Participation has become a powerful concept. It circulates around the globe, engages policy makers as well as human rights activists and is a key principle of the Sustainable Development Goals 2015-2030. Anthropologists tend to share the emancipatory and humanitarian concerns implicit in ‘participation’, but they are highly critical of the ways in which 'participation' is used in global development.
This project examines ‘participation’ in the emergent field of ‘social health protection’ created by the ILO, World Bank and the World Health Organization to reach Universal Health Coverage. It encompasses diverse health financing interventions for Low and Middle Income Countries, often implemented through ‘induced participation’ and collective forms of ‘organic participation’. The massive attention given to interventions bears the danger of not only obscuring but perhaps even destroying people’s omnipresent but less visible strife for social participation in family and kin networks and self-organized groups to protect their health and improve their life condition.