The MEI and the Centre for Economic Governance and Accountability in Africa (CEGAA) have released a new online training series that strengthens budget management and advocacy skills among country-level malaria leaders in order to improve domestic financing and a sustainable malaria response. The collaboration drew upon the strengths of each organization: the MEI brought its experience in supporting successful malaria budget advocacy in a number of countries, while CEGAA—a South Africa-based civil society organization—brought expertise in budget monitoring and expenditure tracking (“BMET”) capacity building. While BMET has been used for health financing in Eastern, Western, and Southern Africa, this is the first time the training has been adapted for malaria.
In order to reach more people with these powerful and proven techniques for malaria budget management and advocacy, the MEI and CEGAA recorded an online learning training series for malaria leaders, which is now available open access on MEI’s website. The 3-hour, 14-module training provides foundational knowledge on health financing and economics, practical skills to analyze and develop budgets, and tactics to influence decision-makers. Several modules include supplemental exercises to reinforce and apply new learnings.
The MEI and CEGAA’s collaboration began in 2019 when the MEI partnered with Namibia’s National Vector-borne Diseases Control Programme (NVDCP) and six northern regions to improve budget advocacy. In an effort to create an enabling environment for malaria elimination, the initiative sought to develop leadership and public financial management capacities of regional malaria leaders to mobilize and manage domestic resources for local malaria response.
To address regional advocacy priorities, the MEI and CEGAA worked with the regional health directorates to understand their baseline knowledge, skills, and capacity for BMET. Based on the identified topics for which regional stakeholders wanted support, CEGAA adapted their existing curriculum to the Namibian context and delivered an intensive, weeklong skills-building course to 23 regional health leaders, followed by twelve months of virtual group and individual coaching. An adaptation of the training was also provided to 76 multisectoral leaders joining newly established subnational Malaria Elimination Task Forces.
“I learned approaches on how to advocate for malaria. In malaria elimination, without finances there is nothing we can do. So we were taught how to prioritize [and] how to negotiate, which made it easier for me as a provincial director to advocate for political will.” Training testimonial, Agnes Mwilima, Regional Director – Zambezi Region, Ministry of Health and Human Services, Namibia
This training was designed with an intended audience of malaria program managers and sub-national malaria teams. We encourage you to watch our promotional video to learn more about this exciting new resource!