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Improving health outcomes, as a basic right and entitlement, require not only technical solutions, but also the empowerment of individuals and communities. There is increasing recognition that the profound inequity in peoples' health is socially determined and that strategies to reach the very poor and socially excluded – within and beyond the health sectors – are required.
A social development perspective brings together the health, social protection and poverty reduction agendas and reveals factors that constrain demand for, access to, and supply of affordable health services. It is essential for understanding who benefits – and who does not – from policies, programmes and public health expenditure.
Options is committed to social justice, empowerment and participation, and works with national governments and civil society partners to strengthen and build inclusive, equitable health systems. We have an outstanding track record in using social and poverty analysis to strengthen the evidence-base on who is vulnerable, who uses services and who does not, and why. We believe that service delivery institutions should be accountable to
poor people, and responsive to the demands of citizens and social
Social protection policies and interventions such as output-based approaches, cash transfers and health equity funds, show promise in promoting health-seeking behaviours, and preventing ill-health pushing people deeper into poverty. Options is part of a global effort to bridge the divide between health and social policy.
Options' social development expertise includes:
- pro-poor policy and planning
- integrating equity into health sector wide approaches and sector budget support
- social, poverty and gender analysis
- tools of accountability and citizen voice
- rights-based approaches
- participatory monitoring
- evaluation and research
- stakeholder analysis
- advocacy design
- behaviour change communication
- social policy analysis and social impact analysis.
Examples of our work include: