The COVID-19 Transparency and Accountability Project (CTAP), an initiative spearheaded by Connected Development (CODE) and BudgIT foundation, aimed at driving health sector accountability in Africa has found its way to Zimbabwe.

By Tendai Guvamombe

With a major objective of mobilizing citizens to demand health sector accountability, The CTAP initiative which is being implemented by Magamba Network in Zimbabwe, held a multi-stakeholder meeting in Harare, Zimbabwe on Tuesday 19th July 2022.

Speaking during the engagement, Magamba Network Programmes Manager, Daniel Chigudu, reiterated that the engagement is expected to play an oversight role in paving the way for an accountability roadmap on health matters.

“The engagement is expected to discuss strategies that will help institute accountability systems in Zimbabwe with specific focus on the health sector. Lack of accountability in the health sector results in the failure by the sector to provide service to those who need it. This can result in unnecessary loss of lives. So we are expecting that this engagement will help highlight where we are, where we are supposed to be and how to get there in terms of accountability,” he said.

According to Connected Development, Community Engagement Manager, Muktar Moddibo the engagement paved the way for a multi-stakeholder approach and this will also enhance the capacity to engage communities to foster health sector accountability.

“From the meeting, all stakeholders gave key recommendations on health procurement issues and calls for institutional redesigning. The good thing is that all civic societies are trying to achieve a common purpose hence the need to speak with one voice. We are now expecting to engage communities. More people have to be engaged so that they become aware of what health sector accountability is all about. Lets build more alliances and partnerships across the country,” he said.

Role of Civic Society Organizations(CSOs) on CTAP Project Implementation

Civic Societies highlighted a number of enabling issues that are relevant for their active participation on public health sector accountability matters.

In a presentation, Transparency International Zimbabwe(TIZ) Head of Programs, Tafadzwa Chikumbu said there is a need to strengthen the active participation of civic society organizations as part of advocacy work.

“The is a need to strengthen partnerships with Civic Society Organizations to make sure we copy how other countries are implementing their programmes. That can foster good advocacy work”

ZIMCODD, Senior Programmes Officer, Eustina Tarisai said the health sector is facing a number of challenges that needs attention. She recommended the need to engage parliamentary portfolio on Health on matters around transparency and accountability.

“A lot still needs to be done on the way information is being published on health issues in Zimbabwe. As part of addressing some of the challenges let’s engage the parliament. The parliament portfolio committees because they are the one who present our issues and questions which they will present during Parliamentary debate sessions.”

Combined Harare Residents Association(CHRA), activists, media practitioners and content creators were part of the Health Sector Accountability Discussion.

Background of CTAP Project and implementation in Africa

The disparity of the government response to COVID-19 and the lack of disaggregated data on expenditures directed towards recovery has made it hard to track the effectiveness of service delivery. To close this gap, the CTAP project looks at the allocation of emergency resources across African governments and supports civic actors to bring to light evidence of failures and misdeeds in service delivery.

The project is being implemented in phases.
The first phase focused on (7)African Countries that include Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone.

The programme implementation in Zimbabwe is being conducted under phase (2)two which is now incorporating (9)nine countries of Africa.

Ultimately, the project hopes to increase citizen engagement, improve their ability to demand accountability and work with governments to improve how they allocate and use public resources.