The annual report 2009 highlights the core of what HealthNet TPO is all about…
In the annual report 2009 we have chosen to highlight our way of working in more detail than in earlier editions. The idea of an annual report is to be accountable towards those that have furnished funds and to those we work with, communities, governments, colleagues. In this era of change it is important to show why HealthNet TPO remains a good idea.
All agencies are questioned about their added value, and even more interesting is the question about motivation, justification and legitimacy of HealthNet’s activities. Who are we to take positions in building anything in any other country than our own? What is our ‘moral ground’?
The answer is both simple and complex. Our departure point is we take nothing for granted. A more positive way of stating the same point is that we work on an evidence basis. Very often there is no hard evidence for specific interventions, so we need to build an evidence base.
This goes much further than the exclusion of certain treatment models in medicine, as health concerns in fragile states extend far beyond illness models. For example, the origin of domestic violence is often a mixture of many things, such as traditional traits in society, weakened morale due to warfare, and changing gender relations. Changing a situation where women suffer in this horrific way (f.e. Congo, Afghanistan), therefore requires a mix of interventions. HealthNet TPO aims to understand these contexts in order to be able to help the people to change the situation. The moral departure point is the idea that everybody has a right to be helped in changing a situation that causes suffering. The help HealthNet TPO offers is to make international knowledge and experience available at the local level. In a globalizing world every human being has a right to be informed. It is that simple. Yet, it is that complex, as linking state-of-the-art knowledge to violent situations where people live in poverty without education, is no small challenge.
But we are convinced this works, and convinced that this constitutes a fair agenda. The scientific approach, rigid scientific methodology based on critical reason, is the core of our method. It has brought effective malaria prevention protocols to some 25 countries, new visions on psychosocial programming, brought concrete poverty reduction through introduction of user fees and performance based incentives, and it has brought tools to help select the right children for the most effective intervention. The critical approach was underlined in 2009, when HealthNet TPO created a chair in Collective Trauma at the Department of Cultural Anthropology and Sociology, Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences of the University of Utrecht. HealthNet TPO is proud of these results.