OXFAM in Malawi in partnership with Girls Empowerment Network [GENET], Centre for Victimized Women and Children [CAWVOC] and Comic Relief, has called for more resource allocations on Gender Based Violence [GBV] essential services for better service delivery in Dowa district.
Oxfam in Malawi and its partners conducted a Public Expenditure Tracking [PET] exercise to track expenditures against set targets and advise policy alternatives regarding efficient budget utilization towards the Gender Based Violence [GBV] essential services.
The organizations targeted five sectors for findings in Nkhanza Toto project: ‘’A Women and Girls’ Movement in Malawi Public Expenditure Tracking [PET] in Judiciary [Child Justice Court], Police [Victim Support Units], Health [Sexual Reproductive Health], Gender and Social Welfare [Child Protection] while in Education [School Improvement Grant].
Presenting the Public Expenditure Tracking [PET] report to its stakeholders at a-day long meeting in Mponela-Dowa, OXFAM in Malawi Gender Programmes Officer, Diniwe Grace Phiri, said the exercise was conducted to help in identifying gaps in resource and implementation that have an impact in the response to Gender Based Violence [GBV] in Dowa district.
Phiri said the exercise used data collection at three levels: community, district and national through National Local Government Finance Committee [NLGFC] saying the analysis looked into what was budgeted for, given how the resources have been used and the quality of implementation on the ground.
Selected CSOs within the district, District Technical Working Group [TWG] on Gender Based Violence [GBV] and child protection, media, community representatives and community based educators did the Expenditure Tracking exercise, part and parcel that made the findings a success in the district.
Findings across all the sectors indicate grants of small amounts warrant significant strides in combating GBV. The findings from the Police, established that Victim Support Units [VSUs] is declining in most places where Gender Based Violence projects phased out hence crucial to incorporate sustainability efforts during implementation by all players.
From Education, small amounts granted to schools resulted in poor quality of erected infrastructures, people not involved in project monitoring and have very limited information on the projects and deferring amounts reported at school and district level, has raised eyebrows in terms of remittance and utility of funds on the ground.
’In Gender and Social Welfare, there is unsteadiness in increments and limited knowledge by most communities, a great chunk of the budget is going towards allowances resulting in less resources trickling down into the communities,’
In Health, the findings established less community engagement and activities offered, some areas have ready access to contraceptives through community based while in courts, there is no mobile courts being administered, justice at times is botched through administering of meager sentencing and supporting facilities/ materials not available to support child victim protection.
Oxfam in Malawi and GENET is calling upon all Gender Based Violence [GBV] essential infrastructure to strive at getting inputs from the general populace in budgeting processes, coordination among actors for effective GBV redress. Most critical is lobbying for increments in grant amounts to GBV essential services as lawmakers are debating the 2021/22 national budget.
Nkhanza Toto project ‘’A Women and Girls’ Movement in Malawi,’’ is a- 3 year project which is being implemented in the two districts of Dowa and Phalombe with support from Comic Relief.
By Vincent Gunde