Speaker advocates for coordination in implementing development projects

Speaker of the National Assembly Catherine Gotani Hara

Speaker of Parliament Catherine Gotani-Hara has underscored the need for more collaborative efforts with NGOs in Malawi for effective implementation and sustainability of development projects.

She made the call during an engagement with Members of Parliament on World Vision Malawi’s new 2021-2025 strategic plan.

The Speaker noted the organisation is working in a number of districts hence the need to work together as the people it targets are the same ones parliamentarians represent in the August House.

During the interface the legislators were taken through World Vision strategic plan which among others intends to improve the well-being of two million children across Malawi through emotional and spiritual support, creating assets and their protection.

This is done through the provision of universal water coverage, improved education and literacy levels and food security throughout the year to prevent malnutrition in various projects in 33 impact areas of the country’s 19 districts.

Some of the participants at the working dinner

She indicated that as legislators they also have a duty to help in the implementation of these activities mostly targeting children as the Constitution gives Parliament the mandate to carry out oversight and legislative roles

“You cannot be working in an area where the Constitution has given a Member of Parliament that mandate and you do your work without having that kind of good working relationship, collaboration, consultation because there are times when projects have happened in constituencies, members of Parliament don’t even know; when the project phases out, then that’s when you actually see those gaps

“You have no ownership sometimes at the local level because the political leadership in that particular area was not involved or indeed they didn’t know about it. It’s when they leave now people go to the members of Parliament to ask to say there was this project that was being carried out by such such civil society and NGO but members now don’t know how to continue with that and it becomes difficult to continue,” she explained.

Gotani-Hara with some of the government officials following proceedings during the event

World Vision National Director Francis Dube said they roped in the lawmakers in the communication strategy for several reasons adding this is their promise to the children, government and leadership of Malawi.

“If you look at the cornerstone of our strategies is about influencing policies, is about advocacy and parliamentarians are the lawmakers. If we have to protect the lives of children, we have to have the right players from the onset being mobilized for them to be aware and be able then to support the lives of children, be able to support increase in terms of resources, allocation to support children’s education; that’s another thing that we have been providing this particular stage.

Dube: If we have to protect the lives of children, we have to have the right players from the onset. Pics courtesy of World Vision Malawi 

“We need them to take ownership and leadership in mobilizing their positions to rally behind their strategy as it provides resources not ordinarily available in committee level and want them to be involved.”

Among other areas which  were queried during the interface was the sustainability of their projects after wounding up and if the organisation is able to see assess if their projects are being replicated.

In response Dube said once they hand over, they expect communities to take responsibility and make the right decisions for continued use of the facilities and infrastructure.

He stated that it is uncalled for, for them to abandon the structures adding that their goal is for communities to have an empowered world view approach.