Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development has developed a web-based database to address challenges in the implementation of social protection interventions targeting poor households in the country.
The Local Development Fund (LDF) has been identified as the manager of the development process of the tool known as the unified beneficiary registry (UBR).
Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development acting chief director Peter Simbani told UBR Sensitisation Workshop in Lilongwe last week that the tool will significantly improve effectiveness and efficiency of service delivery in social support systems.
He said: “We don’t want ineligible beneficiaries to find their way into the social protection interventions. This tool will serve as a common entry point for targeting beneficiaries of different programmes and initiatives targeting the poor.
“This will help in reducing redundancies and duplication in labour and resources for targeting poor households, sharing information among actors and data consolidation, which are key to achieving efficiency in programme implementation.”
Simbani said that UBR is currently containing socio-economic and demographic information for approximately 50 percent of the population with the lowest welfare status, which may or may not be eligible for programme benefits.
He said at least 11 districts have started developing the web-based database system.
LDF Technical Support Team executive director Charles Mandala said his institution is excited to be given the responsibility of managing the project.
However, he expressed concern over the lack of quality information technology (IT) support in ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to support the implementation of the project, fearing this could make interface of UBR with the institutions difficult.
The database has been developed with financial and technical support from the World Bank, Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Irish Aid, United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef), Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the African Union (AU).
It is also expected that the tool will help in flushing out ghost-beneficiaries in social protection programmes, which include Social Cash Transfer, Public Works Programme (PWP), village savings and loan/ Community Savings and Investment Promotion (Comsip), school feeding and microfinance programmes.