Content reposted from WHO (original link)
9 MAY | DAKAR, SENEGAL
The Regional workshop on budget analysis and advocacy, organized under the auspices of the Harmonization for Health in Africa (HHA) partnership, closed with a commitment from civil society representatives, the media, parliamentary health and budget committees and ministries of health and finance from Burkina Faso, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Niger and Senegal, to work together towards improving transparency and accountability in health sector budgetary allocation and expenditure, for better health outcomes for women and children.
Following a three day training on the entire health sector accountability loop, ranging from health sector planning, costing, budgeting, implementation to monitoring, workshop attendees returned to their respective countries where, with the assistance of HHA agencies and civil society partners such as Save the Children and Family Care International, they will develop advocacy action plans aimed at resolving budget related issues that impact health sector performance. These action plans may address issues related to overall health budget transparency and control, increased health budget allocation, timely disbursement of funds, or even the prioritization of funds for key high impact interventions for women’s and children’s health. Anticipated action plans will aim to influence the current budgets which in nearly all countries, will be tabled for approval in Q3.
There is immense interest in improving knowledge of budgetary processes and in sharpening stakeholders’ ability to influence the budget. Participants expressed the need for more of these types of workshops to be conducted in countries, in order to create a stronger mass of informed advocates around health planning and budgeting processes. In Senegal, 10 parliamentarians actively participated during the entire period of the workshop foregoing other commitments and attesting to the great demand for increasing stakeholder’s technical capacities for these key issues of interest.
Representatives of CSOs present at the meeting also issued a declaration committing to improving budget advocacy and calling on the HHA partners and other organizing partners, to play their part in supporting them with the required capacity building efforts to achieve this endeavor. Organizing partners in turn, have committed to working with country teams to develop and implement these advocacy plans.