Government has expressed concern that some civil society organisations (CSOs) do not align their programmes to people’s needs.
Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development Principal Secretary Kiswell Dakamau said this during the launch of a five-year K3.5 billion Swedish-funded Civil Society for Rural Development Programme (CSRDP) which seeks to reduce poverty and injustice in Malawi up to 2022.
He noted that Malawi is receiving hefty off-budget support from donors, but some CSOs are implementing their programmes without analysing the country’s needs.
Said Dakamau: “This country is receiving a lot of aid and a great percentage of it is coming through off budget means. It is important for CSOs to align their programmes to priority areas in this country.”
He argued that some CSOs do not involve government and local authorities in implementing their projects which he said may lead to failed objectives of their programmes.
But in an interview on Tuesday, Women Legal Resource Centre (Wolrec) executive director Margaret Kathewera Banda, whose CSO is benefiting from the fund, promised that all programmes the organisation will embark on will address real needs of rural communities.
She said: “The project that we have is significant as it is focusing on the reduction of poverty and injustice in the country. It is a very important programme because it addresses needs of people in the targeted areas.
“We are going to ensure that our programmes should be implemented by the local partners because our understanding is that they are the ones who are in touch with people’s needs.”
Banda said targeted beneficiaries will be reached through project implementing partners such as Farmers Union of Malawi (FUM), Wolrec, Malawi Union of Savings and Credit Cooperative (Muscco) and Malawi Milk Producers Association of Malawi (MMPA).
In a separate interview, We Effect country representative Sanne Chipeta said the Swedish Government funded the project to work with CSOs supporting poverty reduction and rights holders to improve livelihoods.
She said: “We are expecting to see livelihoods improvement in vulnerable groups and smallholder farmers.”
WE Effect is an organisation that is based in Sweden. It was established in 1958 and began its operations in Malawi in 2002.