Presidential hotline: A potential tool for evidence-based decision making in the health sector in South Africa

Tags: Poster
Tshayingca N1, Sebati T1, Gqweta P1, Mokoena L1, Ndlovu E2, Behari N1
1Department of Planning Monitoring & Evaluation, 2 Department of Planning Monitoring & Evaluation

Background: The Presidential Hotline (PH) is a powerful citizen-based tool to strengthen evidence-based decision making and generation of local knowledge with regard to front-line services. The tool is used to monitor that government responds efficiently and effectively to the complaints, enquires and suggestions made by citizens.

The whole of government is connected to the IT system which has the function to drill down from national government to provincial and local government, administratively managed in line with intergovernmental relations protocol.

Objectives: The objective of the paper will be to demonstrate the PH as a tool generating evidence to improve management decisions made with regard to health-related information with the benefit of incorporating the experiences, expectations and values of citizens. This paper will describe efforts and institutional arrangements that are already fostering convergence between the PH and the heath sector, as well as opportunities available and challenges to overcome.

Methods: A content analysis will be done of heath data collected from April 2013 to January 2017. Emerging key trends will be discussed and disaggregated to provincial level. Evidence will be triangulated with Statistics South Africa Surveys and the findings of the Frontline Service Delivery Monitoring that is done by the Department of Planning, Monitoring & Evaluation. This will allow for contextualisation and verification of the evidence bringing together qualitative and quantitative methodologies.

Results:The results of the study show that the PH can support evidence-based decision making providing cheap as well as fast access to timely knowledge within a geographical area, to support the district health system in South Africa.

Conclusions:There is an opportunity to explore the socio-economic correlates of health as the PH collects complaints from citizens across all sectors. Further research needs to be undertaken to determine how the PH may contribute to laying the foundation for both political and administrative evidence-based accountability in an environment, where building the capacity of government officials is crucial.