Using evidence to strengthen accountability for health financing
This article is part of a MamaYe-Evidence for Action (E4A) series on accountability published in the International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics.
In 2012, the government of Sierra Leone cut the national budget allocation to the health sector. In response, MamaYe-E4A joined forces with Save the Children, the Budget Advocacy Network, the Freetown Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Consortium, and other civil society members of the Budget Advocacy Working Group, on a nationwide health budget advocacy campaign.
The campaign called for increased allocation, efficiency, and transparency of spending for mothers and babies in Sierra Leone. It coincided with the 2012 general elections, aiming to strengthen accountability for health budgets by engaging citizens around these issues immediately before the election.
As part of the campaign, MamaYe-E4A produced health budget tracking scorecards for each that presented Ministry of Finance data on the allocation and disbursement of health funds in each district, highlighting gaps in funding and funding processes The data were communicated using simple, non-technical language so that citizens could understand the key messages and take action.
The authors describe the process of the campaign and note challenges in transforming politicians’ commitments and pledges into implementation and highlight that accountability is a long-term process and needs sustained support.