Exploring Opportunities for Strengthening Public Finance Management in the Health Sector in Zimbabwe

“When seven babies were stillborn on July 27, 2020 at Harare Central Hospital in Zimbabwe, after urgent treatment was delayed because of a nurses’ strike, it captured the heart-rending health crisis in the country”1. This does not come as a surprise as stories of chronic drug shortages and preventable deaths have riddled Zimbabwe in the last decade. The onset of COVID-19 has worsened the situation. Post-Independence health policy placed a focus on preventative health – provision of protected toilets, safe water supplies, immunisation against childhood diseases, and family planning. Rural health centres, while providing curative treatments, were also to become centres for health education in the villages, through the training of village health workers; the general development of the economy would help to lift people out of poverty2. Once lauded as a marvel in the region, the health sector in Zimbabwe is no longer an image of its former self. This paper seeks to provide insights on how systemic weaknesses within the country’s public finance system play a contributory role in worsening the health situation.

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Social accountability Brief: Successes, Lessons and Promising practices in improving citizen driven accountability

The Civic Engagement for Accountability and Democracy in Zimbabwe (CEADZ) is a four-year program, currently in its third year of implementation. The program seeks to increase the influence of Zimbabwean citizens, acting collectively through formal and informal groups, for more democratic and accountable governance. To fulfil its objectives, CEADZ has been providing technical support to civic actors in Zimbabwe, mainly civil society organizations (CSOs) and community-based organizations (CBOs), to promote sustained civic-solution holder engagement for improved transparency, answerability, and accountability with notable success. The program’s interventions are linked to the basic understanding that Social Accountability Monitoring (SAM) has the potential of increasing and sustaining citizens participation in governance processes to improve transparency and accountability at multiple levels. Social Accountability constitutes the range of measures and mechanisms—beyond the ballot box—that involve citizens in holding the state to account, i.e. justify and explain its actions, or lack thereof.

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DISCUSSION PAPER – The Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association released a discussion paper: “Local Government and Corruption in Zimbabwe: Towards Bridging the Integrity Deficit”. The paper highlights the historical and contemporary context of corruption in Zimbabwe and outlines the scope of corruption in local authorities and its implications on service delivery and development. The paper concludes with a nine point plan for strengthening integrity, transparency and accountability in local authorities in Zimbabwe as a means to combat corruption.

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REPORT: Social Accountability and citizen engagement – understanding poor service delivery in the Zimbabwean context

By Thembile Phute, Pact  Zimbabwe: Country Director/Chief of Party

The paper takes stock of citizens and CSOs interventions in the area of social accountability, looking at what is being done and the lessons learnt are. It also looks at the growing body of evidence from impact evaluation studies and results coming from social accountability interventions. The paper will look at how strengthening the oversight role of CSOs/CBOs and oversight bodies like Parliament at national level and councils at local level can be done despite the prevailing political situation.

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