BudgIT Foundation and Connected Development (CODE), two prominent civic-tech non-governmental organisations spearheading the advocacy for openness, transparency and accountability in governance, have launched the second phase of the COVID-19 Transparency and Accountability Project (CTAP), an initiative that seeks to promote accountability and transparency through the tracking of COVID-19 intervention funds across 10 African countries.
For the first phase of the project, both organisations leveraged their Tracka and Follow The Money (FTM) platforms to address the deeply rooted systemic profiteering culture associated with COVID-19 interventions and ineffective feedback mechanisms for tracking COVID-19 fund disbursements and management across focus countries. The first phase also strengthened civic engagement on COVID-19 response related matters to ensure that targeted governments use COVID-19 funds effectively.
Building on these successes, the second phase of the project will advocate for improved healthcare funding and address the issues related to vaccine deployment and equitable distribution across focus countries. Both organisations will do this firstly, by conducting research on the post COVID environment, the distribution of health sector resources, the government’s commitment to healthcare funding, vaccine procurement plans and the issues affecting the equitable distribution in Africa, with a special focus on vulnerable groups in terms of commercial activity and socioeconomic status.
According to Oluseun Onigbinde, BudgIT’s Global Director, “This research will set a pathway for identifying the peculiar issues with procurement plans and vaccine distribution, after which we can build partnerships with relevant stakeholders and sectoral leaders to co-create inclusive frameworks and solutions for long-term health sector accountability,”. “We will not only collaborate with governments in focus countries to institute proper and sustainable accountability systems, we will also enhance the COVID-19 Accountability Platform (covidfund.africa) with a digital dashboard that tracks health sector resourcing and accountability approaches” he added.
Beyond collaborations with the government and sectoral leaders, we will also strengthen citizens’ engagement and equip civil society organisations in each focus country on how to prioritise vulnerable communities in their advocacy for improved health care investment.
While speaking on this part of the project, Hamzat Lawal, CODE’s Chief Executive noted that both organisations will mobilise at least 1.7million Africans digitally and offline to monitor emergency funds and demand health sector accountability.
“We will also facilitate dialogue sessions between 36 CSOs and the government to create opportunities for engagement between both parties on improved funding and health sector accountability.” he added
The COVID-19 transparency and accountability project has been instrumental in strengthening COVID-19 fund accountability frameworks and devising strategies that enhance citizen-led advocacy for reforms. We believe that this second phase will leverage existing partnerships with relevant stakeholders, the OGP and Global Health Organisations working on fiscal issues related to COVID-19 fund management and health sector accountability. This project is led by CODE and BudgIT in collaboration with Global Integrity, Oxlade Consulting and primarily funded by Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and Skoll Foundation.