Monitoring pro-poor health policies at the regional level can support both the countries and the regional bodies themselves by identifying gaps in addressing poverty and health, strengthening the link between regions and member states, holding actors accountable to their commitments and identifying better mechanisms for data sharing, monitoring and evaluation of activities. In the area of health, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) has conducted important work in understanding how poor health and poverty coincide, are mutually reinforcing, and socially-structured by gender, age, class, ethnicity and location, demonstrated by the key health policy documents that have been facilitated by the secretariat. Yet the time lapse between the formulation of guidelines and policies and their implementation has at times been uneven.