both the health and social accountability fields to explore the above questions. To provide an overview, Judith Edstrom, a PTF Advisor who led a recent PTF consultancy to Management Sciences for Health (MSH) to investigate these issues through country-based case studies, will present findings from a review of citizen engagement in health service delivery that she prepared as background analysis for the assignment. Kenneth Sklaw, Senior Capacity Building Advisor of the Systems and Program Sustainability Division in the Office of HIV-AIDS of USAID will share USAID experience and innovations in engaging citizens in health service delivery. Shomikho Raha, Senior Public Sector Governance Specialist in the Governance Global Practice at the World Bank, will discuss findings from his analytical work on citizen engagement and social accountability in delivery of health services.

A light lunch will be served.

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Speaker Bios

Richard Stern became President of PTF in January 2014. Richard is a retiree from the World Bank where he worked for 30 years. His positions included Vice President of Human Resources, Director for Energy, Industry, Telecommunications and Mining, managing the Bank’s finance and energy programs in China, and it’s program in Indonesia and working as an economist on East Africa. Prior to working with the World Bank, Richard worked as a UN volunteer in Ethiopia. Richard has a Master’s degree in development economics from the University of Sussex. Since leaving the World Bank Richard has worked on a number of consulting assignments including small enterprises in Africa, the development challenges of small states and clean energy. He has also been active in several private infrastructure initiatives.

Judith Edstrom is an independent consultant in social development and governance and an adviser to the Partnership for Transparency Fund, where she leads its health working group. Recent consultancies to MSH and the World Bank focus on engaging citizens in health service delivery; civil society involvement in World Bank projects in Africa; and social accountability and governance. Her most recent overseas assignment, with RTI International, was in Indonesia where she was chief of party of the largest USAID governance project outside Iraq, aimed at strengthening accountability and effectiveness of government in local jurisdictions across Indonesia. Prior to that, she held a range of positions of leadership, advocacy and analysis at the World Bank over a 25-year career, including as sector manager of the social development department and chief of the World Bank office in South Africa.

Kenneth Sklaw has worked for donors, NGOs and private organizations over the last twenty years with the common thread being his support for civil society and community-based organizations. As manager, funder and technical advisor to NGOs and projects supporting NGOs, Ken has become known as an expert in the field and strong advocate for civil society; promoting their roles as implementers, coordinators and advocates for their communities. More recently, Ken has been involved in support of a civil society governance platform, supporting civil society as advocates for improved service delivery. Ken has worked across several technical areas, but has been working in the field of HIV/AIDS for the past 20 years and has seen civil society go from groups supporting dignity in death to groups supporting long-term adherence to ARVs.

Shomikho Raha is a Senior Public Sector Governance Specialist in the Governance Global Practice of the World Bank. He has been a senior adviser to the Asia Foundation, worked for the Government of India and as a Governance Adviser for DFID, covering reform of public administration and public services in health, education and water-sanitation. His work relates to the political economy of public policy reform, human resource management for organizational performance and transparency and accountability initiatives. Shomikho has published peer-reviewed articles, book chapters and policy reports, which include co-authoring the World Bank flagship publication “Opening the Black Box: The Contextual Drivers of Social Accountability.”