Employing ICTs for
Social Accountability in Health
COPASAH’s initiative of using Photovoice methodology for social accountability for the first time.
2) It emerged from the discussions from all states predominantly, especially from Tamil Nadu, Gujarat that community members were enthusiastic to take photos and community can handle technology, work towards generating evidences for health gaps but were not much involved in analysis, review, selection and conceptualization of photostories.
3) It discerned from all the states that as compared to traditional report cards in Community Based Monitoring the photovoices have emerged to be strong mediums of reflecting gaps in delivery of health services and health rights denials.
4) From the state of Madhya Pradesh, it came to surface that there were two different responses to use of ICT in CBM in two different contexts (districts) of Chindwada and Morena. In Morena the service providers were supportive and supported the use of evidence as presented in health level dialogues, however there was much resistance and backlash from service providers in the Chindwada district on the evidences generated using Photovoices on gaps related to health services. The practitioners highlighted that what emerged as one of the reasons besides other factors for the variance is the context of the two districts. Chindwada is dominated by Dalit communities and it is easier for the higher caste service providers to suppress the voices of the deprived, whereas Morena is dominated by higher caste people.
Positive responses to use of photostories as evidence emerged from states of Gujarat Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh as according to the practitioners it led the marginalised community to negotiate for health rights.
5). All the practitioners outlined that time constraint has been a limiign factor in the process of carrying out the initiative.
Reflections for further deliberations
COPASAH Steering Committee member, Renu Khanna who was the co-facilitator for the Day 1 Session reflected that deliberation is required on some points on use of ICT for social accountability. Practitioners need to delve on issues in the workshop
· Testimonies as share din person in Jan Samwads relative to Testimonies through films/videos or through Photos
· Practitioners need to address the question -what should be the PROTOCOLS, NORMS for resistance
· We have the hypothesis that Photovocie methodology is useful but it needs to be pulled out from the experience of using ICT for social accountability as to what is the value addition of ICT in CBM while involving local community members.
· The issue of consent also needs to be addressed.
COPASAH Secretariat coordinator, E Premdas Pinto noted that the practitioners had actively pursued the COPASAH initiative of using ICT for social accountability; however he cautioned that the idea of community should not be romanticized. It should be realized that the bottomline of the CBM is community and empowerment. It should be nuanced that who is the closest to the community i.e the grassroot worker and they should be involved in the bottom up approach of CBM.