How to develop a health budget advocacy brief

Health Financing
Regional
2021
The Health Budget Advocacy Brief will help you to visualise complex health and budget information. It links financial data on budget allocation and budget performance (release and spending) to data on service delivery and utilisation.

WHAT is it?

The Health Budget Advocacy Brief tool (download available below) links financial data on budget allocation and budget performance (release and spending) to data on service delivery and utilisation in a visual format to present to decision makers.

The accompanying training slides (download available below) can help you to explore how to make the case for investment in health, identify what data can help to make your case, and how to visualise this data to present to decision makers.

The coalitions that E4A work with use an advocacy brief to demonstrate the links between health financing and health outcomes. The combination of data visualisations and narrative ensure that the brief caters to different audiences and that the key advocacy messages are amplified.

HOW do I do this?

You need:

  • The Health Budget Advocacy Brief tool,
  • To gather the following data for each of the health sector priorities you identified,
  • Health performance indicators,
  • Budget allocation
  • Budget execution, disbursement
  • Service delivery data.

 

Important tips for you:

  1. Open the Expenditure Brief tool.
  2. Read through the instructions on slide 1
  3. Work through the instructions, step by step, adding in the data you have collected
  4. Add in a narrative, explaining what the numbers say and what it means for health in your context.
  5. Finally, develop asks for your audience

WHEN do I do it?

A health budget advocacy brief can be developed for any length of period under review – monthly, quarterly or annually. Since the aim of the brief is to provide facts, insights and demands on an issue(s) by way of ‘asks’, it is important to have it ready before a period in which it can influence decisions and actions. This could be during the budget planning stage of the cycle to influence decisions on budget allocations, during the budget execution period to influence decisions on budget disbursements, or to provide evidence for oversight and review. We recommend you develop briefs on a regular basis, to share routine evidence on the status of funding for health in your context.

WHAT can I do with the information?

A health budget advocacy brief is not a standalone document – it should be used with other advocacy materials to influence action. Consider using a health budget advocacy brief in the following ways:

  1. To present to policymakers who have limited time.
  2. To accompany advocacy engagements or public participation events to provide additional facts on budget increases or disbursements.
  3. To monitor and reflect on the success of advocacy interventions.
  4. To facilitate round-table discussions. Disseminate the brief to policymakers and then facilitate a discussion with them on the findings and how performance can be improved.
  5. To compare performance across regions or countries, in an effort to learn what works and why.
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