Budget tracking workshop to sharpen accountability efforts by civil society, parliaments, media

27-30 AUGUST 2013 | Nairobi, Kenya

Introduction

Nairobi, Kenya – More than 60 representatives of national parliaments, civil society, ministries of health, media and development agencies from Kenya, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, and Uganda are meeting this week in Nairobi in a workshop that aims to build their capacities to engage with budgets and undertake budget advocacy for improved women’s and children’s health.

Speaker of the Senate of Kenya, Honourable Ekwee Ethuro, inaugurated the meeting at the Ole Serena hotel on behalf of the Inter-Parliamentary Union. Underlining the relevance of this topic, he noted that a “ national budget is the most important policy tool that a government has,” urging participants to work together to ensure the existence of appropriate budget lines that are garnished on a regular basis, ensuring strong oversight mechanisms. He also pointed to key challenges in this process, including access to budget information.

This capacity building workshop, organized by the PMNCH, WHO, Save the Children, the InterParliamentary Union, UNICEF, Evidence for Action, the East African Community Open Health Initiative, Family Care International, White Ribbon Alliance, Countdown to 2015, and World Vision International seeks to:

  • Build capacity of all stakeholders in country teams to understand how to undertake health budget advocacy
  • Foster greater collaboration among stakeholders from different constituencies who influence budget processes in countries and
  • Support the development of budget advocacy strategies that build on the advocacy plans of existing RMNCH or health civil society coalitions

The meeting, which runs through 30 August, is expected to yield the development of joint budget advocacy strategies to be implemented by civil society coalitions following the workshop.

Background

The past four years has seen a substantial global and regional increase in commitments to women’s and children’s health, stemming in part from the launch of the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health in 2010 by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, and the prioritization on the African continent of women’s and children’s health by the African Union among other regional and sub-regional bodies. Ensuring that these commitments are delivered and implemented will require a concerted focus on accountability.

Building the capacity of stakeholders engaged in critical advocacy and accountability platforms to better understand the planning, costing and budgeting and related advocacy processes and bringing these important stakeholders, who come from different constituencies, together and fostering collaboration is an important step towards promoting accountability for resources and results.

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