Centre for Children's Affairs Malawi

The future of every successful nation lays in the hands of the children.

KALONDOLONDO PROJECT

 

The Kalondolondo Project is a four-year project spanning over a period of 2012 – 2015. Its major donors are UKaid that has provided 1 billion Malawi Kwacha and Plan UK that provided US$100,000 for initial start up activities.The major objectives of the project are to provide a platform through which communities, with the facilitation of Civil Society Organizations and NGOs, should participate in the national budget process and to build the capacities of NGOs and Civil Society organizations so that they can be able to reach communities and engage them in assessment of public service delivery so that government policy formulation process is evidence based.The project was being piloted in eight districts namely Karonga, Nkhatabay, Mzimba in the Northern Region; Kasungu and Lilongwe in the Central Region; Chikhwawa, Mulanje and Machinga in the Southern Region. For the second phase of the project that will run from 2012 to 2015 has included other districts like Mwanza,Mulanje,Balaka in the southern Region,Mchinji,Dedza in the central region.In each of these districts 43 NGOs have been selected to coordinate and implement project activities. Implementing NGO/CSOs  will be responsible for the ultimate interface with the communities in various stages of the budget process including solicitation of community priorities and eventual assessment of service delivery at community level.

BACKGROUND TO THE PROJECT AND POLICY FRAMEWORK

The Kalondolondo project falls within the government road map on the roll out of the national M&E system and contributes to the component that allows participation of CSOs in provision of social audit functions. It is part of the democratization process and ensures the enforcement of the bottom-up planning approach and helps decision makers to be able to get input from stakeholders at grassroots level that are otherwise skipped in the budget processes.It also provides opportunities to policy makers to fine tune the programmes aimed at achieving the targets in the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS), Millennium Development Goal (MDG) targets and poverty reduction in general. It allows citizens at the grassroots who are affected by poverty to have a say in activities that empower them for a better life.Although Malawi is on track to achieve goals number 1, 2, 3 and 6.However, these goals are being measured without full engagement with the principle stakeholders who are the citizens of this country such that there is wide knowledge gap and lack of participation. Communication between the citizens and government on development remains elusive. The majority of Malawians do not understand the structure of government and how it functions both at local assembly and national levels. Consequently:-citizens do not demand accountability from government and international institutions.  There is limited citizen participation in the national budget processes, policy formulation, implementation, management and monitoring of development programmes. The only role citizens’ play is to vote for politicians during general elections once in five years. Making the majority of citizens mere observers with no clear roles to play so as to make this democracy more vibrant and responsive to the needs and whishes of the populace.  However, the CBM consortium believes that just and democratic governance is only possible with the active participation of poor and excluded people.Therefore the project aim hinges on improving political and economic governance demonstrated through accountability of local and national level governance structures with evidence of/and full participation of citizens and civil society at local and national levels.

The Kalondo-londo project, has since late 2008 been doing taking steps, initially through capacity building of CSOs, to engage communities to participate in assessment of services in health, agriculture, education, water and sanitation sectors. The actual contact with communities started in the last half of 2009 with the following progress made vis-à-vis the set project outcomes

KALONDOLONDO IN CHIKWAWA

Centre for Children's Affairs Malawi was awarded the project of Kalondolondo in January 2012 where the first cohot of allocation of funds was to monitor the implementation of water projects in the district.The monitoring focused on the boreholes by using and following the following indicators?

  1. Presence of the management commiittee
  2. Quality of water
  3. Access to the borehole
  4. sanitation
  5. Skills of the of the committees if available