Community Monitoring and Public Accountability for HIV/Aids Resources and Services
The Public and Social Accountability work seeks to strengthen community capacity to monitor and advocate for improved availability and access to quality HIV/AIDS services. This is done through the work of Health Centre Committees (HCCs) and community monitors using community scorecards in two districts in the Midlands province of Zimbabwe, Kwekwe (urban) and Chiwundura (a rural sub district under the Gweru District administration).
The activities, implemented in communities, at district and national level, contribute to ensuring that there is an increase in public accountability and responsiveness of national HIV/AIDS institutions to the needs of people living with HIV.
Community-based monitoring, a promising practice for improving program effectiveness and a key component of the rights-based implementation of health programs, done by community monitors generates local evidence for engagement with duty bearers to address poor HIV/AIDS service delivery. Advocacy, a key component of the programme, is done through already existing platforms created for engagement at local and national level on issues of concern. These platforms include district stakeholder meetings at district level, where various government departments and civil society organizations convene to deliberate and address the problems presented by communities through HCCs.
Public discussions on topical health issues, pre and post budget meetings to influence national policies and resource allocation are some of the advocacy activities that are held at national level. These draw officials from government including Ministry of Health and Child Care (MoHCC), Parliament of Zimbabwe through the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Health (PPCH), Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs), academia and media.
The programme has made huge gains, particularly in improving relations between communities and health workers through the Patients’ Charter and influencing how resources for health are allocated to ensure equity. It has also contributed to improving some of the social determinants of health, such as water supply and sanitation.