One of the most important areas to address is building a 'common language' between health professionals and civil society groups.

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5. INTRODUCTION
Strengthening civil-state interactions

Identifying the civic organisations to work with

Working with communities
Supporting information exchange

Other skills
Checking our progress

Interactive exercise

PRA approaches enable this by systematizing community knowledge, as do civic organizations who act as intermediaries and blend public views with available data and technical information. Health services can organize health information through various forms of mapping and charts to visually represent trends and distributions. Medical terminology can be simply put.

It is important to recognize and overcome the profound disempowerment of civic groups when they enter technical discussions with medical professionals and bureaucrats. For constituent groups that represent low income communities, participating in state/civil interactions may demand parallel processes to 'prepare for partnerships', where groups can frame their issues, understand more about health information and specify clear positions and inputs to joint agendas. Health service providers must present health information and choices in publicly accessible forms and build communication and negotiation skills.