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How Start Network has helped national NGO MANEPO access funds and earn recognition for crisis response

Localisation in practice

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MANEPO is an umbrella body coordinating over sixty (60) civil society organisations whose aim is to help older people claim their rights, challenge discrimination and overcome poverty so that they can lead dignified, secure, active and healthy lives in Malawi. Here, Andrew Kavala, Executive Director of MANEPO explains why working with Start Network is important for MANEPO.

One of the key areas MANEPO work in is disaster risk reduction (DRR) and responding to emergencies. MANEPO strives to ensure that older men and women are able to access timely, age-friendly and age sensitive support/interventions during emergencies and that recovery efforts/ initiatives are age-friendly as well to enable older men and women recover from such shocks just like any of the affected people.

Start Network is very important to MANEPO as there are complementarities in terms of approach to emergencies. There are indeed strong linkages between MANEPO’s strategy on emergencies and Start's aim which is to deliver more effective emergency aid, harnessing the power and knowledge of the network to help people affected by crises

MANEPO through HelpAge has been a recipient of Start Network funds twice. I find the 45 days system in delivering aid as being very effective in a way that it makes all actors concentrate their efforts to ensure an impact is achieved within the shortest period. This, in a way, saves lives in a timely manner. The 45 days period is short enough to lose a life and, at the same time, long enough to recover many lives if an appropriate plan is put in place.

There is no better time than now to adopt the localization strategy in a bid to ensure local/national institutions are given equal opportunity/space to deliver appropriate aid within a local context/circumstances they are familiar with. 

Start Network has given MANEPO an opportunity to showcase its potential that local/national NGOs are capable of delivering emergency programmes in a timely and effective manner if given space and opportunity. MANEPO has never worked with a progressive and strategic network on emergencies like Start Network.

For the first time in the history of Malawi, Start Network provided an opportunity to MANEPO to provide age-friendly related interventions to older men and women affected by the floods and cholera pandemic in 2017 and 2018 respectively, in a way putting MANEPO on the map and making it earn recognition among various players, including the development partners and donors.  

The approach and mode of operation adopted by Start Network remain an amazing way of empowering and building/strengthening capacity of local/national NGOs working on DRR/emergencies. Start Network has made MANEPO to be recognized as one of the key relief stakeholders by Government and other stakeholders. MANEPO is now sitting in various high-level committees at national and International levels on DRR/Emergencies, courtesy of Start Network.  

MANEPO looks forward to the full actualization of the ‘Localization Strategy’, which as an institution, we stand to benefit more in different ways. 

Read more about MANEPO.

Read more about Start Network's approach to localisation.

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  • by Andrew Kavala