By Our Reporter:
The Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA) in partnership with Parent and Child Health Initiative (PACH) Trust is set to establish a Malawi Health Investigative Journalism Platform under enhancing accountability and transparency in the management of COVID-19 Response and a health sector budget in Malawi program.
The COVID-19 Response and a Malawi Health Sector Program Manager Anthony Masamba says the investigative journalism platform 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.
He said the program plans to enhance capacity of journalists 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 Malawi.
“OSISA 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 money has Malawi received for COVID-19 response and how have these funds been used”, Masamba explained.
He said there are suspicions around management of COVID-19 budget response in Malawi and a Malawi health sector budget 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.
Enhancing accountability and transparency in the management of COVID-19 Response budget in Malawi will be implemented national wide.