This report summarizes the proceedings of a three day convening of experienced practitioners of community monitoring for accountability in health. The meeting, which took place in Johannesburg, South Africa, on July 18-20, 2011, was organized by the Accountability and Monitoring in Health Initiative of the Open Society Public Health Program, in close collaboration with an advisory group of experienced practitioners from Guatemala, India, and Zimbabwe.
A survey of existing resources in community monitoring for accountability in health highlighted that it is an evolving field, with few initiatives across the world. One of the critical gaps identified as hampering the advancement of the field was the absence of spaces and opportunities for practitioners to come together to share, collectively reflect on their experiences, and think creatively about the field and its future.
The Johannesburg convening sought to initiate discussions in response to this gap. It brought together 39 participants from 12 countries around the globe with a mandate to review current experiences and begin shaping an agenda for strengthening the field. These practitioners came from a wide range of experiences in community monitoring, health rights, budget monitoring, and expenditure tracking.
The report below is a summary of the meeting, with a particular focus on the main points arising from group discussions as well as recommendations and commitments for moving forward. Additional documents from the meeting are available on the Open Society Seminar Series website.