Tanzania have recorded reasonable strides in human rights, governance and accountability for the last 50 years among them being establishment of the Commission for Human Rights and Good Governance However, violation of human rights and misuse of public resources has not been adequately addressed. Despite the good intention of the Government of United Republic of Tanzania, to initiate the reform process, health sector is challenged by inadequate management at all levels, weak infrastructure, shortage of trained health care staff with 65 percent positions unfilled. Health facilities struggle to comply with the health policies, standards and guidelines that require provision of services in accordance with Essential Health Interventions Packages (EHIP).
National Council for People Living with HIV and AIDS (NACOPHA) which is implementing USAID Citizens Engaging in Government Oversight (CEGO) in Health “SAUTI YETU” project is addressing the problem by training citizens at the LGA in social accountability and monitoring. The SAM team from Iringa Municipal Council was established and trained in May 2015 by NACOPHA on social accountability monitoring, data collection, analysis and reporting. The team began monitoring in May by reviewing essential documents from Local Government Authority specifically health and community development department focusing on HIV service provision. SAM team reviewed reports for the year 2014/2015, analyzed it and prepared a report with the findings observed. All the way through the reviewing the team analyzed HIV policies and guidelines in line with the councils work plans and the implementations. A feedback report was prepared and presented to the LGAs officials to seek clarifications.
During the feedback presentation meeting, the SAM Secretary Mr Christopher Kunzugala said“SAUTI YETU project has provided an insight through social accountability monitoring (SAM) training in strengthening our capacity to know how public resources are being utilized. We are able to hold accountable LGA personnel, for example; incompleteness of the of a block fence construction at Ipogolo Health centre, whereas as it was reported differently, but during site verification at the health center we found only low quality foundation built. Through the SAM team, we were able to observe many more issues that needed clarification from the LGAs. We believe now that SAM can influence changes in implementation of municipal programs”
The local government officials provided clarification of all issues raised in the report. The acting District Medical Officer, Dr May Alexander commended on the efforts of community eye to influence local government personnel to work efficiently On behalf of the District Executive Director the local government authority gave the resolution and way forward “We will write our report to present to the District Executive Director and the council management team. We promise to provide cooperation and support to the SAM team to enhance the team conduct more analysis to monitor other departments. We are grateful we have the team in our council”