Policy Brief on Social Accountability of FISPs in Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia.
An estimated $US 1 billion is spent on Farm Input Subsidy Programmes (FISPs), a year in 10 sub-Saharan countries, including Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia – accounting for 14-26 per cent of their combined annual public expenditure on agriculture. Despite such large outlays on FISPs over the last decade or so, food insecurity in the SADC region is on an increasing trend – some 29.4 million people were estimated to be food insecure in the SADC region in 2018/19 – and alarming jumps in food insecurity were reported in individual countries such as Malawi and Zambia for 2018/19.
The PSA Alliance conducted monitoring using village and district level community scorecards to assess social accountability in the management and delivery of FISPs in Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia during 2017 and 2018.
This regional policy brief summarises the findings from across the four countries, reflects on the impact this has on the realisation of regional commitments, and provides recommendations for improving accountability in the delivery of FISPs and agriculture services for smallholder farmers.
Strengthening sexual and reproductive health public services delivery for young people in Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia: Defining the accountability agenda
While there have been notable commitments and efforts to improve access to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services for young people across Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia, social accountability monitoring undertaken by PSA Alliance has identified pressing challenges in public resource management which undermine progress.
This policy brief summarises the findings from PSA Alliance's monitoring across the four countries, reflects on the impact this has on the realisation of regional commitments, and provides recommendations for improving accountability in service delivery.
"Corruption can have a crippling effect on a country’s economy. This is why African businesses have described ending corruption as “priority number one”. Take Nigeria, where the basic infrastructure deficit is huge but funds to improve its infrastructure always seem to end up missing or misallocated. In addition, projects are started and never finished. ...This research set out to discover whether the use of technology and social media by ordinary citizens to monitor infrastructure projects could result in more infrastructure projects being completed – and could also lessen corruption." ...
Tolu Olarewaju, Staffordshire University Corruption can have a crippling effect on a country’s economy. This is why African businesses have described ending corruption as “priority number one”. Take Nigeria, where the basic infrastructure deficit is huge but funds to improve its infrastructure...
March 22, 2019 - Reflecting on the findings of health and agriculture service delivery monitoring in Southern Africa, a cross-section of 87 representatives from government, parliament, civil society and farmers organisations, who met in Lusaka, Zambia from 4 – 7 March, issued a communiqué today. The communiqué calls upon SADC and its member states to improve accountability to accelerate the achievement of regional commitments.
“Social accountability is a prerequisite for the delivery of quality social services, and ultimately for the achievement of food security and good health for all people of Southern Africa,” said Mr. Barney Karuuombe, Manager: Parliamentary Capacity Development (PCD), SADC PF, addressing the meeting on 6 March.
The final communiqué of the meeting urged the SADC National Parliaments and the SADC Parliamentary Forum, among other recommendations, “to promote awareness of the regional health and agriculture commitments at both the national and regional levels and ensure oversight of the same through appropriate mechanisms.”
“What happens in one country in our region, affects all of us. It is our responsibility as citizens to ensure the regional agreements which our governments sign are realistic and representative of our aspirations. We must then hold them accountable for their realisation,” explained Ms. Gertrude Mugizi, Coordinator of the Regional Learning Programme at the Public Service Accountability Monitor (PSAM).
In response to the new SADC Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) Strategy (2019-2030), the meeting communiqué calls for “SADC Member States to commit 5% of their national health budget for implementation of the SADC SRHR Strategy (2019-2030). Additionally, local government authorities, where relevant, should at least commit 10% of their own sources for the facilitation of the implementation by local health departments.”
“As adolescents and young people of the region, we demand that nothing should be developed for us, without our involvement. Nothing for us, without us. If governments commit to delivering sexual and reproductive services for youth, we should be able to access these in our communities,” a social accountability monitoring (SAM) champion from Zambia, Mr. Ng’andwe Ng’andwe, told the delegates.
In the area of agriculture support for smallholder farmers, the communiqué stated “[we] urgently call upon SADC Member States to support innovative research and development as well as the implementation of alternatives to hybrid seeds and chemically intensive agriculture such as (i) integrated pest management (ii) use of community-based seed systems (iii) improvement of soil fertility through increasing soil organic matter and to (iv) facilitate the diversification of farmer support programmes and the redirection of funds towards the adoption of agroecological practices.”
“We need farmer support programmes that respond to the needs of smallholder farmers in the region. The FISPs undermine our sustainable practices by only providing hybrid seeds and synthetic fertilisers. What we need is support for us to better use our own seed systems and adopt sustainable agroecological practices,” explained Zambian smallholder farmer and member of ESAFF Zambia, Ms. Mary Sakala.
The Partnership for Social Accountability (PSA) Alliance held two events – a Regional Learning Forum and Regional Budget Summit – from 4 to 7 March 2019 at the Intercontinental Hotel in Lusaka, Zambia. The Regional Learning Forum explored examples of good practices and working models in promoting social accountability in service delivery in the region.
The Regional Budget Summit, held in partnership with the Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum (SADC PF), focused on the findings of ongoing national and local level social accountability monitoring across four countries – Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia – and how these impact on the realisation of regional SADC commitments in health and agriculture. Participants also reflected on the critical oversight role of parliamentarians and parliamentary committees in ensuring the accountable use of public funds.
The PSA Alliance is a consortium led by ActionAid together with PSAM, ESAFF and SAfAIDS, and supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), has been implementing a social accountability project in Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia since May 2016. In each of the four countries, the multi-stakeholder project has provided training to build the capacity of state officials and parliamentarians to more effectively manage public funds, as well as support for civil society organisations, smallholder farmers and the media in holding their leaders to account.
For more information on the project ‘Strengthening Social Accountability and Oversight in Health and Agriculture in Southern Africa’, please contact Chrispin Chomba, +260211257652, email@example.com, SAfAIDS Zambia or Maureen Zulu, +260974757586, firstname.lastname@example.org, ActionAid Zambia.