USE SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY TO ENHANCE DELIVERY OF HEALTH CARE SERVICES
Nairobi, March 14th 2018:
Edward Miano Munene, Secretary – Executive Director
“County governments continue to be the greatest impediment to the implementation of social accountability mechanisms in the healthcare system despite it being one of the principles of health service delivery provided for in the Health Policy by the Ministry of Health” Says Mr. Miano ED Health Rights Advocacy Forum(HERAF)
Social accountability is a concept in governance that denotes “being answerable for” and refers to strategies that employ information and participation of citizens to demand fairer, more effective public services, responsive to the people. It is an approach toward building accountability that relies on civic engagement ensuring direct and/or indirect participation of citizens and/or CSOs in exacting accountability.
In Kenya, government officers at national and county government levels rarely welcome the concept of greater citizen engagement. They fear the loss of control, authority, resources (especially if they had been used to informal service fees) and greater accountability. This is further hampered by systemic challenges including inadequate funding, time constraints, capacity and availability of correct and timely data.
Kenya has adopted human rights based approach to healthcare service delivery based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to which Kenya is a signatory. In addition, the Constitution of Kenya, Article 43 (1) (a) states that every person has the right to the highest attainable standard of health, which includes the right to health care services, including reproductive health care. However, citizens are not aware that they have a right to demand for better services in healthcare because of the fallacy that healthcare services are either
subsidized by government or free in government facilities, while in real sense the services are prepaid through taxes and fees paid for government services.
“Kenyans will continue to receive poor healthcare services unless the social accountability
principle is fully implemented. Social accountability needs to be integrated to respond to the
needs and wants of communities, and aspirations of service providers, including health care
providers, in their desire to provide services that are responsive to the client needs as
envisaged in Vision 2030, the Kenya Health Policy 2013-2030, and more importantly, as
enshrined in the Constitution and the County Government Act 2012.” Says Mr. Miano.
Public participation is one of the principles that should enhance efficiency and effectiveness of
public services delivery in Kenya. It is expected that with citizens participating in decision
making process, policy makers in health sector should make responsive decisions. Both
executive and legislature at national and county levels should engage citizens in decision
making processes in order to enhance transparency, reduce corruption, and support good
governance which is critical in strengthening effectiveness and efficiency in health services
For more information please contact
Edward Miano Munene, Executive Director, HERAF
About Health Rights Advocacy Forum (HERAF)
Health Rights Advocacy Forum (HERAF) is a national non-governmental organization that
promotes human rights based approach in health care delivery. It was established in 2006 and
registered as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in Kenya by the NGO Coordination
Board in 2007.