Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Mawa concept

Media Aids and Health Watch (Mawa) is a Malawian journalists', and media practitioners, member-driven, not-for-profit Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) established on November 5, 2005 –and registered under the Trustees Incorporation Act of the Government of Malawi - by practitioners from both the print and electronic media. Its main is to promote citizens' and media participation in the delivery of health care services, especially in the core areas of governance, participation and ownership, as well as improving reporting standards for sustainable social, cultural, health, and economic development, among other areas; characterized by a Malawi where all citizens take keen interest in the issues and developments that concern them, as well as on issues of national interest. Mawa seeks to implement a one-year initiative aimed at ascertaining the level of community knowledge on decentralization of the health care delivery system in the country. This emanates from the sad reality that most members of communities surrounding public health care institutions are unaware about decentralization of these facilities, save for procurement of large consignments of drugs, and other health necessities, as well as salaries –issues that are handled by the Central Government. This is largely manifested by common complaints from members of the community surrounding a public health care service provider; such that when there are no drugs and other services they blame the central government. This shows that there is lack of knowledge and poor communication linkages between health officials and these members of the community who utilize their services, and are also tax payers, directly or indirectly, in their own right. The total amount of funding required to carry out the whole programme will be made available to you at your convenience, once Mawa is given the discretion to implement the intimated programme on your behalf


The over-all objective of the programme is to provide a platform and forum where community members will be able to give their input on decentralization of the public health care delivery service, to which they are a crucial component as health impacts magnanimously towards national development; and also to raise public awareness about decentralization for sustainable community participation and effective delivery of public health care services, both at district and community level. This becomes imperative when we consider that decentralization provides the best opportunity for communities to develop, as initiatives and programmes are done using the area-needs assessment and suitability concept that promotes the principle that communities should choose for themselves the development programmes that tally with their local problems, a departure from past practice where initiatives were forced on people with the consequent tragedy that, often, there was no sustainability as such communities felt short-changed and left behind in terms of ownership. Now, with decentralization there to stay, people should continuously take part in local development initiatives, and this includes the provision of a platform where the governed and governors share notes and views in order for Malawi to increasingly improve as a blossoming, and fast-emerging, participatory democracy.


The purpose of the programme is to increase the knowledge of communities about their role in decentralization to enable them take part in various processes of development and public service delivery, as well as decision-making, at various stages of governance, especially in the provision of services at national, district and community level, other than current practices where communities don't take part in public health care delivery services because of deep-rooted perceptions that such structures and services are the monopoly of the central government.

The programme seeks to support communities in 12 districts of Southern Malawi in the following areas:
4.1 Provide knowledge about decentralization of the public health sector delivery system and their role in making sure that there is accountability and transparency at community, district and national level.
4.2 Foster positive relationships between communities and health officials.
4.3 Increased participation of Communities at district level in the descentralisation process, a development that may only be realized after communities, health officials and officers come to realize that they all have a role to play for improved health services.
4.4 Publish community newspapers about proceedings at such for a using pictures and views of community members themselves for them to know and realize that they can play a role and influence national policy, both at district and national level.
4.5 Produce TV and Radio documentaries as relates to decentralization in various areas of the country, for case study and duplication by other countries and national players.

Beneficiaries of the programme will be:
5.1 Grassroots communities and organizations surrounding health facilities
5.2 The national audience/readership/viewer-ship through the radio and TV documentaries; AND Newspaper publications reflecting community members and views.
5.3 Legally registered community based organizations
5.4 Thematic networks
5.5 Media institutions and practitioners
5.6 Research institutions
5.7 Decentralization advocates

The major component of the programme includes:
6.1Public debates between communities of interest and health officials.
6.2 Panel discussions attended by local district health officials, local government officials (District Commissioners and Traditional Leaders), and community members
6.3 Radio programmes and documentaries
6.7 Television documentaries
6.8 Newspaper publication featuring members of the community
6.9 Cinema shows highlighting benefits of decentralization
6.10 Media Community sensitization meetings at community centres such as markets, trading centres and community meeting places/halls/schools

The programme aims at achieving the following results:
7.1 Increased communities' participation in the decentralization of the public health care delivery system at district level
7.2 Improved communication between local government officials and communities/service beneficiaries
7.3. Increased national knowledge about decentralization of public health care delivery.
7.4 Accountability of services guaranteed.
7.5 Decentralizations sustained
7.6 Newspapers on decentralization published
7.7 Radio programmes and documentaries produced
7.8 Capacity of district/community health delivery centres to provide efficient services ascertained.
7.9 Increased knowledge and mutual understanding among stakeholders.

8.0 The over-all responsibility for the implementation of the programme lies with Media Aids and Health Watch (Mawa). This includes facilitating, providing strategic guidance to programme beneficiaries, supervision and monitoring and evaluation in the implementation of the programme. It is envisaged that Gtz will provide overall guidance, including policy guidance, for effective implementation of the programme.

The implementation time frame is 10 months, from January 2008 to August 2008.

For further details, please contact:

The Executive Director
Media Aids and Health Watch (Mawa)
Private Bag GSP 443
Chichiri Blantyre 3.

Cell: 09 333 528/ 09 360 771/ 09 194 894

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