The report was disseminated widely to members of the Malawi Global
Fund Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM), members of the Malawi Network of
AIDS Services Organizations, and staff at the Global Fund Secretariat in
Geneva, including the Fund Portfolio Manager for Malawi and the Community,
Rights and Gender Department.
The release of ICASO’s report was also covered by Aidspan, an independent observer of the Global Fund and publisher of the Global Fund Observer (GFO) newsletter. The GFO article can be found online here.
In the months following the release of the report, ICASO has remained in contact with its partners in Malawi to find out how the report is being used on the ground by community activists and advocates. Through a series of follow-up interviews, communities related to ICASO how documentation like this can be used as an accountability mechanism to ensure that investments in community engagement are promoted and sustained .
“There is a lot of misinformation about the Global Fund processes and many people feel that they are not seen or heard by those working directly with the Global Fund, however, this could not be further from the truth,” says Maziko Matemba, Executive Director of the Health and Rights Education Programme (HREP) in Malawi. ICASO has been working in partnership with HREP since 2017 to make the Global Fund more efficient and effective in Malawi by strengthening community engagement.
“This report has opened the eyes of the people doing the work and where the programs are being implemented,” Matemba told ICASO. “They now understand how they can get involved at the beginning and that it does not stop there. Their role continues as the people who see and hear and can report back on how the Global Funds programs are developed, implemented and appreciated.”
According to Matemba, the ICASO report is currently being used to inform recommendations on strengthening civil society and community engagement in Malawi’s CCM. Malawi is among eighteen countries participating in a pilot project to evolve the CCM model and structures in order to better deliver on the Global Fund Strategy 2017-2022 .
“What stands out about this
report is that it is both independent and objective in its assessment of what
is working well and not in Malawi,” says Matemba. “It is honest about the
situation at hand and progressive about what needs to be done to improve our
Matemba told ICASO that civil society is sharing
this report within Malawi with key decision makers and at Global Fund meetings
and forums. He said that he and his colleagues are also sharing it with civil
society organization and community groups in other countries, who can consider replicating
or adapting similar documentation in their contexts. Although the report is an
appraisal of the unique situation in Malawi, some of the findings and
recommendations speak more generally to issues affecting a number of countries where
the Global Fund invests.
“Our aim is to submit the report to our
national leadership as the evidence for greater resource use, efficiency and
mobilization in Malawi,” Matemba said.
The partnership between HREP and ICASO has
been a success story in amplifying community voices. Matemba noted that ICASO’s
position as an independent and respected global civil society network helped
bring the community in Malawi together—especially
key population groups—to highlight
their Global Fund community engagement efforts. “Without ICASO’s engagement and
documentation support, our efforts might never have been seen or heard by the
Global Fund and other stakeholders at national and international levels.”