September 28: Working with the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development

As I head into my third week working with the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development I thought it would be a great time to share what I am up to. To start off with, a bit of a tour! Below is my new office away from home. I am up on the 5th floor of the Tikwere House building.

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I have the pleasure of sharing this office with 5 friendly men from the planning department!

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And I am extremely thankful for the lovely neighbourhood our office is located in. We are located between a big banking district and Capital Hill, so there is plenty of green grass, flowers and my favourite ‘purple trees’.

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So now that you can picture where I am, here is a bit more about what I am up to!

Basically I am working on the EWB water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) Coordination team here in Malawi. We are working to increase coordination within the WASH sector to achieve more sustainable project impacts, to better synchronize sector efforts, to build institutions that reduce aid dependency, and to develop a functioning sector-wide approach.

So my work is helping the Ministry to be the body that leads the sector forward since they are the permanent institution who should be managing WASH delivery into the future.

As an EWB staff working within the Ministry I have a supportive type of role as their staff work on series of tools that will allow them to be the permanent deliverer of WASH services. Some of the more specific tasks I will be helping them move forward on include:

  1. Sector-wide programs and budgets – By having sector-wide programs and budgets it is easier for government and donors to align their work.
  2. Capacity building strategy – Helps the government and donors to strategically build capacity towards priority areas.
  3. Decentralisation roadmap and rollout – Creating a plan or ‘roadmap’ for decentralisation so that roles can be assigned and capacity building can be supported as needed.
  4. Sector Wide Approach (SWAp) roadmap and rollout – Creating a roadmap for SWAp development so that roles can be assigned and capacity building can be supported as needed.
  5. Alignment of Sector Strategic Plan, Sector Investment Plan, and District Strategic Investment Plans – By aligning these 3 plans it will help all stakeholders (like NGOs and districts) to be aligned and working towards the same objectives that the Ministry have indicated as priorities.

So that is basically what I am up to, feel free to ask questions, probe for more details or ask me for more specific information!

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6 responses to “September 28: Working with the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development

  1. Hi, my name is Jon 😉

    The 5 specific are kind of blurry in my mind when I read it… Could you explain it to me in an other way?

    Thank you Malawi volunteer!
    Jon

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    • Hi Jon 🙂
      Sure ill try and break them down a bit more!
      1. Sector-wide programs and budgets – By having sector-wide programs and budgets it is easier for government and donors to align their work.
      2. Capacity building strategy – Helps the government and donors to strategically build capacity towards priority areas.
      3. Decentralisation roadmap and rollout – Creating a plan or ‘roadmap’ for decentralisation so that roles can be assigned and capacity building can be supported as needed.
      4. Sector Wide Approach (SWAp) roadmap and rollout – Creating a roadmap for SWAp development so that roles can be assigned and capacity building can be supported as needed.
      5. Alignment of Sector Strategic Plan, Sector Investment Plan, and District Strategic Investment Plans – By aligning these 3 plans it will help all stakeholders (like NGOs and districts) to be aligned and working towards the same objectives that the Ministry have indicated as priorities.

      Like

  2. Glad it’s all going well, Megan! For how long is the EWB planning on working with the Ministry? Is the plan that eventually the EWB will phase out its involvement so that the Ministry has full capacity to carry out the WASH projects?

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    • Great question! The proposed plan is that my supervisor Kristina be working with the Ministry for around a year in a similar type of fashion and another fellow like myself will also be work here at some point during this year. The plan is definitely that we will phase out and this work will be continued by the Ministry.

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  3. Thanks for the update Megan. Glad to see you have a better idea of where you fit in. Seems like interesting work. I imagine it’s very difficult to try and align so many different projects/partners.

    Also, we have the same purple trees all over Lusaka. They call them jacaranda trees here and they are all starting to bloom now.

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    • Hey Nick, I am glad you are able to experience the tree beauty as well – they make all walks so much more pleasant!

      Yes alignment is a bit tricky, but everyone seems committed from what I see. The Ministry really seems to think that putting in the effort to get everything aligned will mean more of the important work getting done faster and more efficiently which is really exciting to see!

      Like

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