The Voices and Actions for Accountability in Malawi (VAAM) project was officially launched in Lilongwe, Malawi on Friday 27 November 2020 to curb corruption in the country. With support from the European Union (EU), Hivos in collaboration with the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace Archdiocese of Lilongwe (CCJP) is implementing the three-year VAAM program in Malawi.
The project is in response to corruption reports that saw Malawi ranked 120/180 on the Corruption Perception Index and its objective is to strengthen the capacity of Malawian Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Media and selected local government authorities in evidence gathering, analysis and the publication of findings.
The launch was attended to by relevant stakeholders from government Ministries, EU local delegation, relevant NGOs, Members of Parliament belonging to the Budget and Finance Committee and Public Accounts Committee, the media and other key sectors.
The project will be implemented at both national and district level in seven districts across the three regions of Malawi Blantyre, Dowa, Mangochi, Ntcheu, Mzimba, Mzuzu and Zomba.
In his opening remarks, EU Team Leader Mr. Navarro urged all the participants to support the project so that the intended impact can be achieved.
Speaking on behalf of Hivos Regional Director for Southern Africa, Project Manager, Mr. Baldwin Chiyamwaka thanked the EU for their continued support towards increased transparency and accountability in Malawi. Mr. Chiyamwaka went on to give a brief background of Hivos and its operations in Malawi.
In her presentation, Tisungane Nanthoka, Hivos Project Manager gave a brief overview of VAAM including unpacking the objectives and expected outcomes of the three-year project. Stakeholders were given a platform to ask questions and learn more about the project. Through the plenary session, best practices and challenges were also shared.
Speaking at the event, keynote speaker, Mr. Nations Msowoya from the Ministry of Finance urged Hivos and CCJP LL to be vigilant and ensure that public budgeting and procurement processes are transparent and that corruption is minimized. He also urged the two organizations to lead by example in the management of project funds.
The project is expected to run through 2023. Hivos and CCJP LL are therefore expected to monitor and report Implementation of activities with the hope of increasing dialogue and exchange of information on public expenditure between Local Government Authorities and citizens.