How Can Evidence Bolster Citizen Action? Learning and Adapting for Accountable Public Health in Guatemala
The report How Can Evidence Bolster Citizen Action? Learning and Adapting for Accountable Public Health in Guatemala, reflects on the learnings of the Center for the Study of Equity and Governance in Health Systems (CEGSS) in Guatemala in using data and evidence to influence local authorities and promote participation by indigenous people in Guatemala. Throughout a decade of work, CEGSS learned that methods for gathering evidence that draw in participation from the wider community, that help communities to tell their stories, and that facilitate collective action among service users tend to be the most powerful to influence responsiveness from authorities at local and regional levels of government.
This is an interesting reflection on the evolution of the understanding of ‘data' and ‘evidence' within CEGSS, which begun with an emphasis on generating rigorous ‘scientific’ evidence to influence public policy implementation, to encompass any information (photography, video, testimonies, lifestories) that may be used to open-up a channel of engagement with authorities to resolve existing problems in public services. As importantly, CEGSS monitors how authorities respond to demands put forward by indigenous communities.