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Table 1 Outcomes described by VAPAR stakeholders

From: Collective reflections on the first cycle of a collaborative learning platform to strengthen rural primary healthcare in Mpumalanga, South Africa

Level Outcomes identified by interviewed stakeholders
Research and stakeholder engagement Appropriate platform for the Department of Health to engage with community members, allowing collective identification of health-related challenges and planning to address these challenges
Assisted with role clarification among different government departments, parastatals and NGOs, thereby identifying areas for collaboration towards specific goals, and opportunities to hold each other accountable for respective responsibilities
Achieved engagement among stakeholders from different constituencies, including government and parastatals, nongovernmental organizations and community members
Empowered community stakeholders to further engage with official structures
Organization and delivery of services Improvement in the delivery of water to communities in the study site (as a priority area identified during the first VAPAR cycle) recognized and acknowledged as a perceived programme outcome by community-based interviewees
Delivery and organization of health services in general and specific to children under 5 years of age (as a priority identified during the VAPAR pilot phase) not regarded to have notably improved during this period
Improvements in law enforcement with regard to the trading hours of taverns, as well as noise levels, were reported by one of the community-based interviewees and attributed to the VAPAR process through which senior police officials became aware of the community concerns
Establishing an evidence base for policy and planning Potential to influence policy and planning generally acknowledged
Community engagement, consultation and participation could lead to improved policy and planning
Improving health outcomes Community awareness, education and engagement regarded as ways to improve health behaviour and therefore also health outcomes over time
No direct improvement in health outcomes demonstrated to date
  1. VAPAR stakeholders included officials from government departments and parastatals, representatives from nongovernmental organizations and local community representatives who had participated in the pilot phase and first cycle of the VAPAR programme