Latest Equinet Updates

EQUINET Regional review meeting on health centre committees as a vehicle for social participation June 2017
CWGH, TARSC, UCT and LDHMT: June 20-22, Harare

Community Working Group on Health in partnership with Training and Research Support Centre, University of Cape Town School of Public Health, and
the Lusaka District Health Management Team under the auspices of EQUINET held a regional review meeting on Health Centre Committees as a vehicle for social participation in health systems in East and Southern Africa on 20-22 June in Harare. The meeting was held as part of a programme to
exchange experiences and information on the laws, roles, capacities, training and monitoring systems that are being applied to HCCs in the ESA region. The meeting discussed experiences with laws, policies, guidelines and constitutions on HCCs; shared experiences in using photo voice to enhance the role of HCCs; discussed current training materials and programmes for HCCs in the region and the strengthening of internal capacities of institutions working with HCCs through information exchange and skills inputs. The report will be made available on the EQUINET website.

Global Health Diplomacy and regional health standards in the extractive sector, Session Report, 10 April 2017
ECSA Health Community; EQUINET: Arusha, Tanzania, 2017

This 2017 session within the Regional ECSA HC Best Practices Forum was convened by ECSA HC and EQUINET in line with HMC Resolution – ECSAHMC50/R2 and with proposals from the 2016 Regional meeting on GHD. The objectives of the meeting were to a. To share information on progress in the ECSA HC GHD programme and issues for policy dialogue and follow up work b. To present and discuss evidence supporting and proposals for harmonised regional standards on health in the extractive sector c. To review and discuss positions on selected agenda items in the 2017 World Health Assembly (WHA) agenda The meeting recommendations were further summarised and reviewed in the Best Practices Forum and then in the Directors Joint Consultative conference, where the outcome of what was formally recommended is separately reported by ECSA HC. Delegates were provided with specific background materials through distributed publications. The report is organised by theme, with the presentation and group discussions on each area shown together.

Using Policy dialogue to Strengthen Health Centre Committees as a Vehicle for Social Participation in Health System in East and Southern Africa. Report of Policy dialogue workshop
Zambia Ministry of Health; Lusaka District Health Office; TALC, CWGH

In a regional EQUINET programme led by Community Working Group on Health (CWGH) on health centre committees as a vehicle for social participation in health system in east and southern Africa, Lusaka DHO is building capacities and learning for the district and the wider country programme on policy and legal guidelines to support the effective interaction of communities in health centre committees (HCCs) that can be shared regionally. A workshop was held on 7th January 2016 in Lusaka to support and inform the objectives for the Zambia work, viz: 1.To compile and exchange information on the current laws and legal guidelines on the role and functioning of HCCs. 2.To develop through regional dialogue a model HCC guideline to be tabled and reviewed regionally. 3.To analyse and document how current laws compare to this guideline. 4.To advocate for strengthening of law and guidelines in regional and national policy forum.

10th ECSA Best Practices Forum and 26th Directors Joint Consultative Committee Meeting
ECSA HC: 10 to 12 April 2017, Arusha, Tanzania

The East, Central and Southern Africa Health Community (ECSA-HC) will host the
10th Best Practices Forum and 26th Directors Joint Consultative Committee from 10 to 12 April 2017 in Arusha, Tanzania. The theme is Promoting Multi-Sectoral Collaboration for Health through Sustainable Development Goals. The Conference will address its Theme through the following sub-themes:
1. Good Governance and Leadership Practices in the Health sector
2. Mitigating the Impact of emerging and re-emerging diseases.
3. Multi-Sectoral responses to Non-communicable Diseases.
4. Accountability for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescent Health post-2015
The scientific papers and best practices will form the basis for the recommendations that will be presented to the Health Ministers for further deliberation and adoption as resolutions. Further information is available on the website. EQUINET has a formal association with ECSA HC and will be represented at the meeting. EQUINET will host a joint session at the Best Practices Forum on Global Health Diplomacy including inputs on health standards in the extractive industries and on the forthcoming World Health Assembly agenda.

EQUINET Policy brief 42: Harmonising regional standards for extractive industry responsibilities for health in east and southern Africa
Loewenson R; Hinricher J; Papamichail A: TARSC, EQUINET, Harare

This brief aims to inform policy dialogue on the protection of health in extractive industries (EIs) in the mining sector in east and southern Africa (ESA). It outlines on pages 5-7 a proposal for a ‘Regional guidance on minimum standards for the duties and responsibilities of parties in the extractive sector for health and social protection’. EIs play a key economic role, but also bring health, environmental and social risks. International codes and guidance exist on the duties of corporate actors to control these risks and contribute to health. ESA country laws provide for some health protection in EIs, but all have gaps in legal provisions. In line with the intentions of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and other regional economic communities, standards and laws for the sector should be harmonised and brought in line with international standards. The proposal for regional guidance draws clauses from current laws in ESA countries, suggesting the feasibility of their wider application across the region.

Fair publication of qualitative research in health systems: a call by health policy and systems researchers
SHaPeS thematic working group of Health Systems Global, EQUINET, and Emerging Voices for Global Health, Daniels K; Loewenson R et al.: International Journal for Equity in Health 2016 15:98 doi:10.1186/s12939-016-0368-y

An open letter from Trisha Greenhalgh et al. to the editors of the British Medical Journal (BMJ) triggered wide debate by health policy and systems researchers globally on the inadequate recognition of the value of qualitative research and the resulting deficit in publishing papers reporting on qualitative research. One key dimension of equity in health is that researchers are able to disseminate their findings and that they are taken into account in a fair and just manner, so that they can inform health policy and programmes. While the 170 researcher cosignatories to this paper work on different aspects of health systems, all feel that more serious recognition of the value of qualitative research is required, including to disseminate evidence and contribute voice to advance equity in health. The researchers are particularly disenchanted by a general experience of the limited and often inadequate publication of qualitative research in the major health and medical journals, and the resultant loss of important insights for those working in, or concerned with, health services and systems, including around clinical decision-making. The article reports on the value of qualitative research to health systems and the ways it should be given greater profile in research publications.

10th ECSA Best Practices Forum and 26th Directors Joint Consultative Committee Meeting
ECSA HC: 10 to 12 April 2017, Arusha, Tanzania; Submission of Abstracts deadline: March 17, 2017

The East, Central and Southern Africa Health Community (ECSA-HC) will host the
10th Best Practices Forum and 26th Directors Joint Consultative Committee from 10 to 12 April 2017 in Arusha, Tanzania. The theme is Promoting Multi-Sectoral Collaboration for Health through Sustainable Development Goals. The Conference will address its Theme through the following sub-themes:
1. Good Governance and Leadership Practices in the Health sector
2. Mitigating the Impact of emerging and re-emerging diseases.
3. Multi-Sectoral responses to Non-communicable Diseases.
4. Accountability for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescent Health post-2015
The ECSA-HC is inviting abstracts of best practices and scientific papers that are relevant to the conference sub themes. The scientific papers and best practices should consist of case studies and evidence based programme experiences that are innovative, unique or have added value and new thinking in health. The abstracts and scientific papers will form the basis for the recommendations that will be presented to the Health Ministers for further deliberation and adoption as resolutions. Further information is available on the website. EQUINET has a formal association with ECSA HC and will be represented at the meeting.

Skills building on methods and tools for learning from action in participatory action research: Building action learning within affected actors and communities
Loewenson R; Flores W; Amaya A; London L; Koffa Kun K: Report of the workshop at the Global Symposium for Health Systems Research, November 2016

This three hour participatory skills session discussed methods/ tools to build learning from action as a key element of participatory action research (PAR) and briefly the implications for what this means for an understanding of ‘resilience’ in health systems. It was held as a satellite session at the 2016 Global Symposium on Health Systems Research. The session drew on approaches and experience from Africa, Latin America and participants globally to discuss the methods/tools, their application and their integration in health systems. It integrated input from two rounds of moderated discussion on these questions held on the pra4equity list prior to the Global Symposium. The EQUINET,TARSC, AHPSR, WHO, IDRC Methods Reader on PAR was also distributed. The session was attended by 62 delegates from all regions of the world.

Discussion Paper 108 Appendices, Corporate responsibility for health in the extractive sector in East and Southern Africa
Loewenson R; Hinricher J; Papamichail A: Training and Research Support Centre, EQUINET: Harare, November 2016

This document provides the detailed legal frameworks and relevant legal clauses from 16 East and Southern African countries for Diss paper 108: Corporate responsibility for health in the extractive sector in East and Southern Africa (ESA) produced by EQUINET through Training and Research Support Centre to inform policy dialogue to improve the legal frameworks for the duties and corporate social responsibility of extractive industries in the ESA region.

Discussion Paper 108: Africa Corporate responsibility for health in the extractive sector in East and Southern Africa
Loewenson R; Hinricher J; Papamichail A: Training and Research Support Centre, EQUINET: Harare, November 2016

While international and global guidance documents set out health obligations for extractive industries (EIs), these standards, including UN conventions, may be voluntary if they are not included in national laws, unless the national constitutions specifically provide otherwise. Given the spread of EIs across the ESA region, it would be important to ensure that corporate duties in relation to health are upheld across the region, including through regional guidance to harmonise laws. This document was produced by EQUINET through Training and Research Support Centre and with support from Medico International. It aims to inform policy dialogue to improve the legal frameworks for the duties and corporate social responsibility of EIs in the ESA region. It presents evidence to support policy dialogue and health advocacy. It reviews the literature on EIs and health in ESA countries, explores key guidance principles/ standards on health in EIs, and analyses from review of laws how far they are contained in domestic legislation of ESA countries. Using good practice in existing ESA laws and international guidance, the document proposes the content for regional guidance for policy and law in the region. As is being implemented in other regions of Africa, there is scope for regional guidance and harmonisation of laws relating to EIs, including in relation to health. While no single law in ESA countries addresses all aspects of international guidance on protection and health and social welfare in EIs, in combination the laws in ESA countries provide clauses that could form the basis of such regional guidance. Drawing from different ESA laws legal guidance is proposed for health and social protection covering: 1. Award of prospecting rights/licenses and EI agreements; 2. Resettlement of affected communities due to mining activities; 3. OHS for employed workers and contractors in the mining sector; 4. Health benefits for workers, families and surrounding communities; 5. Environment, health and social protection for surrounding communities; 6. Fiscal contributions towards health and health services; 7. Stimulation of forward and backward links with local sectors and services supporting health; 8. Post-mine closure obligations for public health; and for 9. Governance of these issues, including for good corporate governance practices, public transparency and accountability, constructive dialogue, reporting and oversight, to foster a relationship of confidence and mutual trust between EIs and the societies in which they operate.

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