Advocacy and Government Partnerships Improve Health and Sustainability for THP-Malawi in 2011
Update to the Global Board
THP-Malawi started strong in Quarter 1 with the mobilization of the new Majete Epicenter, including administering a baseline study and documentation of case studies. Techniques developed through the Majete baseline, such as incorporation of the Progress out of Poverty Index (PPI), will be expanded to future epicenter baseline studies. THP-Malawi faced the challenge of integrating nine new staff members in Quarter 1 and had to ensure full staff training almost immediately; an intensive staff Vision, Commitment, Action Workshop (VCAW) was held in April 2011 to address the challenge. THP-Malawi continues to integrate its new staff positions, seek in-country partnerships and funding opportunities, and focus on fully mobilizing Majete Epicenter, THP-Malawi’s first new epicenter in two years.
- Majete Mobilization: Alongside the mobilization of Majete’s partner communities, THP-Malawi began training epicenter-level staff by immersing them in existing epicenters. The Epicenter Project Officer (EPO) was immersed at three epicenters, and the Rural Bank managers were embedded at a local Savings & Credit Cooperative (SACCO) for on-the-job learning.
- Microfinance Program Audit: THP-Malawi successfully completed Microfinance Program (MFP) audits from 2005-2010, producing unqualified financial statements for all years.
- Food Security: Following the harvest, THP-Malawi’s epicenter and community food banks were all restocked; Ligowe Epicenter had so much excess grain that it had to be stored in the meeting hall.
- Maternal Health: Champiti Epicenter’s health center became fully operational with the arrival of government-provided medical staff, medical equipment and medicine for the facility. At Kachindamoto Epicenter, the construction of the nurses’ quarters and epicenter dispensary was finalized. Work will proceed in Quarter 3 as the borehole is drilled, the epicenter is outfitted with solar electricity, and a windmill is installed. Once finished, THP-Malawi will work in partnership with the Dedza District Health Management team to provide medicine, personnel and equipment at the epicenter.
- Using Radio as an Advocacy Tool: A major innovation to THP-Malawi’s advocacy approach was the use of radio as an advocacy tool in a special program which brought together government officials (as those who bear the duty of providing public goods or duty bearers) and community members (as rights holders) at Mpingo Epicenter. During the program, the community expressed two major needs: (i) the need for a reliable bridge on the road to the epicenter and (ii) the opening of the Mpingo Epicenter Health Facility. As a result, the Government of Malawi’s Local Assembly has since built the bridge!
- Software Upgrades: THP-Malawi fully upgraded both its MFP software and its finance software. Staff were trained in both systems, which will streamline and facilitate data management.