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Ram B Rana, Rabindra Ghimire, Mahendra B Shah, Tirtha Kumal, Elise Whitley and Ian A Baker contributed equally to this work.
None of the authors had competing interests.
RBR, RG, MBS and TK were involved in the field survey, data processing, preliminary analysis and early reporting. IAB and EW helped with further analysis and final editing of the paper. The authors made equal contributions and have read the final manuscript.
An evaluation of progress with participatory approaches for improvement of health knowledge and health experiences of disadvantaged people in eight Districts of Eastern Nepal has been undertaken.
A random selection of Village Development Committees and households, within the eight Districts where participation and a Rights-based Approach had been promoted specifically by local NGOs were compared with similar villages and households in eight Districts where this approach had not been promoted. Information was sought by structured interview and observation by experienced enumerators from both groups of householders. Health knowledge and experiences were compared between the two sets of households. Adjustments were made for demographic confounders.
Complete data sets were available for 628 of the 640 households. Health knowledge and experiences were low for both sets of households. However, health knowledge and experiences were greater in the participatory households compared with the non-participatory households. These differences remained after adjustment for confounders.
The study was designed to evaluate progress with participatory processes delivered by non-governmental organisations over a five year period. Improvements in health knowledge and experiences of disadvantaged people were demonstrated in a consistent and robust manner where interventions had taken place.