Accountability in Health & Agriculture

While governments have translated regional policies on Food Security and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) into national policies, these are poorly implemented and the public lacks capacities to act effectively upon them. The project will improve the accountability and gender responsiveness of public resource management and complement the ongoing Swiss funded projects in ensuring that policy/advocacy work developed at national, regional and global levels is disseminated and implemented by relevant SADC and governmental institutions.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Southern African Development Community (SADC)
Zambia and Zimbabwe
Agriculture & food security
Public finance management
Food security policy
Health systems strengthening
01.07.2019 - 31.12.2024
CHF  8’980’000
Background Multiple regional instruments at the SADC level in food security and HIV/SRHR areas lack appropriate implementation at national level. Citizens face major hurdles in making their voices heard effectively. Civil servants are legally bound to make accessible to the public the documentation necessary to carry out analyses of accountability processes. Institutionalised spaces for citizen participation do exist. In reality, numerous obstacles hamper these processes from taking place. Governments resort to various strategies (legal, administrative.) to limit the ability of the public and civil society to exercise their advocacy and watch-dog roles. Despite improvements in the region regarding women’s conditions (legal equality, representation in politics, etc.), women still bear the heaviest burden of poverty. Gender-based violence, unequal distribution of wealth, lower participation and influence in decision-making and impact of HIV undermine the ability of women and girls to reach their full potential.
Objectives Improved accountabillity and gender-responsiveness in public resource management, particularly in the areas of HIV/SRHR services for adolescents and youth and agricultural services for smallholder farmers, contributes to the realisation of selected SADC regional commitments across five countries (Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe).
Target groups The target group comprise entities with strong links to improving Public Resource Management (PRM) processes: 36 farmers’ organisations, 49 issue-based CSOs, community based and/or umbrella/network organisations, youth and women’s groups; 11 district council committees; 19 parliamentary committees; 40 national and local level government departments; SADC Parliamentary Forum and relevant directorates at SADC Secretariat. Lastly, 18 national media houses; 16 provincial and local level media outlets.
Medium-term outcomes

1) Effective engagement between 5 major stakeholders (farmers and civil society organisations, media, government and parliamentary/district council committees) leads to improved accountability and gender-responsiveness in public resource management, particularly in HIV/SRHR services for adolescents and youth and agricultural services for smallholder farmers, at the district and national levels across five countries.

2) Regional civil society analysis and advocacy, and official SADC reporting and oversight on selected regional commitments lead to improved accountability and gender-responsiveness in public resource management in health (HIV/SRHR) and agriculture (food security).

3) Members of the five stakeholder groups improve the effectiveness of their social accountability monitoring strategies based on enhanced understanding and learning through the project.


Expected results:  

  • Strengthened capacity of the 5 stakeholders;
  • Actions to address systemic Public Resource Management gaps in the delivery of services;
  • Strengthened Parliamentary Budget Offices’ support;
  • Advocacy for improved national level consultation, monitoring and reporting on selected regional commitments;
  • Regional and national level actions by SADC Parliamentary Forum standing committees;
  • Actions informed by practice of Social Accountability Monitoring by the five stakeholder groups.

Results from previous phases:  

  • A total of 1,532 (688f, 844m) people were trained in social accountability at regional, national and local levels through the project;
  • Establishment of Malawi Parliamentary Budget Office in 2019;
  • Improved oversight by district councils;
  • SADC Parliamentary Forum (PF) pressed the implementation of the Malabo Declaration;
  • Citizens, Civil Society Organisations (CSO) and small holder farmers (SHF) are more confident in questioning authorities;
  • Improved interactions between government and civil society;
  • Social accountability reporting by journalists has triggered government action. Local officials have responded to service delivery concerns;
  • Collaborative initiatives to strengthen social accountability

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
International or foreign NGO
  • The Partnership for Social Accountability (PSA) Alliance is a consortium of four agencies, led by Action Aid International (AAI); Additional consortium partners are : Eastern and Southern Africa Small Scale Farmers’ Forum (ESAFF), Southern Africa HIV and AIDS Information Dissemination Service (SAfAIDS), and Public Service Accountability Monitor (PSAM), Rhodes University.

Coordination with other projects and actors Seed and Knowledge Initiative by Biowatch; Strengthening Agro-Biodiversity in Southern Africa’ by ACB; Gender transformative SRHR systems for improved HIV prevention, by SAT; Safeguard Young People Programme, by UNFPA and the Regional Psychosocial Support initiative, by REPSI.
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    8’980’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    7’788’610
Project phases Phase 2 01.07.2019 - 31.12.2024   (Current phase) Phase 1 01.11.2014 - 30.06.2019   (Completed)