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Assessing participation in a community-based health planning and services programme in Ghana

Baatiema, Leonard, Skovdal, Morten, Rifkin, Susan and Campbell, Catherine (2013) Assessing participation in a community-based health planning and services programme in Ghana. BMC Health Services Research, 13 (1). p. 233. ISSN 1472-6963

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Abstract

Background Community participation is increasingly seen as a pre-requisite for successful health service uptake. It is notoriously difficult to assess participation and little has been done to advance tools for the assessment of community participation. In this paper we illustrate an approach that combines a 'social psychology of participation' (theory) with 'spider-grams' (method) to assess participation and apply it to a Community-based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) programme in rural Ghana. Methods We draw on data from 17 individual in-depth interviews, two focus group discussions and a community conversation with a mix of service users, providers and community health committee members. It was during the community conversation that stakeholders collectively evaluated community participation in the CHPS programme and drew up a spider-gram. Results Thematic analysis of our data shows that participation was sustained through the recognition and use of community resources, CHPS integration with pre-existing community structures, and alignment of CHPS services with community interests. However, male dominance and didactic community leadership and management styles undermined real opportunities for broad-based community empowerment, particularly of women, young people and marginalised men. Conclusion We conclude that combining the 'spider-gram' tool and the 'social psychology of participation' framework provide health professionals with a useful starting point for assessing community participation and developing recommendations for more participatory and empowering health care programmes.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://www.biomedcentral.com/
Additional Information: © 2013 The Authors
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Sets: Departments > Social Psychology
Research centres and groups > LSE Health
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Date Deposited: 01 Jul 2013 14:33
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/50982/

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