Action Aid Malawi’s 2018-2023 Work To Focus On Ending Intersecting Inequalities

By Edwin Mauluka

Action Aid Malawi has disclosed that its work in 2018 to 2023 will
work with women and youth to address intersecting inequalities in
gender, income, location and disability that exacerbate poverty and

Tiwonge Kumwenda Simkonda, Action Aid Malawi’s Head of Fundraising and
Communications made the disclosure on Friday, when announcing the
finalisation of the designing of the organisations Country Strategy
Paper V (CSP V) for the period running from 2018 to 2023.

Sharing some of the key areas prioritised in the CSP V Simkonda stated
that the focus area on promoting and securing realisation of women,
young women and girls rights “reiterate the fact that Action Aid is a
feminist led movement” hence as active agents of women this is a very
critical area to the organisation programming.

Also, she added that it resonates with development priorities for
Malawi Government and Agenda 2030- Sustainable Development Goals
(SDGs) including the Urban Agenda 63 that requires a focus on the most
marginalised women and those facing intersecting discriminations based
on class as well as gender.

“We want women to engage in all the spaces, challenging norms and
practices and also we are adding in a layer where we are challenging
key policies in terms of business models or investment plans that do
not augur well with the interest of women in Malawi.” She said

Simkonda stressed that working with women, youths’ and people living
in poverty in both urban and rural areas would ensure that that people
living in poverty and exclusion must be central in driving social
change towards a more just and equal world.

“Women, who pay the highest price of unjust policies and patriarchal
societies must play a key role as change agents in order to shift
unequal gender power relations. As well, young people are important
innovators and drivers of change throughout the world.” she said

Apart from working with women and young people, Simkonda indicated
that organisation will also support the voice and agency of those who
are most excluded as well as strengthen their leadership and
engagements in people’s organisations and social movements.

Other key areas of focus in the CSP V includes; building resilience of
people living in poverty while strengthening women-led secure
livelihoods, preparedness and emergency response. Also, CSP V will
enhance citizen participation and accountability for the
redistribution of resources and delivery of quality, gender-responsive
public service.

“The Country Strategy Paper will be launched this month, and it will
also be a space where we will share more in terms of areas that Action
Aid Malawi is going to focus on.” Indicated Simkonda

Also, the Simkonda indicated that CSP V has been aligned to global and
local development strategies including the Sustainable Development
Goals (SDGs) and the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy III (MGDS

“Our Country Strategy Plan this time around we have drawn so much
inspiration from Action Aid International which has also launched its
strategy as well as a number of policy and direction that government
of Malawi is taking such as MGDS III (Malawi Growth and Development
Strategy III)” She added

Action Aid Malawi has indicated CSP V has been developed from
extensive participatory reflections and consultations with a number of
people and institutions. Those involved in consultations include:
people living in poverty such as women, youths and men; development
partners; likeminded civil society institutions; primary duty
bearers-government representatives; and leaders at national, district
and community levels who lead the way in ending poverty and social

Simkonda has since expressed optimism that Action Aid Malawi
anticipates to achieve more gains from CSP V which is building from
the gains realised from the CSP IV themed ‘Peoples Action to a Poverty
Free Malawi’ implemented from 2012 to 2017.

Some of the lessons from CSP IV mentioned by Action Aid Malawi
includes; the realisation that empowerment of women in the existing
legal instruments and structures enhances the likelihood of attaining
gender equality, significance of working with community structures,
use of research and evidence for effective advocacy and campaign,
promotion of climate-resilient and sustainable livelihoods strategies,
and the use of strategic partnerships to enhance effective advocacy
and synergy.

Action Aid development approaches and strategies in Malawi have
significantly evolved since 1990’s. From 1991 to 1997 the organisation
used the basic needs or service provision approach focusing on meeting
the basic needs of communities under CSP.

CSP IV, focused on empowering poor and excluded people as primary
agents in bringing about desired change, whereas civil society
remained allies and not primary agents

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