Advocacy-Using the Public Expenditure Tracking Survey (PETS) for diagnostic purpose in Health Sector in Maharashtra (December 2009 to December 2012)

We wish to enhance the capacity of the local budget partners in observing and monitoring fund flow, processes and institutional structures and engagement though meetings and dialogue with those who have power to influence for the identified issues.

The team has taken an opportunity to communicate the social relevance & value of budget and its advocacy strategies. This was done through a one day meeting, on 28th March 2010, organized by partners in Amravati wherein around 7-8 organization from the district participated. Mahan - a CSO working in Melghat was the convener for this meet. Activists representing different CSOs like Khoj, Prem, Save the Children, World Vision, Ifikor, etc. were present for this meet. Team member from the CEHAT presented some budgetary issues which were a matter of concern for the district and also issues concerning health budgets. These CSOs are working on governance and implementation of different programs but somehow their approach has been confined to program monitoring. At the end of the day the CSOs felt a great need to look into budgetary facts and figures and agreed to come together on budget issues in future. After the meet, a press conference was organized to demand action for improving the present situation. Reporters from different newspapers like Loksatta, Times of India etc. attended this press conference. During this press conference CEHAT team member made a presentation on preliminary observation of ‘District Health Budgets’. Activists from different organizations narrated their views and experiences on the health scenario.

The key goal of the advocacy strategies is to catalyze positive changes in policy through constructive engagement with policymakers. This includes, persistent constructive engagement through meetings and dialogue with those who have the power to influence identified issues. The identified stakeholders for the decision shapers are officials involved in completion & submission of the final proposal. The project envisages partnering with the State Health Resource Center (SHRC), Pune, Maharashtra State, to disseminate the project findings for improving district level management for National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) implementation in the state This will further engage agencies such as Public Accounts Committee, Estimate Committee, Local Audit Committee, State Health Department, Panchayati Raj institutions, Local Bodies, Academic Groups, Research Community, State & District Administration, State and District Level Civil Society Organizations, the Media. During the reporting period, meetings were held with executives such as Directorate of Health Services to brief them about the project, receive permission for conducting the rapid assessment, gaining access to the information with regards to secondary data from the Accountant General Office, and receive inputs from Director, State Health Resource Centre, in terms of identifying important stakeholders in the department and establishing a rapport for smooth conduct of further activities.

Developing advocacy strategy... Read more

BUDGET BRIEF

UNION BUDGET 2011: A RELIEF OR A PAIN?

Union Budget 2011 has shown a remarkable picture of India’s deficit financing in major sectors. No wonder a twisting of incremental expenditure on major social sector have had a marginal impact. During Union budget speech Mr. Pranab Mukharjee tried to balance the deficit finance agenda with India’s growth story. In some sense he has succeeded too. While highlighting the social sector spending he has used last years (2010-11) Budget Estimated figures i.e. 20% hike on health sector from last year about Rs.30, 456 Crs (both plan and non-plan 2011). But when he referred to the economically prioritized sector he used Revised Estimate figures. In this twisting exercise Mr. Pranab has played dual role first while taking into account Budget Estimate his portfolio has shown supply driven fund flow i.e. not considering demand from frontline delivery institutions and secondly for economically prioritized sector he has taken into account Revised Estimate for demand driven fund flow...