Malawi successfully hosts south to south CLM learning spree

Following good performance by the Malawi Community Led Monitoring (CLM) program, PEPFAR headquarters arranged a south-to-south learning spree for PEPFAR officials from Liberia, South Sudan and South Africa. The four-day exercise ran from 11 to 14 March 2024 in Blantyre and Zomba and included country experiences, implementing partners presentations, journey mapping, filed excursion, and technical aspects of the global CLM.

The south-to-south learning involved Malawi (MANASO, CDC, USAID, UNAIDS, and NAC), USAID Headquarters, PEPFAR Headquarters, Centres for Disease Control (CDC) Headquarters, USAID Liberia, USAID South Africa and USAID South Sudan’s experts in community led monitoring mechanisms for improved health systems.

MANASO is applying two community led monitoring mechanisms, community linkage group (CLG) and community scorecard committee (CSC) approaches under Liu Lathu and Pamodzi projects respectively in 30 PEPFAR supported facilities in Mzimba north, Lilongwe, Zomba, Blantyre, Thyolo and Chikwawa districts.

In Zomba, the team was taken through the processes the two approaches are bringing change in favour of both health care providers and recipients mainly in the areas of HIV/AIDS services.

Members of communities gave testimonies of how they are able to identify challenges, advocate for improvement of the challenges and acquire the desired changes.

Community led monitoring (CLM) programmes are being implemented in over thirty countries across the world with financial support from the United States of America President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). The programmes are designed to allow Community Monitors interact with providers and recipients of care in order to gather data on the HIV/AIDS, TB and Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights services being provided at a health facility. The Data collected is analysed to generate evidence which is utilized in providing feedback to health facilities and relevant stakeholders. 

In Malawi, Qualitative interviews using structured questionnaires are undertaken by community monitors who approach recipients of care within facilities or in the community after services were accessed. The collected data is validated by both the community and facility before advocacy meetings with health care providers and duty bearers who give commitments which are then followed up by community members.