Malawi Government is developing a Unified Beneficiary Registry (UBR) as a tool to harmonise targeted beneficiaries in social protection programmes.
The establishment of the UBR will be one of the major activities under Masaf four project, according to Local Development Fund (LDF) acting executive director Charles Mandala.
Mandala, speaking in an interview this week, said the UBR mechanism will be one key cornerstone for achieving systematic delivery of social protection services in Malawi.
“This will be an instrument that is going to help government to identify in one process all the appropriate beneficiaries to be targeted under the different social protection programs,” he said.
Currently, over 10 percent of the entire Malawi population-estimated at over 15 million people-is ultra poor.
He said the UBR instrument will help identify the targeted or eligible beneficiaries in any given locality across the country.
The registry, according to Mandala, will also aid government identify the able-bodied and have no labour constraints to participate in programmes such as Public Works Cash Transfer Programme and also the Farm Input Subsidy Program (Fisp).
Such a concept, according to Mandala, will help government avoid multiple beneficiaries of different social protection programmes.
“Yes there might be situations where within the same household people can benefit from one programme and another but essentially, what we are trying to do is to screen out inclusion and exclusion aspects so that we are able to be coherent and consistent with the type of people that can benefit from a particular programme so that we have value for money,” said the LDF boss.
Mandala said the process will be transparent and accountable so that limited government resources are used efficiently and effectively.
He also said social cash transfers are a new phenomenon in Malawi; hence, the need for processes and approaches to be well known by implementers of such programmes.
This week, officials from various government ministries as well as LDF staff met in Salima to do some ground work on the harmonised targeting and UBR before rolling out in beneficiary districts.