The humanitarian organisation CARE conducts a health programme in Peru aimed at improving the health of the poor by implementing a rights-based approach. It focuses on increasing the voice of the poor as a key strategy for improving relations between the state and society. This is based on two assumptions: significant and sustainable improvements can only be made if the poor are involved in shaping health policies, practices and programmes; and, if there are strong, participatory mechanisms that ensure what is agreed is translated into action.
Photo credit: Eugenie Itme, Citizen Monitor of Ayaviri, Puno, biking to health post (CARE/USA)
To promote public debate and accountability for health policy, CARE has:
This work resulted in the development of national legislation on health rights and citizen participation, the implementation of specific programmes and strategies on neglected health issues such as neonatal health, and the implementation of local mechanisms for citizen surveillance of health services’ quality. It also produced a strengthened basis for holding the Government to account for service delivery, including the approval of a National Law on Health Services Users’ Rights and Responsibilities in September 2009.
Photo credit: Primitiva Ccoharity, Ayaviri's Citizen Monitor of Health Services (CARE/Peru)
The original version of this case study was used in the 2009 OECD Development Co-operation Report.