What are some of your unanswered questions about the idea? Some of the un answered questions in this program are: • Why have people with disabilities in Malawi not been able to have strategic litigation? • How can people with disabilities utilise a systematic complaint system? • Could this become a national system, better integrated with existing government provisions and monitoring systems?
Where will your idea be implemented? • Malawi (2 Districts: Chiradzulu and Mulanje)
Experience in Implementation Country(ies) • Yes, for more than one year. 18 years of operation in Malawi • (Charlie Goldsmith Associates has been developing and implementing real time data collection and management systems in low resource contexts since 2011) • Chancellor College has had the Faculty of law since 1970. Expertise in Sector • I've worked in a sector related to my idea for more than a year. • The faculty of law in Chancellor college University of Malawi has been working since 1970. They have handled a number of cases in the past that have been working as precedence in Malawi • Charlie Goldsmith Associates successfully demonstrated a real time SMS reporting and data management system, that integrated with Malawi government systems in the education sector in 2016: www.msams.org. This is based on a nationwide system operational in South Sudan: www.sssams.org, which securely holds data on over 1m pupils Organizational Status • We are a registered non-profit, charity, NGO, or community-based organization.
Idea Maturity • Prototyping: I have done some small tests with prospective users to continue developing my idea
What problem does your idea solve? The main challenge facing persons with disabilities (PWDs) in Malawi has been due to the fact that society lacks the understanding of disability issues. The situation has not been helped with the general lack of political will that exists amongst the leaders of the country, and subsequently the limited resources assigned to the issue. This has led to non-inclusive service delivery in many sectors, most notably health, education, economic inclusion and access to social services, thus the idea is to create a cost-free, confidential and secure service through which communities can report cases of exclusion and violence against PWDs to FEDOMA. Data will be validated by our affiliated local organisations through the District Disability Forum (DDFs) structures which FEDOMA has established and working with at district level. The issues of exclusion and violence against PWDs will be followed up by FEDOMA and partners who work for disability rights. After thorough and successful investigation, the data will be recorded and stored for future use including advocating and lobbying for better inclusive service delivery by government departments, or to build litigation cases against violators. Such initiative will improve the situation of the PWDs in rural Malawi. Who benefits? As a start the program will directly benefit 29,578 persons with disabilities in 2 districts who may be facing exclusion from access to basic services.
The selection of the two districts where we will implement was based on the areas that FEDOMA has been working in which shows that the selected districts would provide extensive data.
Indirectly the idea would benefit FEDOMA and its 11 affiliated Disability People’s Organizations and the general population for the targeted districts and the nation. The Malawi government, at national and local levels, will benefit from the additional data and analysis that will be shared, and through system strengthening of their own systems where we are able to integrate/work with them. It will also further their own goals of better inclusion of and service provision to persons with disabilities.
How is your idea unique? The program is unique in a way that it builds the capacity of persons with different disabilities to be self advocates and not just for their disability but for all disabilities at grassroots community level. Additionally the idea will allow for real time reporting and support will be provided promptly. The program allows easy gathering and secure management of data. This will also provide for a safe and protected method of which people can report various cases that they are experiencing or giving evidence for. Once a case has been recorded and verified it leaves no room for manipulation of the issues. As the information will be shared at different level, this also means follow up of cases will come from the different levels to support those at community level – i.e. enabling us to strengthen local governance structures. Once the program has been successfully implemented then FEDOMA and its partners can be able to borrow from the successes of the program to other programs. As for the litigation, it will form precedence over other cases that might come up in future.
Tell us more about you The Federation of Disability Organizations in Malawi (FEDOMA) was founded in 1999, as an umbrella organization of Disabled People’s Organizations (DPOs) in Malawi to provide a unified voice for all the disabled people. The mission is to enhance the welfare of all persons with disabilities and enable them to assume their rightful role in society. It works to promote and advocate for the rights of persons with disabilities, to advocate for and monitor the equalisation of opportunities for persons