Challenges to fair decision-making processes in the context of health care services: a qualitative assessment from Tanzania

International Journal for Equity in Health
Elizabeth ShayoAstrid Blystad


Fair processes in decision making need the involvement of stakeholders who can discuss issues and reach an agreement based on reasons that are justifiable and appropriate in meeting people's needs. In Tanzania, the policy of decentralization and the health sector reform place an emphasis on community participation in making decisions in health care. However, aspects that can influence an individual's opportunity to be listened to and to contribute to discussion have been researched to a very limited extent in low-income settings. The objective of this study was to explore challenges to fair decision-making processes in health care services with a special focus on the potential influence of gender, wealth, ethnicity and education. We draw on the principle of fairness as outlined in the deliberative democratic theory. The study was carried out in the Mbarali District of Tanzania. A qualitative study design was used. In-depth interviews and focus group discussion were conducted among members of the district health team, local government officials, health care providers and community members. Informal discussion on the topics was also of substantial value. The study findings indicate a substantial influence of gender, wealth, ethni...Continue Reading


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