Health promotion

"Social Participation" and Strengthening Health Systems for Primary Health Care

Sub-plenary Round 3 (Tuesday 27 October 2009, 14:00-15:30)

Concept note and Bio-sketches

The Health Systems and Services cluster (HSS) in WHO initiated a process to clarify various dimensions of how individuals, groups and communities participate in the design and operations of health systems. This sub-plenary session is aimed at clarifying approaches to participation in health sectors by distinguishing and conceptualizing different dimensions that have to be possibly addressed separately. The idea is to make these concepts clearer and identify gaps so as to target evidence building efforts to distinct areas where more work is needed.


  • To discuss the dimensions proposed for approaching "participation" and examine preliminary evidence from systematic reviews that WHO is supporting
  • To discuss how to concretely increase the prominence of "participation" in health development discussions and activities
  • Derive elements of a programme of work to fill evidence gaps and elicit good/best practices.

These objectives reflect an underlying goal to ensure that "participation" based on "hard evidence" and well documented experiences, remains central to Primary Health Care renewal and ensure interventions that positively and equitably influence health outcomes.

Facilitator: Dr Delanyo Dovlo, Health Systems Adviser, Department of Health System Governance and Service Delivery, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland

Dr Delanyo Dovlo is Health Systems Adviser in the Department of Health System Governance and Service Delivery at WHO HQ. He qualified in Ghana as a physician and also has an MPH, Membership of the West Africa College of Physicians and is a founding fellow of the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons. His work experience included stints as Director of Human Resources in the Ministry of Health in Ghana and as a consultant on HRH planning and Health Sector Reforms. He managed the DFID funded Management Strengthening Project in Namibia and headed the Population Council's "Community Based Health Planning and Services Delivery (CHPS) Project" in Ghana before joining WHO. His current interests include approaches for making health service managers more accountable to communities.

Rapporteur: Dr Kumanan Rasanathan, Technical Officer, Department of Ethics, Equity, Trade and Human Rights, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland

Dr Kumanan Rasanathan is a New Zealand public health physician who currently works for the World Health Organization in the Department of Ethics, Equity, Trade and Human Rights. He was a member of the WHO secretariat of the Commission on Social Determinants of Health and one of the principal authors of the World Health Report 2008 on primary health care. His current work is focused on implementing action on the social determinants of health at global and national levels, particularly considering links to health systems, climate change, and non-communicable disease. He has previously worked as a researcher, policy-maker and clinician in China, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.

Presenter: Dr Alicia Renendo, Research Fellow, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Dr Alicia Renedo is a Research Fellow in Social Science, Patient and Public Involvement in Healthcare at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (Department of Public Health & Policy). She studied a BSc in Psychology (Deusto University, Spain), before joining the Social Psychology Institute at the London School of Economics (UK), where she completed her MSc and PhD and became a research member of the ‘Health Community & Development Group’. Alicia is a social and cultural psychologist with a particular interest in the community-level determinants of health, participatory approaches to health, stakeholder partnerships, social identity, expert knowledge and its relationship to people’s health. She has a longstanding research engagement in the area of homelessness and health in UK and is currently involved in a four-year research project investigating the patient and public involvement activities of the newly established NIHR CLAHRC for Northwest London (National Institute for Healthcare Research, Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care).

Presenter: Dr Sandra Vallenas, Professor of Sociology, Catholic University, Peru

Dr Sandra Vallenas is Professor of Sociology and researcher at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru. Her research interests focus on social policy, civil society participation, gender and ageing. She has served at the National Population Council of Peru, and worked as program officer with the Ford Foundation, in its Andean Region and Southern Cone Office. She has worked as well, on a sexual and reproductive health project in the rural areas of Peru, conducted by a feminist NGO, Manuela Ramos. She is active in the Peruvian and Latin American social movements for the right to health.

Presenter: Dr Francesca C. Dwamena, Michigan State University, USA

Dr Francesca C. Dwamena, MD MS FACP, is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Michigan State University and Associate Director of the Internal Medicine Residency program. Dr. Dwamena received her medical degree from Howard University and completed residency in Internal Medicine at Emory University Affiliated Hospitals. She is a fellow of the AAMC Health Services Research Institute and has a Master of Science degree in Epidemiology. Dr. Dwamena has also completed a fellowship in psychosocial medicine. Her research focuses on using the principles of effective doctor-patient relationships to understand and manage patients’ symptoms. She has been a principal investigator or co-investigator of several intramural grant and federal grants. She also has numerous publications and presentations on the topic of healthcare communication and its clinical application to patients with medically unexplained symptoms. She has received awards for excellence in teaching and is a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha chapter at the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. She enjoys using and teaching communication skills in all types of venues and lives in East Lansing with her husband, Ben.

Presenter: Linda Mashingaidze, Africa Regional Coordinator, People's Health Movement

Linda Mashingaidze is a female activist passionate in health and human rights issues. She has worked for the People’s Health Movement South Africa (PHMSA) for the last few years, and has recently joined the global secretariat as Africa Regional Co-ordinator. Linda was born in Zimbabwe and prior to moving to South Africa, worked there for the Community Working Group on Health. In addition to her work, she is currently studying for a Masters in Public Health at the University of Western Cape in South Africa.

Discussant: Dr Somsak Pattaraknlwanich, Director, Bureau of Health Promotion, Ministry of Public Health, Thailand
Discussant: Prof Ligia Salazar, Directora CEDETES, Profesora Titular Escuela de Salud Pública, Facultad de Salud - Universidad del Valle

Ligia de Salazar holds a doctorate degree in Evaluation from McGill University, Canada, a Masters in Community Health from Liverpool University, England; and in Health Administration from Universidad del Valle, Colombia. She is senior professor and researcher of the School of Public Health, and director of the Center for Evaluation of Public Health Policy and Technology, CEDETES, at Universidad del Valle, Cali-Colombia. She is Leader and Regional Coordinator of the Latin American Regional Project of Health Promotion Effectiveness, of the International Union for Health Promotion, IUHPE. Dr. Salazar is a principal investigator and coordinator of national and international projects and a consultant for several institutions, and visiting professor in several Latin American Universities. She has been member of various committees and scientific associations is on the Advisory Committee on Health Research, CAIS, PAHO; and member of the Expert Reference Group for NCD Surveillance of World Health Oorganization. She has authored six books and several scientific articles on local development, surveillance, evaluation in public health and health promotion. Her research and academic interest is oriented to evaluation research and surveillance of behavioral risk factors and strategies to articulate science, politics and society.