New partnership wants assured quality public services as a universal right in SADC
Despite quality public services being a right for all in SADC region, this is more often than not, a paper reality.
A new project seeks to change the situation and ensure delivery of public health and agriculture services across Southern Africa is an assured and actualised right for the members of public.
According to the Project Coordinator Ms. Julie Middleton, the project, called Partnership for Social Accountability Alliance, will build the capacity of state officials and parliamentarians to be more effectively in manage public funds in the two sectors.
The alliance formed by a group of leading civil society organisations (NGOs), will also support civil society organisations, small scale farmers and the media in holding leaders to account.
The alliance is led by ActionAid together with PSAM, ESAFF and SAfAIDS, and supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).
Ms. Nalucha NgangaZiba, Country Director of ActionAid Zambia, at the launch of the project on 16 August 2016 at the 12th Southern Africa Civil Society Forum in Swaziland, noted that United Nation is for quality public services are a right for all.
She said that service delivery across Southern Africa depends on transparent and accountable management of public resources. “Governments have a responsibility to effectively plan and allocate resources, parliaments must provide effective oversight, and citizens and the media must be free and able to monitor and hold them to account. By strengthening state and civil society, the project will improve public services in our region, particularly in health and agriculture,” she said.
In the first three years (2016 – 2019), the project will focus on Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia. In each of the target countries, the partners will provide training on public resource management, support for critical social accountability monitoring, and platforms for collaboration and learning.
Hailing the project, Mr. Maxwell Mkumba, Regional Coordinator of the SADC Regional-National Linkages Programme at SADC Secretariat said social accountability was vital for sustainable development in the Southern Africa region.
“We are committed to effective management of public resources across the region, and thus enthusiastically welcome this project, in line with the priorities of the Revised Regional Integrated Development Plan (RISDP) 2015 – 2020, the African Union Agenda 2063, as well as the UN SDGs,” he said.