BaSAM Disseminates Health Budget Advocacy Tool Kits to IPs, CSOs in Bauchi State

By Bashir Hassan Abubakar

In an effort to further strengthen advocacy skills of Civil Society Groups (CSOs) and other relevant stakeholders, the Bauchi State Accountability Mechanism on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (BaSAM) with support from Gates  Foundation Funded, Evidence 4 Action-Mamaye Activity (E4A) has disseminated Health Budget Advocacy toolbox and 6 Steps Advocacy Handbook on how to achieve effective advocacy.

Dr. Samaila Dahuwa

In a well attended dissemination meeting held recently at Command Guest House Conference Hall Bauchi, the Bauchi State Commissioner of Health Dr. Samaila Kaila Dahuwa, while welcoming participants,  said that the objective of the meeting was to demonstrate the use of health financing and advocacy toolkits to selected civil society organizations, networks of coalitions and development partners in Bauchi state and get the stakeholders interest and demand in the use of the tools.

The other objective was to share experiences on the use of health budget advocacy toolbox in planning and implementing successful advocacy engagements with government.

Represented by the permanent secretary in the ministry, Ali Babayo Gamawa, the commissioner commended BaSAM for their doggedness in carrying out advocacy that seek to improved health care services through budget allocation and releases in Bauchi State.

Participants at the meeting

He called on the invited CSOs, Coalitions and other relevant stakeholders to key into the advocacy tools in order to for them to carry out sound advocacies in their respective areas of concern.

He said that the State government is very keen in partnering with CSOs with a view to changing the current health indices in the State.

“Bauchi state has created enabling environment for CSOs to partner with government in bringing development to all the critical areas of governance.

“I commend Evidence 4 Action-Mamaye Program for building the capacity of BaSAM in health budget analysis, developing of scorecards and for generally carrying out evidence based advocacy that brings about positive change in government policies and programmes for improved MNCH in Bauchi State”, the commissioner said.

In her opening remarks during the event, the program Director of Evidence 4 Action-Mamaye Activity Marleen Vellekoop said that the tool kits and other documents to be presented were meant to be adopted by interested members CSOs, partners and other relevant stakeholders to advocate for improved health budget allocations and accompanying releases for better outcomes in maternal, newborn and child health in Bauchi State.

Marleen Vellekoop, E4A Mamaye Program Director

Vellekoop expressed her delight with the performance of BaSAM and implored them to sustain the tempo.
“I am impressed with the performance of BaSAM in the demonstrations of the toolkits and owning the entire process”, said Volcoop

Giving an overview of BaSAM , the E4A Mamaye Senior Impact and Sustainability Advisor, Dr. Helen Ekpo said the Coalition membership is drawn from relevant State MDAs, CSOs and the Media, using evidence based advocacy for improved MNCH in Bauchi State.

Dr. Helen Ekpo, E4A Senior Impact and Sustainability Advisor

Ekpo said that over years E4A Mamaye Activity had built the capacity of the Coalition on how to develop MNCH and Health Budget Scorecards, where advocacy briefs are developed and presented to state actors to act upon.

“Over the years, BaSAM has recorded successes among which was the unbundling of MNCH budget with each component like family planning and nutrition getting it’s own budget line.

High point of the dissemination meeting was the demonstration of some of the health advocacy toolkits, 6 steps to advocacy, forming a coalition and methods of developing scorecards by members of the coalition.

Group Photograph after the meeting

There were goodwill messages from some international partners and CSOs, all of whom expressed their readiness to partner with BaSAM in their respective advocacy activities.

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