MZUZU-(MaraviPost)-The Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA) says investigative journalism platform provides an opportunity for citizen participation in the management and expenditure of public resources.
Parent and Child Health Initiative (PACH) Trust in partnership with OSISA is implementing a project called enhancing accountability and transparency in the management of COVID-19 Response and a health sector budget in Malawi program.
Among others, the project seeks to establish a Malawi Health Sector Investigative Journalism Platform which seeks to promote citizen participation in the management of COVID-19 response budget and a Malawi health sector as a whole through systematic research and investigative reporting.
Speaking on the sidelines of an interface meeting with journalists in Mzuzu, Project Lead, Anthony Masamba said the platform will be play a watchdog role in ensuring that there is effienciney and accountability in the of COVID-19 response budget.
He said OSISA in partnership with PACHI will enhance capacity of journalists through capacity building training for them to play a watchdog role in the public health sector in Malawi by producing investigative stories that will increase national discourse on how public resources are being managed in in the country.
“We will support journalists with journalism fellowship grants to research, investigate and document management and expenditure of COVID-19 response funds. What we want to see and establish is how much moneyhas Malawi received for COVID-19 response and how have these funds been used”, Masamba explained.
He added that there are suspicions around management of COVID-19 budget response in Malawi and a Malawi health sector budget as a whole with different stakeholders raising lack of transparency and accountability in the manner these public resources are being disbursed and spent.
“In Malawi there are lot of inefficiencies affecting health sector budget in general. There is rampant corruption coupled with mismanagement of public resources which has had huge adverse effects on health service delivery and Malawi’s health system as a whole. We hope the establishment of the Malawi Health Sector Investigative Journalism Platform/Desk will help expose these malpractices and also promote citizen participation on COVID 19 response budget for through holding of duty bearers to account better utilization of public resources for improved health service delivery”, he said.
OSISA promotes open society values by working towards building vibrant and tolerant democracies across the region through our various thematic and country programmes.
It is currently operating in eleven countries including Malawi.
PACHI is implementing Enhancing accountability and transparency in the management of COVID-19 Response budget in Malawi financial support from OSISA.