State Minister of MoFED impressed with Social Accountability progress

State Minister of Finance and Economic Development, His Excellency Dr. Abraham Tekeste, together with the Director of the World Bank and other development partners paid a visit to one of ESAP2 programs implemented by Save Your Generation Ethiopia in collaboration with Professional Alliance for Development /PADET  in Addis Ababa – Kirikos sub-city on  December 16, 2014.

The team visited the Wereda 11 Health Center, discussed with the community and service providers and learned first-hand the progress of SA.

Members of the community gave testimony of what they have experienced and benefited from SA program.  Firehiwot Mamo, a lady with physical disability said, “I had no idea about social accountability. After SA was introduced, I become proactive and started to demand my entitlements. I became a member of social accountability committee (SAC). There was no access for physically disabled people at the Worda 11 Health facility.  Together with my colleagues we have demanded for access and the service providers considered the case and constructed a ramp.”

Dhaba Duguma said, “The program has paved the way for the community to get involved in the service delivery process. I am not a health professional; however my duty as a committee member was to assess and address shortage of pharmaceutical at Woreda 11 Health Center together with the Health Center Staff. Formerly people were forced to buy drugs from private drug stores where medicines are very expensive. I have followed the purchaser to observe where the problem lies. We have conducted series of meetings with the concerned bodies. The major causes were delays from the supplier’s end and requests that do not consider the timing in the purchase process.  Now, the needed pharmaceuticals are available at the Health Center.”

Nigisti Gebiremariam said, “there was poor sanitation and lack of accountability of health workers and many other problems at the Woreda health center. As we begin to work with the health professionals we have learned what problems the medical staff are actually facing and understand we could contribute even for a better change. Today we have been able to address those problems. “

Mesfin Beyene, Head of Woreda 11 Health Center said, "Previously we were not ready to listen to any complaints, we almost close our door to opinions from the community and we didn’t have any mechanism to know sincere public opinions regarding the services we provide. Now a bridge between us and the community is made through the SA program. We listen to and trust what the community says.  Together, we were able to improve the sanitation of our toilet, availability of drugs, delivery room management and so on.  Our prime duty is to satisfy our customers.”

Reflecting on his visit Dr Abraham said, “This is what I always wanted to see. I am very happy with what I have seen. Though what I have seen is parallel with the timely report we have been receiving, the visit helped me to experience SA in practice. There is a very good community involvement through the process. The willingness of the service providers to engage the community is encouraging. We have seen what progress they have made due to their joint effort. There is a huge potential where we can benefit by deploying the SA process so as to improve the service delivery at the same time making citizens to benefit more. What I have seen is a very good experience.”