CSOs unveil 2nd phase of COVID-19 fund management project

Connected Development and BudgIT, civil society organizations (CSOs) have launched the second phase of the COVID-19 Transparency and Accountability in Africa Project (CTAP).

The Nigerian News Agency reports that CTAP is advocating for better financing of health care.

The project will also address issues related to the deployment and equitable distribution of vaccines in target countries.

Introducing the project, Mr. Hamzat Lawal, CEO of CODE and Founder of “Follow The Money”, said CTAP will also counter misinformation and misinformation around COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in Africa.

Lawal said the move became necessary because many people were skeptical about vaccination in Africa.

He said the project also aims to promote accountability and transparency by tracking COVID-19 response funds in 10 African countries from Nigeria, Ghana, Malawi, Kenya, Cameroon, Zimbabwe, Liberia, from Senegal, among others. .

Lawal said the first phase of CTAP focused on accountability for how funds were generated, spent and implemented, but the second phase will focus on how to strengthen the health sector.

Mr. Hamzat Lawal (in white and with a cap) during the presentation of the second phase of the COVID-19 Africa Transparency and Accountability Project (CTAP)

He said the second phase of the project would advocate for better financing of health care and address issues related to the deployment and equitable distribution of vaccines in target countries.

“CTAP is a game-changer. When COVID-19 first hit the world, Africa was unprepared let alone the world, with CTAP we help establish a framework where government, civil society, media and citizens s commit to the open government association.

“Today, CODE, in association with BudgIT and in collaboration with Global Integrity and its partners, is launching phase two of CTAP and is now expanding to 10 African countries, including Nigeria.

“Just two days ago, we signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Health Development Agency as part of our commitment to CTAP.

“In it, we agreed that we will jointly monitor the procurement, distribution and administration of vaccines,” he said.

Lawal said phase two of the CTAP would help counter misinformation and misinformation, while community leaders and actors would also be engaged to accelerate vaccine supply and improve administration.

He said it was because there were doubts about vaccines in Africa, which could have been partly due to mistrust, they feel there was a lack of openness, transparency and responsibility for all COVID resource income and expenses. -19.

He said the long-term vision of the group is to have strong health sector accountability in Africa and hopefully see CTAP become a pan-African accountability framework for healthcare.

He said it would also help inform the acceleration and realization of the Open Government Partnership that the President signed in 2016 in London.

In addition, Mr. Gabriel Okeowo, Country Director of BudgIT, said that the COVID-19 Africa platform created during the first phase of the project will be enhanced to also collect information data on health care accountability and health care data. in implementing countries.

Okeowo said the group is also looking to digitally engage around 1.7 million citizens so they can engage their governments to demand accountability in the health sector.

He added that CSOs plan to engage 850,000 citizens who have been unable to access information digitally using money tracking platforms to conduct grassroots outreach.

He said it was to empower and give a platform opportunity to those without a voice.

“We plan to organize capacity building sessions for around 100 CSOs who would come from these countries in partnership.

“We will use community champions and volunteers to train local community leaders who can provide insight into the healthcare system in their local community.

“What we’re doing is not taking the place of government, it’s bridging the gap, it’s supporting the broader government agenda to improve governance.”

BudgIT, which also tracks COVID-19 funds

Okeowo also said CSOs would look to broaden the scope to see how they could collaborate with the Open Government Partnership, a global platform for many governments to align with open government principles in the whole world.

Also Read: Nigerian CSOs Win 2021 World Summit Prize

Ms. Iyanu Fatoba, BudgIT Communications Associate, said the two organizations would conduct research on the post-COVID environment.

Fatoba said these include the distribution of health sector resources, government commitment to health care financing, vaccine supply plans and issues affecting equitable distribution in Africa.

He said this particularly focused on vulnerable groups in terms of business activity and socio-economic status.

He said the COVID-19 Transparency and Accountability Project has been instrumental in strengthening its funding accountability frameworks and designing strategies that improve citizen advocacy for reforms.

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