ActionAid Malawi (AAM) has hailed its four-year Partnership for Social Accountability (PAS) project which is helping the country improve in social accountability areas.
The organisation is coordinating the implementation of the second phase of the $805 452 (about K605 million) project alongside its implementing partners. The project started in June 2019 and will wind up in July 2023.
Taking stock of the project so far, AAM social accountability project manager Wales Chigwenembe said in an interview yesterday that the project has helped to improve accountability and gender-responsiveness in public resource management.
He said specific areas of improvement as a result of the project include HIV and sexual reproductive health for adolescents and youth, and agricultural services for smallholder farmers.
Said Chigwenembe: “We are able to achieve this because through the project, we have strengthened the roles of five target groups, namely parliamentary committees, relevant ministries, departments and agencies, issue-based civil society organisations, smallholder farmer organisations and the media which include community radios.”
He said the second phase is focusing on building the capacity of key stakeholders, learning from the previous phase as well as implementation, with emphasis on oversight.
Chigwenembe said going forward, the second phase will focus on strengthening the capacity of Parliament by supporting operationalisation and capacity building of the newly-established
parliamentary budget office, strengthening collaboration of social accountability monitoring players at district and national levels, and also enhancing active citizenship in budget tracking and monitoring of policy implementation by government.
In a separate interview, National Association of Smallholder Farmers in Malawi (Nasfam) head of policy and communication Beatrice Makwenda, whose association is one of the partners under the project, said the project is also helping their organisation to monitor allocation of resources towards neglected agriculture sectors such as Extension Services Department.
Apart from Nasfam, other implementing partners of the project include Malawi Health Equity Network, Tiphedzane Community Support Organisation in Nsanje and the Coalition of Women Farmers Association.
The project is also working directly with Mudziwathu Community Radio and Nyanthepa Community Radio in Mchinji and Nsanje respectively and some national-level media institutions.
The social accountability project is also being implemented in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Mozambique with funding from Swiss Agency for Development and Co-operation through PSA Alliance.