How Can Evidence Bolster Citizen Action?


This resource's title is How Can Evidence Bolster Citizen Action? Learning and Adapting for Accountable Public Health in Guatemala from Accountability Research Center. Drawing on a decade of work through the Centro de Estudios para la Equidad y la Gobernanza de los Sistemas de Salud (Center for the Study of Equity and Governance in Health Systems, or CEGSS), this piece compares the effectiveness of participatory methods of evidence collection as opposed to using formal, academic methods to influence policy.

In comparing various methods of evidence collection, CEGSS found that presenting academically rigorous data on the effectiveness of health centers to government officials was not an effective means of creating policy changes. However, involving citizens in the evidence-collection process had the dual impact of increasing citizen’s civic knowledge and capacity while increasing the government’s responsiveness to the data collected. Additionally, the report found that technological methods of data collection such as SMS complaints or audiovisual evidence of problems were the most effective, both in terms of garnering community participation and in increasing the government’s responsiveness.