Thursday, November 14, 2013

ADRA ASC Program meets stakeholders

By Elias Banda
ADRA Malawi through the Action For Social Change Program (ASC ) held a meeting with government stakeholders in Zomba to strengthen collaboration.
The meeting was held at Annes Lodge from 13th to 14th  November and brought together government officers, especially those aligned with program activities from Machinga and Mulanje. Participants included district directors of planning.
Emma Jakobo addressing stakeholders
Speaking during the official opening of the meeting Emma Jakobo, ASC Program Manager said ADRA Malawi was complementing government efforts and it was imperative that stakeholders were updated  at all levels of implementation and that their input would be crucial to help improve the delivery of services.  
The meeting created a platform where ADRA Malawi shared reports on achievements and success stories. ADRA Malawi Also shared the ASC mid-term review report and a research draft findings on Fertilizer Subsidy Program (FSP), conducted by Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR), supported by the ASC Program.   The meeting also looked at common challenges hampering implementation of activities such as low involvement of men in the activities and how to sustain volunteers in the activities.
It was reported that low male patronage in development activities was a general problem and was attributed to the fact that men would participate in activities which had quick results.  To draw the attention of men in the projects it was resolved that future project designs whether undertaken by government or non- governmental organizations, should consider reaching men where they are mostly found. The meeting also resolved that a common approach through district civil society organizations should be reached on how to handle volunteer incentives in order to avoid a situation where some organizations would give more incentives than others, thereby negatively impacting on the sustainability of activities.
Participants during the meeting
The meeting also agreed on joint monitoring of activities between the district councils and ADRA Malawi. It was resolved that councils would be free to contact ADRA Malawi or any other partner for monitoring of activities.
The meeting also discussed best practices on exist strategies that included community empowerment and linkages with relevant government departments.
In 2012,  a similar meetings took place in Blantyre and Lilongwe where ASC  program strategies were reviewed.
A similar meeting would take place in Salima involving stakeholders from Mzimba and Lilongwe.

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