Strengthening Social Accountability Monitoring and Responsiveness to Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights
The Strengthening Social Accountability Monitoring and Responsiveness to Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) is an Oxfam-funded project under the Securing Rights in the context of HIV and AIDS Programme (SRP). The SRP initiative aims to mitigate the spread of HIV and AIDS and uphold the rights of people infected and affected by the epidemic, especially women and girls, persons with disabilities, young people, in particular those born and living with HIV and mobile populations to exercise their rights to prevention, quality treatment and care, and sustainable livelihoods.
The CWGH project mentors and supports five of the SRP partners in Matabeleland and Midlands region namely Youth for Today and Tomorrow (YTT), Umzingwane Aids Network (UAN), Hope for a Child in Christ (HOCIC), Midlands Aids Caring Organisation (MACO) and Million Memory Programmes Zimbabwe Trust (MMPZT) to strengthen their community monitoring mechanisms for health, particularly for HIV/AIDS resources and services. The project strengthens the capacity of the five CSOs to gather evidence on access to SHR and HIV services and resources and engage relevant authorities to demand for improved quality service provision and better equitable allocation of resources.
A bottom-up approach in influencing processes from local to national level is promoted through the use of available spaces such as community dialogues, pre and post budget meetings, Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Health meetings. The mentorship process includes supporting CSOs to attend national advocacy meetings such as the CWGH National Conference as well as pre and post budget meetings. These provide the CSOs with an opportunity to engage different health authorities and policy makers to deliberate on and address problems faced by communities in accessing SRH and HIV services. The advocacy actions are aimed pushing for the State`s social accountability and responsiveness to ensure that individuals have access to SRH, HIV and health services which are affordable, available and of high quality. Accountability of the State is essential in ensuring equitable resource allocation and effective service delivery.
The media plays a pivotal role in this project by amplifying community voices for greater State responsiveness to the access of SRH, HIV and AIDS resources and services. Positive reporting of health related stories has been adopted by journalists as evidenced by the number of articles published in the newspapers. The project has also assists CSOs to get their community stories published through the Ministry Health and Child Care (MoHCC)’s Health Matters Magazine, which is distributed country wide.