Resource Type: Brief
Authors: Courtney Tolmie
Ensuring the funds allocated for health services and supplies are actually used for their intended purpose is key to increasing access to life-saving health care in low- and medium-income countries. For nearly two decades, countries and international organizations have used Public Expenditure Tracking Surveys (PETS) as an important tool to strengthen the governance of health resources. In essence, PETS map the flow of financial resources, from allocation to service provision points. The goal is to find “leakages”— places where funds deviate from their intended flow, either due to error or corruption. Due to the high cost, the need for high levels of technical expertise, and other factors, PETS have usually been carried out by large international organizations.
This brief analyzes the challenges that prevent local civil society organizations (CSOs) from more fully participating in these surveys, and explores how those challenges can be overcome, and what opportunities CSOs have for participating in, and using, PETS. The brief also identifies several potential ways in which CSOs could become more involved in PETS. These steps include using CSOs to track service quality and to translate and disseminate PETS reports. Other opportunities for CSOs to leverage PETS activities include mining existing PETS data for locally relevant information, and training local officials and organizations in budget tracking and advocacy.Download