Malawi is taking steps aimed at harmonizing monitoring systems in the areas of agriculture and food security, nutrition, and natural resources, as espoused in a new guiding document: Impact and Output Indicators for Agriculture, Food Security, Nutrition and Natural Resources Projects and Programmes in Malawi.
Under the new system- which will be coordinated by the ministries of Agriculture and Food Security; Health; Energy and Mines; and Department of HIV and AIDS in the office of the President and Cabinet (OPC)- organizations will no longer have to follow their own judgment in tracking outcomes, a trend that was blamed for the increased cases of bogus projects by unscrupulous non-governmental organizations.
According to Andrew Daudi, Secretary for Agriculture, and his counterpart secretaries- Chris Kang’ombe for health, Charles Msosa for Energy and Mines, and Mary Shawa- secretary for Nutrition, HIV and AIDS in the OPC- the new document will guide implementers in terms of data collection, reporting and analysis- a development intimated to bring about standardized data sets, thus making it possible to compare progress at local level.
It will also make it possible, at national level, to get some overall trends and gauge the contribution of initiatives carried out in the targeted areas. It will also be easy to crosscheck if projects and programmes are in tandem with national policies, according to the four government officials.
Malawi is being guided by the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy, though a new programme may be in the offing, as the International Monetary Fund discusses a new programme with the Malawi government to replace the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper. IMF officials were recently in the country to discuss such a possibility.