Strengthening Community Participation in Health (SCPH)
Zimbabwe’s maternal death rate dropped by 36% since 2009, but despite the progress over the past 5 years, it remains one of the highest in the world at 525 maternal deaths per 100 000 live births and 86 child deaths per 1000 live births. It is against this background that CWGH in partnership with Save the Children are implementing a 3 year project on Strengthening Community Participation in Health (SCPH) project. The project is in 21 districts across eight provinces in Zimbabwe, with support from DFID and EC.
The SCPH project aims to strengthen community engagement in health planning and service provision, with special emphasis on improving Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) services. Through revitalizing Health Centre Committees (HCC’s) and strengthening community feedback mechanisms, the project has already achieved a positive impact on the quality and outcomes of MNCH services in the select provinces. The project’s key activities also contribute to national level advocacy to meet Results Based Financing (RBF) targets for MNCH in Zimbabwe.
Beneficiaries of the project include; directly and indirectly; pregnant women, children under 5 years, HCCs/Community Monitors (CMs), Village Health Workers (VWHs)/Health Literacy Facilitators (HLFs), Health Workers and the general community through layered advocacy efforts which depend on issues coming out from the communities. The community level cadres have received comprehensive training to effectively use the set-up community feedback mechanism.
The project is rooted in the Theory of Change which targets notable improvements in the delivery of MNCH services in Zimbabwe through the achievement of four key results that follow a logical cycle:
Result 1 will seek to raise the awareness of local communities to their rights and entitlement to health care. This result incorporates a strong communications focus and seeks to raise community knowledge and understanding of their rights and to initiate a culture of challenge to the status quo, rather than acceptance of poor standards and bad practices.
Result 2 focuses on building the demand amongst communities for greater accountability through stronger and greater numbers of CHCs, use of community score cards and feedback mechanisms.
Result 3 will build on this community capacity to engage with health providers and duty bearers to use feedback mechanisms and engage them in a partnership for change.
Result 4 will use the data and information collected from the community level to inform and change institutional behaviors and policy decisions at the district and national levels.