The National AIDS Commission (NAC) of Malawi was established in July 2001 as a public trust to lead and coordinate the National Response to HIV and AIDS. Over the years, NAC has put in place management, financial and monitoring systems for effective coordination. These have enabled the Commission to mobilise funding from a number of bilateral and multi-lateral sources to scale up HIV and AIDS operational programmes.
Effective coordination of the national response depends to a large extent on NAC’s ability to monitor what is happening on the ground. This information then needs to be strategically analysed and fed back into outreach and promotional programmes in order to address weaknesses or exploit opportunities identified through the monitoring effort. The Commission is also interested in conducting periodic qualitative assessments of programme implementation, in order to complement the quantitative information generated via the monitoring. To this end, NAC contracted an independent review team of multi-disciplinary specialists to assess implementation and provide a report for discussion by NAC and its funding partners.
Itad was contracted to undertake a series of annual reviews of NAC. For each annual review, Itad was required to mobilise a 5-person multi-disciplinary team consisting of both international and Malawian experts, all of whom undertake an in-country mission of up to six weeks’ duration. The chief objective of the reviews was to provide NAC and its partners with an independent assessment of performance in implementing the integrated annual work plan against the National HIV Monitoring & Evaluation Framework and budget.
The reports generated provided NAC and its partners with qualitative feedback on selected themes critical to achieving programme objectives, including lessons from international experience. The reports also identified successful approaches that merit expansion and scaling up, as well as areas needing particular attention. Finally, each review assessed progress made with regard to the findings/recommendations of previous independent review missions.Image © From experience – Christina Mbiza, Nursing officer. Photo Credit: Lindsay Mgbor, DFID (Shared under CC BY 2.0 license)