Improving Processes, Feeding Mother-Child Pairs in Malawi
UBALE (United in Building and Advancing Life Expectations) is a USAID-funded DFAP which aims to reduce chronic malnutrition and food insecurity and increase resilience among vulnerable populations in Southern Malawi. UBALE's Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning (MEAL) department is spearheading an ongoing CLA exercise to improve the registration process for mother-child pairs (MCP) receiving rations of food during the lean season. MCPs are pregnant women or caregivers of children under two years of age (CU2) who are participating in UBALE through Care Groups. An effective registration process ensures UBALE reaches the maximum number of eligible MCPs with much-needed food at a time of scarcity. For FY2017, a new registration process was proposed and a collaborative meeting was held involving staff from many departments and levels to review the new process and revise it based on learning from FY2016 food distributions. The meeting provided a chance to work transparently to identify gaps in the old process and revise the newly proposed process. Out of the meeting, a procedure document was drafted with responsible parties and deadlines and distributed to all staff involved in registration. Feedback indicated that overall staff felt that the new FY2017 process was better organized and easier to manage than the FY2016 process. In addition, 26,530 more MCPs were reached in the first month of FY2017 distributions, demonstrating that all targeted beneficiaries were registered on time. Building on this success and in the spirit of continuous learning, the MEAL team held a Lessons Learned Session in February 2018 with the aim of establishing an annual platform for reviewing the MCHN Beneficiary Registration Process and continuing to improve the efficiency of registration for MCP. Donor support for CLA work through good relations with leadership are enabling conditions that allow UBALE to sponsor recurring, focused learning meetings and course correct efficiently based on learning gleaned and small actions agreed on by staff at various levels in key departments.