Mentoring to strengthen financial systems and mitigate risk in Zambia
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Case Study - Mentoring to strengthen financial systems and mitigate risk in Zambia
In Zambia, UNDP assumed the role of interim Principal Recipient (PR) of Global Fund grants in 2010, with the aim of strengthening national capacity in key functional areas. This integrated capacity development approach of resilient and sustainable systems for health included working closely with the Ministry of Health (MoH) to strengthen programme management, health information systems, supply chain management and establishing a new financial management system. It resulted in the MoH reassuming the PR role again in 2015.
In 2016 the MoH decentralized implementation of HIV, TB and malaria programmes by appointing all 10 Provincial Health Offices (PHOs) to implement programme activities in their respective catchment areas directly. Based on the new MoH financial management system, UNDP and MoH conducted a joint assessment and designed the decentralized roll- out to support the financial system in all provinces. The support included the installation of enterprise resource planning software, risk management, with a strong emphasis on mentoring.
UNDP support also included procedures to ensure compliance with both financial and programmatic reporting. These helped manage risks as well as ensuring the programmes continued to receive funds and were compliant with financial and programmatic reporting requirements.
The introduction of onsite mentorship to the PHOs, to address the challenges that each PHO was experiencing, included finance, programmatic and operational issues. The joint UNDP and MoH mentorship teams worked with the PHO officers to help them address the challenges experienced and facilitate the PHOs resolving issues themselves.
This innovative approach, which was completed in December 2017, provided real time data and produced significant improvements for accessing and sharing health and financial data, as well as greater accountability to mitigate risk and improved data security. Further monitoring and ongoing improvements of financial management are ongoing to further increase performance and mitigate risk.