SAFE for Health Institutions Project
Welcome to a Health Care Revolution Inspired by Social Accountability
Does everyone have the right to health?
The reality is that we would like to think so, but the right to health is often out of reach. When health systems fail to act on social injustices and inequity, they keep health services, and the right to health, out of reach . To do better requires a revolutionary approach.
A revolutionary social justice, equity-oriented approach to health care.
The Social Accountability as the Framework for Engagement (SAFE) for Health Institutions Project provides a toolkit for a revolutionary, equity-oriented social accountability health policy strategy. The toolkit empowers health institutions to create structures that can support social accountability strategies. A social accountability strategy re-focuses health institutions on local population needs. It re-orients organizations to engage with community, co-design services, prioritize equity and to close health equity gaps.
What is Social Accountability?
Social accountability is the obligation to be accountable to society.
In the context of health care, its the obligation to be accountable to society for its health.
Social accountability can be described as a health institution’s obligation to direct their health care services, research and education towards addressing the priority health needs, social needs and the health inequities of the communities they are mandated to serve and that this obligation extends to the needs of those who are marginalized, underserved and who experience this inequity.
Social accountabiltiy strategies identify local population needs through authentic community engagement, engagement with important stakeholder groups and reflect the values of relevance, quality, cost-effectiveness and equity.
The toolkit includes comprehensive tools for the implementation of an equity-oriented social accountability health policy strategy. These tools create the structures to address social injustices and health inequity helping to re-focus on local population needs. The toolkit is continually updated through developmental evaluations and with emerging evidence of social accountability in health care.
An institutionally comprehensive, evidence-based framework of 253 social accountability standards.
Evidence-based information for key social accountability topics that can inform health policy and action across the micro, meso and macro levels of care.
Tools that can measure (i) institutional transformation towards a social accountability health policy strategy, (ii) health equity, and (iii) community validation (under development).
An appreciative inquiry, led by a team of peers, into an institution’s social accountability.
A methodology for authentic community and stakeholder engagement as the primary methods for understanding local population needs (under development).
Social Accountability is Continual Quality Improvement
And, is a Catalyst for Health System Change
A common understanding of social accountability across the health sectors of education, service delivery and research could catalyze broad system change. The SAFE for Health Institutions Project works across these sectors and towards this goal with institutions like the Northern Ontario School of Medicine University, Health Sciences North and the Centre for Social Accountability.
The SAFE for Health Institution’s toolkit builds on the World Health Organization’s work that defined social accountability for health workforce training. Socially accountable health workforce training programs have achieved impressive positive impacts. Organizations like THEnet: Training for Health Equity have developed practical tools that support social accountability strategies in health workforce training.
There are, however, few if any tools that support social accountability strategies in health care service delivery. The SAFE for Health Institutions Project aims to fill this gap with a toolkit that preserves critical social accountability concepts from health workforce training and links them to the health care service delivery.
Contact us firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.