Little is known about what approaches to improving the health of women and girls are currently working in these settings, and less about efforts to tackle emerging and significant health conditions such as injury, violence, cardiovascular disease and neuropsychiatric disorders.
Important elements of the uptake and advocacy process include:
- In-depth case studies exploring the health challenges faced by women and girls in low-income urban settlements in expanding cities in Kenya, India and South Africa.
- Policy briefs and reports which pull out learning from the research process.
- Digital storytelling: telling personal stories in a visual way.
- Organising and taking part in global events.
- A research reflection blog from people involved in the research.
Interacting with government and the media in South Africa
Researchers from the South Africa case study presented their findings at a meeting with the South African Departments of Social Development, Basic Education, Health, and Higher Education which was also encouraging civil society to engage and critique government. The following day the technical committee of the Adolecent sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) framework was discussed with each department having a chance to present.
Researchers were able to engage the Department of Health on mhealth (health care supported by mobile devices) and discussed the flag ship programmes Bwise and Momconnect. This enabled a vibrant discussion between civil society and government representatives with the lead Department of Social Development recording the suggestions civil society had a chance to organise and following prior meetings formed themselves into the Sexual and Reproductive Justice Coalition.
The Kenya case study explores experiences with policy devolution, its effects on HIV services for women and girls and the ability of women and girls in low-income urban settlements to enjoy their constitutional rights in this new political structure. The research used digital storytelling as one of its methodlogies. Five HIV-positive women from Kibera and Majengo (low-income settlements in Nairobi) shared their personal stories. This video tells the story of an HIV positive woman living in Kibera, and the challenges she faces in accessing family planning and treatment.
As part of the India case study, a series of digital stories were made on tablets by six indigenous and non-indigenous women of varying education from Shillong in Meghalaya. In this video, a woman tells her story of how she overcame many difficulties to become an activist with the Meghalaya Domestic Worker’s Movement, and President of Meghalaya Domestic Worker’s Union.