A central component of engaging with communities includes working with local partners. Plan International has been working to ensure that our services are provided in collaboration with those who are closest to the point of impact.
In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, Plan International Mali has put in place a project focusing on community engagement and accountability to affected populations through a close partnership with ERAD, a local NGO.
Plan International Mali is currently supporting the Government of Mali’s efforts to effectively combat the spread of Covid-19 in our existing areas of intervention throughout the country, primarily through the implementation of behaviour change communication activities.
In order to achieve this objective, Plan has collaborated with a local partner NGO called ERAD in three areas of the country. Implemented activities include the provision of materials for hand-washing to technical and social services (including health facilities, schools, and women’s and youth associations), as well as effective risk communication and behaviour change initiatives to increase the adoption of barrier measures against Covid-19, including the wearing of masks, all the while using gender-transformative approaches. This partnership with a local NGO has allowed Plan International Mali to increase its impact by being further ingrained within the communities that we wish to support.
Collaboration with a local partner
ERAD has been partnering with Plan International Mali since 1999 and specializes in the fight against gender-based violence (GBV) and gender-transformative programming.
Based on a Terms of Reference (ToR) that sought an organisation able to lead activities independently as they relate to the intersection of Covid-19 and gender for a duration of three months, ERAD was selected as a partner of Plan International Mali. ERAD has vast experience of working effectively throughout the country and was therefore selected to implement this community engagement and accountability (CEA) project in three areas of the country, namely Kita, Diolia and Bougouni.
The partnership between Plan and ERAD mainly consisted of strengthening technical capacities and monitoring and evaluating the activities, in order to ensure the quality of the intervention, as well as alignment with the Malian government’s Covid-19 strategy and that of Plan International.
This community engagement and accountability project had four main objectives, including:
- Increase knowledge about Covid-19 in the intervention areas
- Change behaviours relating to Covid-19 prevention by ensuring adherence to barrier methods and by providing communities with the necessary materials and means to protect themselves
- Increase use of primary health care facilities for both Covid-19 and other health conditions
- Limit negative impacts of Covid-19 on girls and women, including by fighting against sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), early, child and forced marriage, school dropouts, and intimate and domestic violence.