Do existing policies of 'community participation' incorporate civil society?

Community involvement in health is a long-standing policy of WHO…

Community involvement in health (CIH), or participation, has been promoted by WHO for many decades. The 1976 Alma Ata declaration made participation a central feature of primary health care. The Harare declaration of 1987 outlined CIH as a process of direct public involvement in health systems, not only strengthening people's organization and skills, but also reorienting political and health systems to support such participation.

In the 1970s, CIH was based on the belief that the socio-economic and political determinants of ill health demanded wider inputs beyond health systems. In the 1980s, a focus on district health systems located the community as an important actor in organizing health sector interventions at district level. A WHO review of CIH in 1999 summarizes this history and the wide range of actions undertaken under CIH (Kahssay & Oakley, 1999).


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Involvement in health

"Community participation"

Financing health systems

Use of resources
Interactive exercise