Every once in a while, global leaders and representatives of the international aid community attend global conferences and make commitments towards causes that they never honour. This is because there are no mechanisms to keep them accountable to the pledges and promises they make.
Samasha Medical Foundation, a Ugandan non-profit dedicated to advocating for improved health, has developed a tracker that can be used to monitor if commitments made by leaders are honoured and translated into implementable activities.
The Motion Tracker is an online monitoring tool that can track the progress made towards the commitments made by governments and their leaders.
It is an evidence-based tool based on the WHO health systems Framework monitoring service delivery, health workforce, information, medicines, financing and governance.
“This was a proof-of-concept project that translates reproductive health global commitments into action at a country level,” said Moses Muwonge the director at Samasha.
“The tool has helped us to know how our resources are expended, and this has helped us to coordinate with all the stakeholders working on reproductive health issues,” said Dinah Nakiganda, the assistant commissioner for reproductive health at the Ministry of Health.
The Government of Uganda made reproductive health-related commitments at various global fora; in 2011 at Every Woman Every Child (EWEC), 2012 at the London Family Planning Conference–FP 2020 and in 2013 at the UN Commission on Life Saving Commodities (UNCoLSC).
Samasha has developed a Commitments Compendium in partnership with the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition (RHSC). The Compendium has a compilation of explicit and implicit statements extracted from the commitments made by Uganda, which have been deconstructed into implementable activities that can be monitored, Dr. Muwonge said.
In the project methodology, organisations that contribute to reproductive health related commitments were selected based on a stakeholder mapping matrix.
Primary data was collected using a partner contribution questionnaire, and secondary data was collected through review of various documents like policy statements and newspaper articles. Data was also collected from key informant interviews, desk reviews, email correspondences, face-to-face meetings, and phone calls.
The methodology and tools have now been adapted by Burkina Faso and Zambia, said Muwonge.
Cornelia Asiimwe, the program officer at Samasha, says that partner reporting on contribution to commitments has increased from 23 in September 2015 when the project was launched to 64 in April 2016.
“The percentage of returning users has also grown. At first they were spending just about a minute now they take 3 minutes and more, which shows that they like the tool,” said Asiimwe.
After about a year now, the Motion Tracker shows the progress on different commitments, indicating whether they are on track, fully achieved or not achieved in regards to reproductive health commitments. The indicators are divided into the areas of finance, policy, service delivery, supply chain and technology, Asiimwe added.
The tool also tracks the money put into these projects, and helps policy makers devote money to areas where it is needed most, said Nakiganda.
Espilidon Tumukurate an adviser for Jhpiego, said this is one of the success stories and now the innovation is an export. He however said that Samasha needs to get more funding and take the tool to the district level, and also to track how the money is helping deliver services.
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