Feasibility, Acceptability and Initial Outcome Of Implementing Community Scorecard To Monitor Community Level Public Health Facilities: Experience From Rural Bangladesh
Mahmood, S.S., Rasheed, S., Chowdhury, A.H. et al. (2020) Feasibility, acceptability and initial outcome of implementing community scorecard to monitor community level public health facilities: experience from rural Bangladesh, Int J Equity Health 19, 155, https://doi.org/10.1186/s12939-020-01265-6
Background: Engaging communities in health facility management and monitoring is an effective strategy to increase health system responsiveness. Many developing countries have used community scorecard (CSC) to encourage community participation in health. However, the use of CSC in health in Bangladesh has been limited. In 2017, icddr,b initiated a CSC process to improve health service delivery at the community clinics (CC) providing primary healthcare in rural Bangladesh. The current study presents learnings around feasibility, acceptability, initial outcome and challenges of implementing CSC at community clinics.
Methods: A pilot study conducted between January’2018-December’2018 explored feasibility and acceptability of CSC using a thematic framework. The tool was implemented in purposively selected three CCs in Chakaria and one CC in Teknaf sub-district of Bangladesh. Qualitative data from 20 Key-Informant Interviews and four Focus Group Discussions with service users, healthcare providers, and government personnel, document reviews and meeting observations were used in analysis.
Results: The study showed that participants were enthusiastic and willing to take part in the CSC intervention. They perceived CSC to be useful in raising awareness about health in the community and facilitating structured monitoring of CC services. The process facilitated building stronger community ownership, enhancing accountability and stakeholder engagement. The participants identified issues around service provision, set SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound) targets and indicators on supplies, operations, logistics, environment, and patient satisfaction through CSC. However, some systematic and operational challenges of implementation were identified including time and resource constraint, understanding and facilitation of CSC, provider-user conflict, political influence, and lack of central level monitoring.
Conclusion: The findings suggest that CSC is a feasible and acceptable tool to engage community and healthcare providers in monitoring and managing health facilities. For countries with health systems faced with challenges around accountability, quality and coverage, CSC has the potential to improve community level health-service delivery. The findings are intended to inform program implementers, donors and other stakeholders about context, mechanisms, outcomes and challenges of CSC implementation in Bangladesh and other developing countries. However, proper contextualization, institutional capacity building and policy integration will be critical in establishing effectiveness of CSC at scale.