Malaria Budget Advocacy (MBA)

What is budget advocacy?

Budget advocacy is a strategic series of actions whereby advocates deliberately engage in government budget processes for prioritization of key issues, adoption of supportive policies, or more equitable allocation of resources. Budget advocacy involves the use of budget data and research to identify opportunities to improve budgetary decisions, set concrete advocacy objectives, such as increased budget allocations and more oversight of spending, and strategically implement activities to attain these objectives.

Effective budget advocacy requires advocates across levels to build up necessary capacity and form strategic alliances to realize changes at various stages of the budget decision-making process. For example, at the national level, advocates can seek to engage in the planning process and generate evidence to inform national spending priorities. At the local level, they can oversee expenditures, monitor what is spent by subnational governments, and use their findings to call for changes to budget allocations.

What is the MBA Framework and why is it useful?

The MBA Framework offers a step-by-step guide for national malaria programs (NMPs) and their partners to address resource gaps and support countries’ efforts to step up the fight against malaria and fund core activities in their national strategic plans for malaria control, elimination, and/or prevention of re-establishment.

The MBA Framework is a five-module approach to building political support for increasing and sustaining domestic investments in malaria control and elimination. Specifically, the MBA Framework aims to help NMPs and their partners understand financial and political challenges that affect the country’s malaria response, identify and prioritize opportunities for domestic resource mobilization and policy advocacy, and develop and implement a budget advocacy strategy that is fit-for-purpose. The Framework also provides key actions and considerations for advocates to successfully strengthen MBA capacity, implement, monitor, and evaluate advocacy activities, and incorporate successful approaches into existing strategies and systems.

Who should use this tool and how?

The MBA Framework is intended for use by NMPs and their subnational counterparts. The malaria staff and their civil society partners are well positioned to be effective advocates for program sustainability, acting as a liaison between national, subnational, and community health levels as well as between administrative governing bodies and health programs.

It will be necessary to engage a broader set of stakeholders along the way, as advocates’ success depends on the supportive action of other actors in the malaria, health, and policy ecosystems. These stakeholders could include technical malaria partners, donor agencies, collaborating departments within the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Finance, local non-governmental organizations and civil society organizations, locally elected officials and government administrators, cross-border health counterparts, private sector companies, and community leaders.

The MBA Framework can also be applied to other health and disease elimination programs (e.g., neglected tropical diseases), programs in transition from donor financing, or programs in need of domestic resources.

The MBA Framework can be used independently, or it can be used in conjunction with other program management or problem-solving tools including the SUSTAIN Tool and the LEAD Framework in the MEI toolkit.

Technical assistance is available at MEI to support the adoption, tailoring, and implementation of the MBA Framework and all MEI tools.

The MBA Framework