Partners In Health (PIH) is an NGO that was founded on the principle of a preferential option of the poor in healthcare. Headquartered in Boston, the organization originally developed as a single community health project in Haiti, and has since expanded throughout Haiti and into a dozen other countries including Peru, Russia, and Mexico. PIH works in partnership with governments and local communities in each of these countries. The main goals of the organization are to provide healthcare to those most in need, to work to alleviate the causes of disease, and to share the ideas and lessons learned.
Definition of Problem
One of PIH’s key ideas is an approach to service through the model of accompaniment. The accompaniment approach to aid delivery is based on pragmatic solidarity with the poor. It proposes to build long-term relationships and mandates walking side by side in partnership rather than leading. This accompaniment model informs all of PIH's work; however, many within the organization of some 12,000 people are not terribly familiar with the accompaniment concept, and even among those who are familiar, most lack a deeper and more meaningful understanding of the idea of accompaniment and its applications to their work and lives.
Initial Ideas & Options
We will begin by working closely with the PIH Director of Human Resources in Boston, Cynthia Maltbie, and the Director of Clinical Practice and Quality Improvement, Anatole Manzi. This project proposes to organize the existing work that has been done on accompaniment training, and explore how it might be best utilized within PIH, especially in the relationships between the staff in the headquarters in Boston in partnership with those in the field.
Definition of Success
Refine and engage effective training/dialogue materials and other ways of engaging the PIH community on the understanding and use of the concept of accompaniment in all their work.