PublicationsThe U4 Blog

U4 Practice Insight

Civil society monitoring in the health sector

The Partnership for Transparency Fund’s work to ensure clean procurement and quality service provision

The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for strong health sector governance and oversight to safeguard provision of quality health services. The Partnership for Transparency Fund supports citizens and civil society organisations to reduce corruption and improve public service delivery. For successful engagement with and effective monitoring of the health sector, it is important to select the right partner, work closely with communities and authorities, and consider the most appropriate project design and implementation.

24 October 2022
Download PDFRead short version
Civil society monitoring in the health sector

Main points

  • Health sector governance and ensuring cost-efficient and quality health services have become even more important as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Citizens and civil society organisations (CSOs) have a vital role to play in monitoring projects, and confronting corruption in their communities.
  • The Partnership for Transparency Fund (PTF) finds that the success of citizen-led approaches depends on choosing the right partner to implement the project, and fully engaging with communities and those in authority. The tools applied to the project must also be fit-for-context and complement activities and community-identified priorities.
  • It is vital to select the right project partner – one who is suitably qualified, is committed, has the trust and support of the community, and has the appropriate influence. A network of long-term CSO partners is a key asset of PTF, and one considered to be underestimated by the donor community.
  • Successful monitoring projects rely on community members to identify with the problem to be addressed and have a desire to change it. They must be willing, capable, and empowered to drive that change. Marginalised and vulnerable groups should be considered.
  • With those in power affected by civil service monitoring, securing the buy-in of authorities at the start of a project is paramount. However, it is necessary to cultivate multiple champions and be constantly vigilant and flexible – any changes to or within those authorities are likely to impact the project cycle and ultimate success.
  • To design and implement an effective project, apply a strategic, non-confrontational approach that has ambitious – but realistic – objectives and tools, and create a monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL) framework that can feasibly be applied.
  • CSOs play a crucial role in supporting public health service delivery and improving results – as well as targeting corruption within the health sector by enhancing transparency and accountability through their monitoring efforts.

Cite this publication

Fink, H.; Steingrüber, S.; Bhargava, V.; (2022) Civil society monitoring in the health sector. Bergen: U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre, Chr. Michelsen Institute (U4 Practice Insight 2022:1)

Download PDFRead short version

About the authors

Hady Fink

Dr Hady Fink is an independent anti-corruption consultant and advisor at the Partnership for Transparency Fund – Europe.

Sarah Steingrüber

Sarah Steingrüber is an independent global health consultant, an advisor at PTF Europe, and a U4 Affiliate Expert specialising in anti-corruption, transparency, and accountability.

Vinay Bhargava

Dr Vinay Bhargava is Chief Technical Advisor at PTF and board member of PTF Asia. He is an anti-corruption, governance, and international development specialist, and a former Country Director at the World Bank.


All views in this text are the author(s)’, and may differ from the U4 partner agencies’ policies.

This work is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International licence (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)


Photo: Partnership for Transparency Fund COPYRIGHTED