E4A – Mama Ye Kenya is taking part to the ESAK 2018 conference as a member of the planning committee, led by the Health Rights Advocacy Forum (HERAF). This is will be an incredible chance for National and County government officials, accountability constitutional commissions, Civil Society Organisations, the private sector, Faith Based Organisations, Non-Governmental Organisations, Community Based Organisations and Development Partners to transform the understanding of social accountability in the Kenyan health sector.
WHAT IS SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
Engaging the public into the decision-making process, while increasing public awareness and encouraging transparency on the reporting of the performance of governments are the essential mechanisms of social accountability. It can improve governance, make service delivery more effective, and empower citizens.
George Ogola, National Advocacy Coordinator for E4A-Mama Ye Kenya shares his thoughts ahead of the conference: “This is an incredible opportunity for the Kenya Health Sector to come together and join forces and ideas to improve understanding of social accountability within the country.”
The ESAK conference 2018 will be an occasion to analyse the conditions that influence the ability of individuals and organizations to promote accountability of Kenya’s health public sector. “It’s a positive and incredible sign to see so many organizations working together and collaborating towards a unique collective goal: improving accountability and performance in the health sector through the participation of civil society and citizens in the decision-making processes.”
CREATING A NEW LEGACY FOR THE FUTURE
The coalition of organizations behind the conference wants to create a legacy for the future: “The conversation should not dissolve right after these two days: we want this to be a starting point of a discussion that will need to be integrated in the health reforms for the years to come”, he concludes.
Edward Miano Munene, Executive Director at HERAF – one of the planning committee’s organizations, equally remarked why this event is essential to the Kenya’s health sector: “Citizens’ inaction in taking advantage of existing legal framework to demand accountability from government officials and systemic challenges has largely contributed to the country’s ailing health sector. Embracing Social Accountability initiative will greatly increase the likelihood of matching health services supply to health services demand”.
The conference will explore the most promising and innovative accountability tools and what are the challenges and lessons learnt from the application of these new mechanisms, such as the facility service charter, which directly involves the community in the facility planning and implementation of programmes through the community health strategy.
Some of the sessions will look at the role of modern technology in improving accountability to better hold governments, health providers and institutions for the coverage, performance and quality of health services. For example, E4A’s Health Financing and Advocacy Advisor is moderating a session on community voices in public participation. This session will focus on public participation in national and county government decision-making processes, including experiences of public participation in the budget making process.
The ‘Enhancing Social Accountability in Kenya Health Sector’ conference will be live on Twitter - #ESAK2018 #SocialAccountability. Follow @E4A_MamaYeKenya and @E4AMamaYeAfrica for updates on the conference proceedings.