Improved Financial Probity in the Health Sector Following the WHO Reforms in Zambia

Improved Financial Probity in the Health Sector Following the WHO Reforms in Zambia

Mon, 10/17/2016 - 10:32
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A Sikazwe, M Musumali,  M Siboonde, JK Chime, R Chabala, J Mufunda

ABSTRACT

Background:  The World Health Organization (WHO) Reform emphasizes strict adherence to two procedures for disbursements of resources allocated to all the 196 member states as per approval from the World Health Assembly. Direct financial cooperation (DFC) are transactions where funds are transferred to government and concluded in three months after completion of activity. Direct implementation is the procedure when the WHO pays on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ) for implementation of processes concluded within 5 months after the activity. The aim of this study is to document financial compliance to WHO reform of WHO Zambia with government.

Methods: This was a desk review of financial activities from the WHO country office from January to December
2015. Findings and recommendations from the November 2015 External Audit conducted on the financial operations of the WHO Zambia office in the area of implementation and management of Direct Financial Corporation and Direct Implementation were also analysed.

Results: The resource allocations were equally distributed between DFCs and DIs during the year of study. The WHO Zambia conducted fortnightly meetings to review DFC and DI status and, monitoring with all Program officers. Of the 34 DFCs issued only three (8%) were  submitted  late  at  the  beginning  of  2015  with progressive   improvement   thereafter.  WHO   Zambia received commendation from the Regional Office, a consideration which was corroborated by the External Audit recommendations.

Discussion: One of the reasons for reform was financial accountability challenges in the WHO with donors raising concern. The conformity of the WHO Zambia is an attribute. The WHO Zambia implemented the DFC and DI in accordance with WHO guidelines as evidenced by positive Audit recommendation in this area.

Conclusion:  The regular WHO Zambia tracking of the status of DFCs and DI is a best practice that the other regional Country offices can emulate.    This practice if scaled up to the entire region will increase donor trust and confidence.