Minister of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare Patricia Kaliati has expressed concern over lack of harmonization of programs among non-governmental organisations (NGOs) which she said spend about K200 billion a year.
Kaliati made the remarks on Thursday during an interface meeting with 20 international NGOs where the NGOs presented to the Minister various programs they are implementing.
The Minister disclosed that the NGOs are doing a commendable job but at the same time they are having challenges and these challenges are there because there is lack of coordination among the NGOs.
“You know these are the top 20 NGOs which are spending almost K200 billion a year but there are still challenges. We have seen that there is lack of coordination and harmonization of programs, they mix different programs, they do agriculture, they do HIV, they do education, all these.
“We are also saying we cannot talk about a woman without also having all these programs, what are the issues which they are going to have those linkages with programs of women. So we said they need to give us that information and we go through it and we will be inviting one by one and see how best we are going to work with them as they implement government policies,” said Kaliati.
The Minister also noted that the NGOs need to civic educate people especially from the rural areas on different aspects which among them is Information and Communications Technology (ICT).
“These NGOs they talked about ICT, we said yes those are very important but we need to start with the pre-schools. So if we take ICT to Farmers they cannot even know what is all about ICT unless we are to train them, we start with adult literacy or we start with early childhood development and as time goes we find out we are going to use these ICT programs,” said Kaliati.
She also urged the organisations to implement their programmes in the typical rural areas because in such areas there are challenges of water, food, security and information.
In his remarks, NGO Board of Malawi Chief Executive Officer Voice Mhone said the NGOs themselves have lamented on the issues of coordination and as NGO board they will make sure there is coordination among the NGOs.
According to Mhone, the board will ensure that NGOs do not work in isolation.
“So moving forward we will encourage them to form some sort of association so that they can register more impact, what we have seen today is that the same NGO is in agriculture the same is in health, the same in education, they are all over into all sectors.
“We will ensure that we motivate them to specialize, if you are in agriculture do more just in agriculture and specialize, that will really need coordination,” he said.