Project: Reinforcing Social Accountability of Health Services in Bas Congo and South Kivu Provinces
Country: Democratic Republic of Congo
Sector: Health
Executing Agency: The Catholic Organization for Relief and Development Aid CORDAID
Grant Amount: US$ 800,000
Closing Date: November, 2018

Challenge

As the largest country in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has a lot of potential. Overall macroeconomic indicators such as inflation rates are stable and economic growth has maintained an upward trend in recent years. However, despite becoming one of Africa’s fastest growing economies, the DRC is riddled by widespread poverty, particularly affecting rural areas.  The country remains fragile after suffering decades of violence and conflict, as reflected in the weak capacity of public institutions to accelerate poverty reduction and improve development outcomes for citizens across the country.

Poor development results are particularly palpable in the health sector. Almost half of all children under the age of five are malnourished. Maternal mortality rates have remained stubbornly high despite government efforts to train a large number of midwives and improve access and quality of health services. At the local level, there are Health Facility Committees (HFCs) that act as a mechanism through which citizens can interact with health authorities and service providers, but they have not been effective at fulfilling their role. The health sector is marred by inefficiencies, insufficient funding, poor infrastructure, limited accountability, and weak institutional capacity. The situation is particularly acute in regions like South Kivu, North Kivu, and Katanga where there is a large number of internally displaced persons and sporadic outbreaks of conflict.

Solution

CORDAID, a reputable organization with extensive experience in the DRC, has been granted a GPSA award to contribute to improve the quality and the access of frontline health care services in DRC by strengthening the capacity of HFCs to engage with health authorities in eleven health zones in South Kivu and Bas Congo regions.  This will be achieved by implementing four components geared towards: 1) reinforcing the HFC system by strengthening the capacity of its members and service delivery authorities to make better use of it; 2) empowering HFCs to take a larger role in improving health services and collecting citizen feedback; 3) supporting the integration of the poorest and most vulnerable sectors of the population  in targeted zones; and 4) building capacity of CSOs involved in project to implement social accountability, and collect knowledge to improve project design and disseminate outcomes and lessons learned by HFCs and local authorities.

Expected Results

The GPSA grant will help CORDAID attain the following results:

  1. Improved access and quality to health services in eleven health zones covering an estimated 2.2 Million people

  2. Members of 190 HFCs will be trained and benefit from capacity building programs implemented by the project.

  3. New guidelines will be developed to structure relationships between citizens, HFCs, and relevant health authorities in all eleven targeted zones.

  4. The use of scorecards will be adopted to measure and strengthen trust between citizens and local authorities.

  5. Quota systems will be adopted by 190 HFCs to ensure the representation of the poorest and most vulnerable populations.

  6. New laws and guidelines will be introduced to enhance the use of HFCs as an instrument to improve quality and access to healthcare.

Lessons Learned

The grant is at its early stages and lessons will be added as they become available. However, the design of this grant benefits from the lessons learned by CORDAID in its work with HFCs. This intervention builds on the good practices and relationships with relevant health authorities established under a pilot project implemented by CORDAID to strengthen the capacity of 79 HFCs.

Year: 
2014
Country(s): 
Congo, Democratic Republic of
Sector: 
Health