Like other developing countries, Uganda still struggles to meaningfully reduce child mortality. A strategy of giving
information to communities to spark interest in improving child survival through inducing responsibility and social sanctioning
in the health workforce was postulated. By focusing on diarrhea, pneumonia and malaria, a Community and District Empowerment for Scale up (CODES) undertaking used “community dialogues” to arm communities with health system performance
information. This empowered them to monitor health service provision and demand for quality child-health services.
We describe a process of community dialoguing through use of citizen report cards, short-text-messages, media
and post-dialogue monitoring. Each community dialogue assembled 70-100 members including health workers and community
leaders. After each community dialogue, participants implemented activities outlined in generated community contracts. Radio
messages promoted demand for child-health services and elicited support to implement accepted activities.
The perception that community dialoging is “a lot of talk” that never advances meaningful action was debunked
since participant-initiated actions were conceived and implemented. Potential for use of electronic communication in real-time
feedback and stimulating discussion proved viable. Post-dialogue monitoring captured in community contracts facilitated process evaluation and added plausibility for observed effects. Capacitated organizations during post-dialogue monitoring guaranteed sustainability.
Cite as: Muhwezi WW, Palchik EA, Kiwanuka DH, Mpanga F, Mukundane M, Nanungi A, et al. Community participation to improve health
services for children: a methodology for a community dialogue intervention in Uganda. Afri Health Sci. 2019;19(1). 1574-1581. https://dx.doi.