In 2019, the Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC) classified a total of 1.879 million people as food insecure and in need of immediate food assistance, with cash being proposed as the appropriate modality. The six most-affected districts included some 451,692 people classified as being in IPC Phase 3 or above who were targeted for the 2019|20 Lean Season Response. The districts were Balaka, Neno, Nsanje, Phalombe, Dedza and Karonga.
Beyond the objective of providing lifesaving assistance, the 2019|20 LSR was an opportunity to also advance the Government’s vision of shock sensitive social protection (SSSP), as articulated in the Malawi National Social Support Programme II (MNSSP II) and the National Resilience Strategy (NRS).
The After Action Review
In 2020, a small technical team was formed, comprised of the Government, WFP and UNICEF to conduct an After-Action Review of the 2019|20 LSR. Due to the onset of COVID-19, the data collection processes were adjusted to be conducted remotely, resulting in data sources from: key informant interviews (national and district level); interviews with community members (beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries) through a call centre; and a review of all secondary data (e.g. emails, meeting minutes, project reports, monitoring data, the Unified Beneficiary Registry and payrolls).
The data was analyzed and documented to capture the key findings and the lessons learned from the 2019|20 LSR. Key recommendations have been identified to improve the future of emergency responses, including the use of the social protection system in the context of increasing hazards, shocks, and stresses.