As part of the Social Audit activity that YMCA Togo is conducting on the «Act 2 Live » project, it was organized on 19th and 20th June 2014 in Lomé, a budget analysis workshop for advocacy group members. It is a group of young people which have been trained on advocacy techniques so that they can plan and lead with the support of the project staff, advocacy activities on neglected health issues affecting young people.
The objective was to enable members of the advocacy group to practice their knowledge on budget analysis. This exercise is part of the social audit research which aim is to analyze the budget of the state in application with the country policies and commitments made by the public authority, including the Abuja Declaration , and to analyze funding for youth and adolescents health programs.
With the support of a consultant, who conducted a preliminary research, the participants were introduced to the techniques and applied it to the analysis based on budget information for the past five years in particular those relating to the health sector.
Analysis made by the youth advocates showed that for the past five years, the Government of Togo has not met the objectives of the Abuja Declaration and the growth rate of health budget remains low. The majority of the budget allocated to the Family Health Division is an operating budget and therefore similar to the National Youth and Adolescents Health Service, which depends directly on the Family Health Division. Indeed, according to the Abuja Declaration of April 2001, the Government of Togo, like its peers in the sub-region, is committed to allocate at least 15% of their annual national budgets to the health sector.
From 5% in 2009, the part of the health budget in the general budget has remained at 4% since 2010 despite the growth of the population. The State is far from the Abuja commitment.
The workshop enabled young people to strengthen their capacity in budget analysis. It was an opportunity for young people to discuss and plan future advocacy activities on the project and therefore know the roles they will be assigned.
Act2Live is a multi-country initiative of Africa YMCA in partnership with Y Care International and YWCA / YMCA of Sweden. The goal of this intervention is to provide relevant information, quality health services that respond to the specific needs of vulnerable and marginalized groups of young people in 6 sub-Saharan African countries such as Liberia, Madagascar, Senegal, Togo, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Patrick Kokou Messinou