Advocacy Workshop Module Development to Accelerate Reduction of Maternal, Newborn, and Child Mortality, November 2007
Teach your family to have an healthy relationship with food.
Capacity Building / Workshop
Based on the agreement between Health Services Program (HSP) and Women Research Institute (WRI) during the project period from November 1 to 30, 2007, the two institutions will organized 14 workshops in districts namely: 1) Serang; 2) Tangerang; 3) Malang; 4) Jember; 5) Aceh Barat; 6) Aceh Besar; 7) Banda Aceh; 8) Deli Serdang; 9) Medan; 10) Sumedang; 11) Kota Bandung; 12) Bogor; 13) Aceh Jaya and 14) Kediri. HSP and WRI had conducted all the 14 workshops during April to end of August 2007.
Actually, the site of Malang was not stated, the site that already being stated was Jakarta Barat. But, due to the difficulties in getting the exact time for the implementation of the workshop in Jakarta Barat, Malang became the site that can be implemented first rather than Jakarta Barat.
In relation to the workshop in Jakarta Barat, it is important to note some aspects. (1) The preparation of the workshop in Jakarta Barat had experienced four (4) times of changing dates. This condition related to the availability of the Mayor to receive all participants for the Real Setting activity of the training. After several postponed, it is agreed that the workshop conducted on November 6 – 8, 2007. (2) The participants were only representing the executive (from Subdinkes) and three people from NGOs in Jakarta Barat. The participants from the legislative at the time of the workshop regret to participate due to their activity to visit China. Thus, the composition of participants was not as what the module designed. (3) The participants were not bringing data on local budget and MNCH of Jakarta Barat, so the discussions during workshop were more using common sense and MPS.
As stated in the contract, this program is a capacity building program in strengthening skills of advocacy aims to assist the Ministry of Health in accelerating the reduction of maternal, newborn, and child (MNC) mortality. One of the strategies is to conduct advocacy at the national, provincial, and district levels, as well as ensure that there will be sufficient resources allocated to reduce MNC mortality. Along with decentralization regulations, this program emphasizes advocacy work at district levels by strengthening District Health Office capacities in advocacy.
Although there are some notes for the implementation of the workshop in Jakarta Barat, it can be said that to some extend the advocacy skills of the participants is strengthened. The participants, who represent civil servants, and NGOs, had gained experiences and knowledge in conducting advocacy activities. Although, in the beginning some reluctance were in the air, particularly from the executive, the responds from the observers (from Mercy Corps and MoH) brought positive influence to the dynamic of discussion on MNCH in Jakarta Barat. The participants become aware of the local issues, including handling maternal & child mortality as well as increasing the budget for the aforementioned issues.
The participants were serious in preparing the materials for advocacy Jakarta Barat. They worked until late at night and did rehearsal several times at night and in the morning. But, unfortunately compared to the other workshops in other districts, the real setting in Jakarta also changed at the last day. At first, the workshop in Jakarta Barat organized referring based on the time availability of the Mayor. But, at the end the Mayor cancelled, and the advocacy then changed to lobby the Head of District Health Office in Jakarta Barat. Yet, the plan to do advocacy to the Head of District Health Office also cancelled on the spot, although all participants whom lead by the local facilitators and PC of HSP already arrived at the advocacy site at the District Health Office. As an experienced, this conditions also a process of learning. Sometimes, no matter good our plan are the decision makers can also cancelled the meeting due to other works that they have to attend. However, the participants through HSP promised by the District Health Office that they will set up another time as substitute of the failed advocacy event.
In this district, the existing data of MNCH condition and local budget allocation for MNCH are still lacking. Jakarta Barat even does not have current data on MNCH, particularly that related with the maternal and child mortality. The participants who then formed an ad hoc advocacy team will do the follow up in order to get these data as well as commitment from the District Parliament (DPRD) in each of the above districts and Head of districts. Some districts, even still do not open their access to the public regarding the budget allocation for current fiscal year.
The experienced of the Jakarta Barat workshop revealed that there was areas that need to be improved for the implementation of the next workshops.
The workshop was design to enhance the advocacy skills of the participants. Thus, the participants of the workshop should be people who already have knowledge on issues of maternal and child mortality as well as advocacy. With regards to this aspect, the selection criteria of the participants are people who have knowledge on the issues of maternal and child mortality as well as experience in advocacy. The district of Jakarta Barat also was not too successful in getting various participants. The representative from the local parliament was not involved here. It seems that the good rapport from the organizer with the local decision makers needs to be developed.
The workshops were planned to be implemented in the period of six months, yet most of the PC office only have limited time to prepare for the workshop. The Jakarta Barat workshop actually may be seen as exceptional; since the dates had changed four times supposedly the preparation can be better than other districts. Still, the participants did not bring data of MNCH and local budget allocation to the workshop.
Based on the sharing of experiences in the workshop, participants realized that network between communities to exchange information about each other‘s works and experiences, and capacity building on advocacy, are crucial. It was important to exchange information on the success of many groups in forging alliances across stakeholders. It is equally important to exchange information regarding the efforts of multi-stakeholders to educate members of the community to adopt critical way of thinking in analyzing problems of maternal and child mortality. The way the multi-stakeholders educate the community base on reliable data, should also be shared as valuable experience.
The experience of the four workshops mentioned above showed that it is important to get hold with reliable data. This is a prerequisite of a good advocacy work. However, with some qualitative data help by the facilitators (WRI and Pattiro), the substance of advocacy messages can be produced.
The Organizing Committee
In the opening session of each of the workshops, always emphasized on the importance of data and advocacy should be evidence based activity. Therefore, back up data it is very important. The past workshop implemented in Jakarta Barat was without strong back up data. The data and evidence based advocacy are the basis, therefore for the next implementation of workshops in the other districts should supported by strong back up data by the PCs.
The core of the workshop is to strengthen the skills of advocacy of the participants. The workshop itself was designed to help participants gained knowledge and experience of advocacy in the real setting, whether in the setting of hearing to the parliament or dealing with the public in a talk-show program in the radio or television. For the purpose of organizing advocacy workshop in the future, the allocation time for the preparation of real setting should be longer.
Thus, the PCs still have quite enough time to build rapports to the parliament members, the decision makers at the executive level as well as NGOs and women’s groups who have experiences in conducting advocacy on maternal and child mortality. By doing all the arrangements, it is hope that the preparation, i.e. inviting participants, preparing the real setting of hearing/lobby the parliament, experienced resource persons on the issue of maternal and child mortality and budget as well as policy at each districts and the back up data, well planned and may help to meet the objective as planned.
The workshop in Jakarta Barat brought experiences and knowledge for the participants. The results were positive, since participants convince with the need to handle and reduce maternal and child mortality in Jakarta Barat. The workshop was not ended with a real setting, but a promise from the District Health Office to set up a time for advocacy or lobby in the immediate future. Therefore, the initiative to follow up this promise is in the hand of the ad hoc advocacy team, so it will become into concrete effort to reduce Maternal and Child Mortality.
Endnote for the Workshop
On November 16, 2007 at 10.30 it was informed by HSP that the District Health Office agree to receive the ad hoc advocacy team after lunch time. The ad hoc advocacy team was not full team, the Head of District Health Office agree to push the increase of budget allocation for MNCH in Jakarta Barat at least 10 % higher than last year allocation.
The Development of the Draft Module
On November 15, 2007 HSP and WRI met at WRI’s office to prepare the feed back meeting for the revision module (draft 4) with MoH which will take place on November 27, 2007. At this stage, WRI and HSP agree to use inputs from ibu Noor Alam, ibu Laurel Maclaren, Ms Jennifer Bowman and result from the meeting of DTPS module compiled by ibu Noor Alam as bases of revision for the fourth draft of the Module.
On November 27, 2007 the comments from the feed back meetings are very positive and the MOH representative feel that the improvement of the Module very useful for them. Especially, regarding the topic of Budget Analysis and Identifying Local Problems of Maternal and Child Mortality. The MOH also feel that the advocacy tool, i.e. the presentation done by the participants for the substance of their advocacy, is excellent and strong one. The MOH had mentioned that the workshops indeed had equip them to do the lobby and advocacy to reduce Maternal and Child Mortality.
The meeting ended by confirming the date of the next project to support HSP and MoH by WRI to facilitate Workshop for National Trainers on January 21 – 24, 2008 and workshop for Districts Trainers on February 4 – 7, 2008.
Based on the inputs from the Ministry of Health (MOH), the implementation of the workshop should encourage the role of co-facilitators; this term is actually referring to the local facilitators. The involvement of local facilitators is seen by both the Ministry of Health and HSP to strengthen the work of the ad hoc team that may be formed as a result after the workshop.
In Jakarta Barat, the local facilitators showed that they have strong knowledge on advocacy and particularly on budget tracking. The skills of facilitation of one of the facilitator (Pattiro Tangerang) are good and able to engage with participants who came from different backgrounds (multi stakeholders). Unfortunately, this facilitator of the workshop is from Tangerang and not from Jakarta Barat. Therefore, the head of the ad hoc team should be facilitated more in order to achieve the objective of their work plan. At least, for some time the head of the ad hoc team should be facilitated by strong facilitator and the facilitator from Tangerang may be considered as one person that might help. It is hope in the future; the role and capacity of local facilitators become important aspect to be considered by the PC offices in each districts. ***