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NATIONAL HIV/AIDS RESEARCH AND BEST PRACTICES CONFERENCE - page 91 / 103

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E.2.Networking works by C M Osborne, C L Angood, Save the Children US, Umoyo Network

Objectives and Scope: In Malawi non-government organizations (NGOs) play an important part in health service delivery, especially in remote areas. Despite their benefits, many NGOs suffer institutional weaknesses that prevent them from improving the quality, quantity, or efficiency of their services. One approach to overcome these weaknesses is to work in alliances or networks of NGOs.

Methodology: Save the Children Umoyo Network addresses the issues of NGOs’ institutional weakness through high quality support to NGOs in the areas of technical work, management, finance and administration, and monitoring and evaluation. Umoyo networks has successfully demonstrated the impact of activities and has continued to attract the attention of donors. Save the Children Umoyo Network's true success can only be judged in the long term, but Umoyo Network can pass on lessons to others who are interested in forming similar networks.Synergy is achieved through a variety of methods including quarterly NGO networking meetings, joint trainings, exchange visits and learning/doing together. MIS documentation exercise leading to improved understanding of data and who uses what data for what purpose at what level is reinforced through training and on-site mentoring in M&E and NGOs make presentations of their achievements and challenges at the Quarterly meeting for peer review. A strong MIS system therefore leads to increased use of data for decision making at all levels and a strengthened Network.

Results and Conclusions: Networks provide an opportunity for technical assistance to benefit many organizations; a sub-grant program creates a natural mechanism to bring NGOs and other partners together on a regular basis to coordinate activities, exchange information, and learn from one another and are perceived as one of the strongest benefits of working in a network.

Recommendations: This paper recommends that building capacity of NGOs together within a network can successfully expand and improve the quality of reproductive, HIV/AIDS and other health services.

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