Both civil society and health systems must increase their capacities to work together

site map
forward and back

Strengthening civil-state interactions

Identifying the civic organisations to work with

Working with communities
Supporting information exchange

Other skills
Checking our progress

Interactive exercise

For both civil society and health systems, mutual interaction demands capabilities in:

  • leadership (political and in health systems)
  • teamwork
  • participatory approaches
  • needs and evidence based planning and problem solving
  • advocacy, negotiation and communication.

Health workers themselves need to develop information management and interpersonal communications skills, not only for individual client consultations, but also for facilitating community processes. Poor communication skills have been shown to leave patients feeling mistreated, belittled, rejected or even abused. The same can apply at a collective level, with little uptake of the proposed intervention. Some effort has taken place to produce development materials for health workers on communications skills (Zimbabwe Essential Drugs Action Programme, 1997). This could now be extended to the wider set of facilitation skills needed for participating in wider social mobilization.

Equally, within civic groups a range of capacities is needed for them to play a meaningful role. These skills are not built in single programmes, and take various cycles of activity and time. Within civil society itself are NGOs that can support such skills development within membership-based organizations.