HBA Transparency Scorecard to improve budget accountability

The Nkhata Bay district council has agreed the Health Budget Advocacy (HBA) Transparency Scorecard will improve efficiency, transparency and accountability in the health budget sector formulation, disbursement and implementation.

The Nkhata Bay District Commissioner (DC) Alex Mdooko observed the HBA Transparency Scorecard will not only improve the efficiency and transparency in the health sector budget but other sectors will benefit. 

Mdooko explained, "what we have learnt today is a very important tool in the budget formulation, disbursement and implementation. This HBA Transparency Scorecard will make us work hard while striving to deliver positive results in the way we handle the health sector budget and of course other sector budgets".

Mdooko also observed the tool will help the public officers to be productive saying the observation showed the HBA Transparency Scorecard involves a lot to be done. He noted, "if our district is to achieve the green colour code, it means the officers will always be on their toes working. There are many reports that we public officers need to produce if we are to achieve the green colour code. This is going to make us very productive in our respective assignments". 

Financial analysts claim there is little knowledge on how public finances are managed in Malawi.

This is perhaps why the country’s Constitution provides the need for government to introduce measures which will guarantee accountability, transparency, personal integrity and financial probity and which by virtue of their effectiveness and transparency will strengthen confidence in public institutions.

But government alone cannot achieve all this. This requires concerted efforts from different stakeholders and partners.

It is for this reason that MamaYe Malawi is complimenting Malawi government efforts in improving the efficiency and transparency in budget formulation, disbursement and implementation in the country.

MamaYe is conducting the Health Budget Advocacy Scorecard training to equip the Nkhata Bay district councils with knowledge on how to formulate, track, disburse and implement the health sector budget at the district level.

MamaYe Malawi Country Director Mathias Chatuluka told the participants during the HBA scorecard roll out meeting in Nkhata Bay district that the Scorecard is a tool that will define the key aspects to be considered and carried out in order to generate evidence of practices that are transparent and duty bearers are becoming more accountable to those they serve.

He says, "the tool will be used by district stakeholders and will focus on the health sector in order to show that processes, procedures and decisions to plan, budget and spend resources  provided from government are used  in a manner that promotes the improvement of quality of life of citizens in the district".

Chatuluka says apart from ensuring the budget transparency and accountability, the HBA scorecard will also enhance national commitment to decentralization. He further says district councils are a focal point for development planning, management and enhancing citizen ownership. 

This scorecard tool will help the people of Nkhata Bay to hold to account people in authority. This mechanism is particularly helpful because we are sure it will improve our budget efficiency while ensuring that every player is more transparent and accountable.

said Hastings Mkandawire, Nkhata Bay district council chairperson.  He noted budget transparency and accountability requires clear understanding of how budget decisions are made; availability of comprehensive, accurate, appropriate and timely budget information; and citizens’ capacity to analyze how the resources are used to deliver budget outcomes. He added,

That’s why as a people of Nkhata Bay we unanimously adopt this HBA scorecard.

The MamaYe Health Budget Advocacy (HBA) scorecard strives at making sure that health sector budget preparation is widely consultative, district council governance structure ensure adherence to transparency and accountability for the health sector and budget information is available and communicated to the public. These three components of the HBA scorecard are identified as critical in promoting and increasing health budget transparency.

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