The International Labour Organization (ILO) has called for greater involvement of non-governmental organizations in social protection interventions in Malawi, stressing that this is key in complementing government efforts to improve the welfare of vulnerable communities.
ILO Technical Officer on Social Protection, Patience Matandiko, made the sentiments at the launch of the Civil Society Social Protection Network (CSSPN) in Lilongwe on Tuesday.
The network seeks to contribute towards creation of a better social protection system through advocating for social protection programmes and systems, enhancing social accountability in the delivery of social protection interventions, among others.
Matandiko welcomed the launch of CSSPN, saying it will strengthen the participation of civil society organizations in the implementation and designs of social protection programmes in Malawi.
In her remarks, the Director of Poverty Reduction and Social Protection in the Department of Economic Planning and Environment, Patricia Zimpita, emphasized the need for effective implementation of social protection programmes.
Zimpita therefore said CSSPN will add an objective voice in the implementation of social protection interventions.
“As such, we look forward to seeing this network play a complementary role to what the government is already doing in terms of social protection,” she said.
CSSPN National Coordinator Kennear Mlowoka observed that there is an accountability gap in the implementation of social protection programmes; hence, their decision to revamp the network.
“The change we are anticipating is that, at first, we want to support the policy that is there as we are there to complement government efforts. We also want to do some advocacy and mindset change, improving also the financial management of social protection which we will have an oversight as a civil society organization, we don’t want anyone to be left behind as far as the issues of social protection are concerned,” explained Mlowoka.
CSSPN envisages to be the champion in conducting awareness, raising meetings across the country and monitoring social protection interventions in line with the issues of transparency and accountability.