Treatment Action Campaign (TAC): monitoring health budgets

Where does the money go? Faced with health clinics without enough ARV’s or other important medication, or sometimes even without paper towels, community members and treatment literacy workers with the TAC joined forces to launch a community survey. They wanted to get the facts on the gaps in health services in two of the poorest districts in South Africa: Lusikisiki (Eastern Cape) and Umgungundlovu (KwaZulu-Natal). Their aim was to improve health service delivery and to hold government accountable to its promises for better health. 

  • The group gathered information by visiting health clinics and centres where they asked questions from community members and health workers to find out what was happening.
  • They asked for help from another organisation, the Centre for Economic Governance and AIDS in Africa (CEGAA).
  • They compared what the facts on the ground were to what the government said they were doing in their strategic plans and budgets.
  • They presented their findings and a report to the public and government at a public hearing where community members had a chance to speak directly to those responsible in government. 

As a result of this initiative, the community is starting to see positive changes in their health services. They continue to monitor what is happening through community scorecards, and are planning an audit. If you want to know more about how to go about conducting a community survey, scorecard, or audit, or more information on community monitoring contact the Treatment Action Campaign (www.tac.org.za).