Community Empowerment for Improving Health Services

19th November 2018
Author: Kerina Tull

This rapid review examined community empowerment for improving health services. It begins with the elaboration of expectation of health services, followed by processes for increasing community empowerment. Additionally, the review also discuss about evidence on communities prioritising and delivering areas of change in the next section. The review finds that there has also been a surge of support for community evaluations, where community members play a direct role in evaluating the performance of heath care workers and the health system (Wisniewski and Yongho, 2014 unpublished). Processes and programmes are in place to increase community empowerment in terms of health care in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), with varying degrees of success. Due to the lack of available evidence from the DRC, lessons learned from other transformative country programmes (i.e. to generate empowerment) are also incorporated into this report. Peer-reviewed and “grey” literature was included. Additionally, the input of professionals who have been involved in implementing community participation interventions has been sought and is included as appropriate. Although power relations are critical to both gender and accountability, the evidence found was ‘gender-blind.’ However, most of the service evaluations available are linked to maternal and child health. Disability was not a focus of this rapid review.

Suggested Citation

Tull, K. (2018). Community empowerment for improving health services. K4D Helpdesk Report 490. Brighton, UK: Institute of Development Studies


19th November 2018


Continent: Africa

Country: Democratic Republic of Congo