Health Equity Course 2023 was organized in India

The 10 days residential course is the key component of the  project of “Building a Community of Young Leaders for Combating Health Inequities and Health Challenges in India”. It aims to broaden understanding on the various aspects of health, health equity and community participation in health programs through participatory training approach. There were 14 participants associated with grassroots health organizations from eight states of India. 

Here is the impression of Chhaya Pachauli (ILDC 2019), Director of Prayas, who is in charge of the project and one of the main organizers of the training course.

How did you arrange this Course?

We formed the organizing committee, the core group of persons involved directly in the preparations and execution of the course and making logistical arrangements.

The mentoring group members who were largely from outside of Prayas had an advisory role and helped us with the planning of the course and sessions, suggesting resource material, finalizing the course announcement,
application form, selection of participants etc.

In selection, we were in fact apprehensive if we would receive enough applications. We made a lot of effort to ensure that the information about the course reached diverse organizations across various states and that they also helped us circulate it further. At the end, we had received more than 50 applications, and we felt it was quite a satisfactory number for a first time course.

We needed to make sure that the selection of participants was done in an impartial manner and in a way that we had diversity in representation in terms of age, gender, caste, religion, type of organization and states. The selection committee which analyzed the applications and made selections did an excellent job at it.


What is your impression gained from organizing the Course?

It was an extremely satisfying experience and brought us a wide range of learning both at individual level and at the level of the organization.

What was most satisfying was the feedback received from the participants who shared that the participatory approach of learning adopted and executed during the course was very unique and it gave them an opportunity to explore and put into action their own strengths, skills and ideas which they had never done before.

Apart from enhancing their learning on different aspects of health and health equity, the participants also felt that the course gave them ample of opportunities to introspect about their current work and to reflect on how they would like to take it forward in the future.

For example, through *But-Why* analysis, the participants tried to go
deep into the root cause of problems which they counter on the ground.
Based on the analysis, they classified their work/interventions as
rights based or needs based through an interactive group activity.
Learned from these activities, they developed their action plans for the
next six months keeping community participation in the centre of their activities.

It was amazing experience to me! We learnt many things regarding health rights, with which we determine our lives. But this training course eventually taught us HOW TO LEARN them.
Swapnil Vyavahare
Participant of Health Equity Course 2023
Any challenges did you face?

One of the challenges we faced was to organize the course with limited human resource support. Most of the organizing committee members were staff of Prayas and a few were of our network. Prayas staff members who were part of the organizing committee were such who were already performing other organizational responsibilities and they had to take out time besides that to assist with the course especially, logistical arrangements and management during the course.

Also, because it was the first time the course was being organized by us, we felt more of the pressure as there was a lot of preparatory work to be carried out.

Chhaya Pachauli (right)
Participants had meeting until late at night

During the course one of the major challenges we faced was of managing the time. Given that most sessions were participatory and interactive in nature, they required good amount of time and sometimes we fell short of it in our schedules. Time estimation and management for sessions is something we will have to pay special attention to during the next course is what we have learnt.

How do you follow up?

We planned to have regular online sessions with the participants wherein they would share the progress around their
PoAs and the experience of implementing it. The idea is that these sessions would not only serve as forums where the participants learn from each other’s experiences but  also where they help each other out in addressing the challenges they are facing on the ground. 

We also would be organizing online discussions on relevant subjects that the participants may want to learn more about. The participants will be encouraged to take lead in planning and organizing these discussions.

What is your expectation for the next year?

We hope and expect that we would be able to organise and manage the next course more efficiently based on the self evaluation and feedback and suggestions received from the participants, mentoring group members and AHI. We are also hoping to have better planned sessions and more interactive activities to facilitate mutual learning in the next course.

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