• Client: UNICEF.
  • Funder: UNICEF.
  • Country: Malawi.
  • Years: 2015.

Ayala Consulting is contracted to provide technical assistance to the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare (MoGCDSW) in the design of a Linkages and Referrals (L&R) System for the Mtukula Pakhomo - Social Cash Transfer Programme (SCTP) - in Malawi and pilot said system in two Districts. Subsequently, the contract was amended at the end of 2015 to also include a communication component for the L&R System.

The consultancy, from June 2015 - November 2016, will include the following activities:

  • Develop the Operations Manual and Technical Annexes of the L&R System by identifying beneficiary needs and services offered, as well as create a model to assist beneficiaries in their social and human development, together with Service Providers (SPs).
  • Develop the Management Information System (MIS) software application to support the L&R System implementation as well as the respective technical documents.
  • Undertake a pilot project in two Districts, Mangochi and Dedza, to apply the instruments developed for the L&R System. As of May 2016, Mangochi covers 20,177 households and 99,806 members while Dedza covers 15,867 households and 68,572 members.
  • Develop communication materials to support the implementation of the L&R System.

Additional Information about the L&R System

The L&R System is an additional component of the SCTP as most of its activities are executed in sync with the current implementation of the programme. The objective of the L&R System is to assist SCTP beneficiaries, in a more systematic and standardized manner, to access existing social services and thus maximize the impact of the transfers they are currently receiving. It comprises three main processes which are: (i) Supply Capacity Analysis; (ii) Referrals; and (iii) Follow-up and Monitoring.

The Supply Capacity Analysis (first process of the project cycle) identifies SPs who are willing to participate in the overall SCTP L&R Process and thus offer their services to its beneficiaries. Once the data is collected for all SPs within the District - through a massive data collection at BOMA, Traditional Authority (TA) and Village Cluster (VC) Levels - it is entered into the MIS and analysed to determine their eligibility. If the SP is deemed eligible, an agreement is reached thus confirming their participation in the L&R System as well as signalling that SPs can commence attending to SCTP beneficiaries. Following this, is Referrals (second process of the project cycle) which begins with the sensitization of SCTP beneficiaries informing them about the process, the available services and their providers and its benefits, while simultaneously promoting dialogue between beneficiaries and Extension Workers (EWs). Referrals are mainly operational at SCTP pay points (manual modality) and case management meetings (e-payment modality), or through home visits conducted along with the respective referrals follow-up (mainly executed by L&R Officials) and monitoring (independent M&E Officials). This data is also entered into the MIS and later on further informs the Follow-up and Monitoring Process (third and final process of the project cycle).

Simultaneously, throughout the processes, on-going data collection of new SPs or the re-assessment of existing SPs is being carried-out. These three processes mentioned above are continuous, concurrent and synchronized with the other SCTP activities (such as transfers and case management).