|Community of Practitioners on Accountability and Social Action in Health||
Editorial COPASAH Communiqué (Issue 12)
Dr. Abhijit Das, Director, Centre for Health and Social Justice ,
Welcome to the 12 issue of the COPASAH Communique. The month of September saw the formal adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) by the global community. For the next fifteen years, the 17 SDGs will set the global development agenda and its targets where the development indicators will constitute the milestones and roadmap towards sustainable development. There has been a considerable buzz around the SDGs, where many are quick to point out that unlike the Millennium Development Goal (MDG)s these have been developed through a much wider consultative process, with the full participation of the UN member states. This optimism is necessary, because many countries have not been completely successful in meeting their stated goals. This gap was particularly evident for the three health related goals. In the case of maternal health, only a small handful of countries were successful in achieving the health goals.
The setting of a new global development and anti-poverty agenda is an important step forward. It is important because this agenda also includes issues that need the ‘developed’ nations to take action. Action on sustainable use of forests and ecosystems, conservation and sustainable use of oceans, action to combat climate change or sustainable production and consumption patterns also require the rich nations of the world to introspect and take action on different fronts. However, all these ambitious goals will remain on paper without a robust accountability system. While the goals are global, the accountability action needs to be grounded. It needs to start from the point of state action as a facilitator and protector of human rights and move up to the global platforms of international accountability. This requires the development of a vigilant global civil society and citizenship. A learning platform like COPASAH is important in building knowledge and capacity in such vigilance processes, and hopefully we will all be able to work together to increase the relevance of this work.
This issue of COPASAH communiqué provides a radical departure from our earlier issues. COPASAH is committed to strengthen and highlight the knowledge and practice of the practitioner. We have often felt that the more we work in Global languages like English we move further away from the grassroots. We have been trying to find ways through which we can help practitioners tell their own stories. We had developed one issue of our newsletter through picture stories, and taking this process forward we have developed this issue entirely through videos. We believe videos can allow us to bring the immediacy of field issues closer to the viewer/reader. It can allow the practitioner communicate their own in their own language. Through COPASAH we are training practitioners to use low-cost video technology that is becoming increasingly available to strengthen their documentation processes towards accountability as well as knowledge production. This newsletter brings together examples of both from regions as diverse as Africa, Central Europe and South Asia. We hope that you will not only find the stories more vivid, but be inspired to try out this new technology in your work. We remain keen to learn about your experiences, so don’t hesitate to write to us.