CIVIC HEALTH EDUCATION
Civic health education on community participation and district level engagement - particularly placing emphasis on the people health rights and responsibilities and the role of communities in defining actions that address their priority health needs. HCC and HLF training manual, jointly developed by CWGH and TARSC is the backbone of this sector. The HLF manual aims to strengthen the capacity of facilitators and organizers in civic society organizations working at community, district and national level in east and southern Africa to support health literacy. Civic health education drives at empowering communities to develop understanding of health issues and capacity to act on them; using participatory methods that are used in health work. Communities share experiences on health, reflect on prevailing local health situation, take appropriate actions, and work with others, including relevant authorities to improve health.
Health literacy (HL) as a component of civic education is a process of empowering communities with relevant health information and includes the acquisition of skills necessary to translate the knowledge into action. The process will educate communities on topical health issues enabling them to be better equipped to be actively involved in health promotion and disease prevention activities. A key principle of PRA approaches is the Spiral Model (see adjacent figure) which is used to help define the PRA process. The process starts with the experiences of the communities, and then looks for patterns. After establishing patterns, there is need to add new information based on the patterns. The community will move on to strategize for action and finally act on priorities. The PRA process will after stage 5 start again at 1, and become a spiral. The need to start with the experiences of the communities and to always respect their views is always emphasised. This model ensures that participatory methods change participation levels from a level of non-participation to a level of full participation, highlighting weak forms of participation such as decorative participation.