Over the past two years, BudgIT Senegal has been implementing the COVID-19 Transparency and Accountability Project (CTAP) to enhance transparency and accountability in the management of funds allocated to the health sector, particularly COVID-19 funds.
Through a participatory approach, the CTAP project has made an important contribution to the evaluation of the management of COVID-19 funds and of the Senegalese health sector in general, both at the central level, with the Ministry of Health and the management and at the local level with the health district managers and community relays. Aware of the importance of access to information and accountability, CTAP has reserved an important part of its work for civil society actors and the media.
In 2022, BudgIT recorded significant success under CTAP, especially in its collaboration with CSOs and media for government accountability. We also developed a research report on Health Sector Accountability with input from stakeholders, citizens, healthcare workers, and government to identify key challenges and opportunities for the Senegalese health sector.
BudgIT held six community town hall meetings, two radio programs and developed one video clip in Wolof to inform citizens about the COVID-19 provisions and the need to demand accountability to strengthen our health systems. We also had two Open Government Partnership engagements and institutional engagement, social media discussions, and advocacy for multi-actors to observe and demand accountability in the health sector.
Collaboration with the Ministry of Health to conduct a Vaccine Equity meeting with Health Practitioners
Now that we are in the third phase of CTAP, we have focused on strengthening partnerships with government institutions, particularly the Ministry of Health and Social Action, through the Directorate of Health and the Directorate of Prevention, the vaccine management body. BudgIT also organized a meeting of health practitioners in collaboration with the Ministry of Health in the Kaolack Region. This meeting has gathered all the Chiefs of the District who are managing the sector in this region to examine the state of the health centers in the region, with a focus on health service delivery, vaccine equity, fund management, and communication with the communities regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. Subsequently, we will continue to collaborate with the Ministry of Health to take these community meetings to other regions to discuss the importance of vaccines.
Community Town Hall Meetings and Youth Market Storms
In addition to the aforementioned, BudgIT also drives community discussions in our focus regions. So far, we have held six community engagement meetings in Ziguinchor, Kaolack, Saint Louis, Diourbel, Dakar, and Mbour, where we monitored the implementation of projects funded by COVID-19 donations. In May 2023, the budgIT team held an engaging community town hall meeting in the Region of Thiès with youth organizations, students, and actors of the informal sector to sensitize them on the vaccine’s importance via the campaign “save one save all.” This activity was an opportunity to raise youth awareness about vaccination and gather their opinions about the state of health care in Thiès, including access to medical services and the management of funds allocated for the region. BudgIT intends to extend the CTAP and vaccine campaigns to all nine regions in Senegal by September 2023 to capture input from more communities.
Media Coverage and Influence
To ensure the visibility of CTAP activities, BudgIT has held a special web TV show on Senenews (one of the most important web media in Senegal) and a radio show in E-media Invest to communicate about CTAP phase 3, the main success stories of CTAP, health service delivery in Senegal, health fund management, and vaccine equity.
BudgIT Senegal contracted with pop sensation Diyane Adams to create a jingle for the project, which we disseminated through YouTube and other Senegalese media. We recognize the significance of social media in this initiative, which is why we created campaigns on our media platforms, such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Please join the discussion. We all have a role to play in ensuring the health systems in Senegal are strengthened; use hashtags : #SaveOneSaveAll #CTAP #VaccineEquity to join discussions.