Sikika means ‘heard’ in Swahili. It’s the name of an organization based in Dar es Salaam with operations in ten districts including Kinondoni, Ilala and Temeke in Dar es Salaam, Mpwapwa and Kondoa in Dodoma, Simanjiro and Kiteto in Manyara, Iramba and Singida Rural in Singida and Kibaha in Coast region. As the name suggest, Sikika aims to bridge the gap between people who generally do not have a voice to participate in policy making with decision makers. Through research, studies, Social Accountability Monitoring (SAM), media engagement for advocacy, community meetings and consultative meetings with policy makers, Sikika is at the centre of many real issues in the health sector in Tanzania.
We had a constructive discussion last week to flesh out some ideas for possible use of the e-Platform to support the work of Sikika. We focused on the topic of professional ethics, which is an area Sikika has considerable expertise in, with a number of studies conducted around the topic. Linking also to a research project which is already in progress into petty corruption in the Tanzanian health service delivery, we spoke about different ways we might use the e-Platform to stimulate a debate on ethics among health workers, greater awareness of the damaging effects of unethical behaviour in the health system, and explore opportunities for improvements in this area.
Adapting materials for the ePlatform
There are a number of things we can do on the e-Platform. We can convert the ethics guidelines document, the research on petty corruption document, and other relevant documents developed by Sikika or PO-PSM and other stakeholders to a format which may be more engaging for health workers – identifying the most salient points and developing video presentations and testimonials in Swahili designed to transmit the most important parts of each document. We can develop interactive quizzes based on the content of the documents, which gives users the opportunity to engage actively with the material, and gives them automated feedback designed to reinforce the main messages. We can ensure our network of moderators from the professional health associations are well briefed by Sikika, as subject matter experts, and others as needed, and that they have a planned approach to moderating an online discussion aimed at exploring all issues, integrating experiences with information from experts, so that conclusions may be arrived at and recommendations compiled from the group which can be shared with the stakeholders who are in a position to implement change needed to improve the situation.
Any comments on this type of proposed collaboration would be warmly welcomed!