Call for Papers: "Social Sciences in Health" Conference, 08/00

Call for Papers: "Social Sciences in Health" Conference, 08/00

7 - 11 August, 2000

Gaborone, Botswana

Attached is the CALL FOR ABSTRACTS - 2nd Reminder, for the 4th International Social Sciences in Health International Conference, to be held at the Grand Palm Hotel, Gaborone, Botswana 7th - 11th August 2000.

Also attached is the Conference Proposal and a Call for Case Studies which have used social sciences to asses, analyze and improve health.

Anne M. Pertet, Ph.D.



4th International Social Sciences in Health International Conference


THEME: Africa Health at Crossroads: Challenges for the next millennium

* Successes

* Failures/constraints

* Lessons learned

* Best Practices

* Way Forward


Social Sciences in Health (SSH) International Conferences are organized biennially by SOMA-Net, a multidisciplinary Network of Scientists, Institutions and Agencies whose primary goal is to promote and advocate for the application of social science approaches in improving health.

SSH conferences create fora for exchange of information, ideas and foster collaboration between social and health scientists with a view to strengthening contributions of social science to health development.

Conference Objective

The objective of this conference is to exchange information and share experiences on the social science interventions which have been used in research, programmes, projects and policies in the past with the aim of expanding on the lessons learned and coming up with Best Practices for improving health.

Specific objectives

- Identify and describe interventions in health programmes research, projects and policies carried out in Africa and globally;

- Expand on lessons learned from various SSH interventions;

- Document best practices for improving health;

- Formulate plans of action, methods, and strategies for strengthening health interventions.

The Main Health Areas and Sub Themes are:

1.0. Special Health Care Concerns

- Nutrition security

- Reproductive Health

- Gender Health and development

2.0. Population-based Health Care initiatives

- Bamako initiative

- implementation and evaluation

- Community participation and health care

3.0 Health sector reforms

4.0. Emerging and re-emerging infections


- Ebola /Rift valley fever etc.

- Tuberculosis

5.0. Recently adopted new approaches for improving health Care

- Health social sciences

- Essential national health research

- Health systems research

- Trans-disciplinary research

The programme

Plenary speakers for position papers

* Paper presentations

* Syndicate group discussions

* Plenary group presentations

* Poster presentations

Conference Format

- The Conference is designed to maximize opportunities for interaction among participants around the objectives

- Whenever possible presentations will be organized into sessions with common themes to enhance discussion

- Dedicated time will be given to both oral and poster presentations within the schedule

Conference Presentations

Abstracts addressing the conference themes, will be selected by a committee for either poster or oral presentation. The submitter may indicate their preference, but final decisions regarding acceptance of abstracts and of the presentation format will be made by the selection committee.

Poster sessions - Presenters will display their work graphically. Posters will be displayed all day, but presenters must be available to discuss their work and answer questions during specified times. Detailed guidelines will be provided after the poster is accepted.

Paper presentation - Presenters will verbally present their findings in sessions organized by theme areas. They will be given 10 minutes to make contributions to the theme, after which the participants break into syndicate groups.


Abstracts may be in English or French. The entire abstract, including title and text, and name, complete address and affiliation of author(s) must not be more than two single spaced A4 papers. Use short, specific titles and standard abbreviations. Underline the name and initials of the presenter. The abstract should include the title, objectives of study, a summary of the intervention, main findings, constraints, successes, recommendations. The papers could be original, theoretical or empirical work.

The abstracts and full papers should be sent to the SOMA-Net secretariat by post, fax or E-mail


House No. 1,

Diani Close Ole Odume Rd, off Argwings Kodhek Road

P.O. Box 20811

Nairobi, Kenya

Tel: +254-2-560-569 / 567-577

Fax: +254-2-567-577 / 560-569


All abstracts must be received at SOMA-Net offices at the above address by 1st March 2000. For additional information or enquiries contact the Coordinator, SOMA-Net using the same address.

Full papers to be received by 30th May 2000

Presentation Preference

Paper Presentation (15 minutes)

Poster Presentation

Audiovisual Equipment Requirements

All equipment must be ordered in advance. Only equipment specified below will be available at the time of the meeting. Any additional equipment requested will be charged to the presenter.

- Slide projectors - Overhead projectors - Flip charts

Note: Please provide a brief biographical paragraph for the introduction of the presenter of your paper for use by the Session Chairperson.

The conference registration fee is US$ 150. All participants are ex- pected to cover their conference expenses.


A writers workshop will be held at the conference venue. The objectives of this workshop are to enhance the scientists skills in preparing publishable papers in social sciences familiarize themselves in peer reviews process, how it operates and how respond to reviews.

Prospective participants are invited to submit a fully worked up manuscript of no more than 5000 words of relevance to one of the conference themes to SOMA-Net by June 1, 2000. These manuscripts will be used as the basis for the workshop. SOMA-Net will provide the resource persons.

Places for the workshop are limited. Attendance to the workshop is free but participants should register separately for the conference and pay the appropriate registration fee.

Participants are responsible for their own accommodation, travel ex- penses and registration fee and are encouraged to look for funds which will enable them to attend the 4 day conference.

For more details contact the SOMA-Net Secretariat.


SOMA-Net will sponsor 4 individuals with the Best Case Studies to the conference. The following is a guideline for the case studies.

I. Outline of the Case Study report

Each case study is to be written in accordance with the following outline:

1. The Problem

Describe in compelling terms the health problem that was addressed. This is the reality as understood by the main actors. What was the actual situation that demanded an intervention of the health social sciences?

2. The Process

What was done? A brief description of the activities carried out by the person or the team.

3. The social Science Elements in the process

How was Social Sciences applied in the process reported? What were the theories, knowledge, or findings underpinning the research or intervention process. What was the social science methods or tools used in the process described in the previous part.

4. The Results

What was the impact of the process undertaken. What were the outputs in relation to the people's health or well being, the institutionalisation process, the change in behaviour, or in the health system. These results can be either positive or negative, or both.

5. The context and the Actors

What was the social and institutional context in which the process occurred? How did this context influences positively or negatively the results achieved? Which actors took part in the process and what was their performance or the nature of the game that they played. To what extent did contextual or individual dimensions influence the outputs.

6. Balancing potentialities and limitations of the health science

In what ways did a social science approach make a difference in the health problem? What were the significant advantages of using social science theories, practices tools, and / or institutions? What were the limitations social sciences approaches manifested in addressing the problem, either in terms of theoretical, methodological or institutional restrictions.

II. Selection Criteria for Case Studies

These criteria are guidelines to be applied in the best judgement of selections and it may not be possible for any one case to satisfy all criteria.

1. Case will be "interventions" that have been evaluated in some way (i.e., research and development project, community trial, demonstration project) and health and well-being of people.

2. Cases can be about an action that takes place at any level of analysis: a) macro level (e.g., addressing national policy or health care financing; b) health services/systems; c) a local community or subgroup within the community; or can be; d) disease/ illness focused (e.g. malaria, reproductive health); e) social/ behavioural category focused (e.g. health seeking, household production of health, self-regulation of medication; in appropriate prescribing).

3. Ideally cases are explicitly cross-disciplinary (ideally, interdisciplinary or trans-disciplinary if any exist).

4. Cases will reveal the guidance of theoretical assumptions in the implementation of the action/intervention.

5. Cases can originate in any African country ultimately 4 cases will be selected.

6. Those selected will be supported to present their case studies during the 4th Social Sciences in Health Conference to be held in Botswana in August 2000.

7. Cases will address health concerns that are viewed as priorities or "essential" by multiple stakeholders.

8. Governing council members may submit case studies; they will be considered "in addition" to the cases drawn from the region and will be judged by the selection committee (with the individual concerned not present) using these same criteria.

9. Final case submissions will be 18-22 pages in length, plus references.

III. Procedures and Timetables for Case Study Conceptual Event

1. SOMA-Net should receive case study documentation by June 1, 2000.

2. Selection committee reviews and decides on final cases by July 1 2000.

3. SOMA-Net secretariat notify case study awardees July 5, 2000

4. Awardees and discussants attend Social Sciences in Health International Conference in Botswana, August 7th -11th 2000

5. Case Study edited and compiled into a booklet for distribution by November 30th 2000


Editor: Ali B. Ali-Dinar
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