Mozambique + 2 more

Southern Africa Appeal No. 01.20/2001 Programme Update No. 1

Format
Appeal
Source
Posted
Originally published

Attachments


This Programme Update is intended for reporting on Annual Appeals.
Appeal Target: CHF 7,497,280

Period covered: January - June 30, 2001

"At a Glance"

Appeal coverage: 64.2%

Related Appeals: 10/200101 - Mozambique: Flood Relief

Outstanding needs: CHF

Operational Developments

The operational activities in the region during the reporting period that have impacted the ongoing regional programmes are the cholera operation in the Kwazulu Natal province in South Africa and the flood relief operations in Malawi and Zimbabwe.

The cholera operation in Kwazulu Natal focused mainly on:

  • hygiene promotion through public awareness campaigns.
  • mobilization of volunteers to provide relief services including surveillance to victims and data collection.
  • distribution of cholera tablets.
  • conduct of outreach services.
  • vector control measures/sanitation.
  • construction of latrines.

In Malawi and Zimbabwe, the flood relief operations focused on:
  • distribution of relief (food and non-food items).
  • data collection.
  • Establishment of holding centres.
  • provision of tools and seeds for affected families.
  • Rehabilitation.

During the reporting period there was also a deterioration in the general security situation in Zimbabwe and the concern over the break-down of law and order in the country associated with the land distribution and human rights issues. Some international organizations came under threat and the regional office itself experienced some harassment due to a labour grievance that was taken up by war veterans, resulting in the temporary relocation of the families of expatriate staff to Pretoria. By the end of the reporting period, the situation had somewhat stabilized in the country, but the continuing unstable political situation, the upcoming presidential election early Operational Developments: The operational activities in the region during the reporting period that have impacted the ongoing regional programmes are the cholera operation in the Kwazulu Natal province in South Africa and the flood relief operations in Malawi and Zimbabwe.

The cholera operation in Kwazulu Natal focused mainly on:

  • hygiene promotion through public awareness campaigns.
  • mobilization of volunteers to provide relief services including surveillance to victims and data collection.
  • distribution of cholera tablets.
  • conduct of outreach services.
  • vector control measures/sanitation.
  • construction of latrines. In Malawi and Zimbabwe, the flood relief operations focused on:
  • distribution of relief (food and non-food items).
  • data collection.
  • Establishment of holding centres.
  • provision of tools and seeds for affected families.
  • Rehabilitation.

During the reporting period there was also a deterioration in the general security situation in Zimbabwe and the concern over the break-down of law and order in the country associated with the land distribution and human rights issues. Some international organizations came under threat and the regional office itself experienced some harassment due to a labour grievance that was taken up by war veterans, resulting in the temporary relocation of the families of expatriate staff to Pretoria. By the end of the reporting period, the situation had somewhat stabilized in the country, but the continuing unstable political situation, the upcoming presidential election early next year, the collapse of the Zim-dollar, and the sky-rocketing prices (including fuel) remain serious concerns to the stability of the entire region.

At the same time, the region struggles with the highest HIV/AIDS figures in the world. The regional office recruited an HIV/AIDS co-ordinator in the beginning of the year and sent out an HIV/AIDS emergency appeal related to the annual appeal. Efforts are being made from all regional programmes and delegates to support the HIV/AIDS programme to fight the further spreading of the disease.

The regional office is part of the Action Research Project, which focuses on making the Secretariat a better "serving leader". It recognises that ownership of the development process must be held by the national societies and pushes the regional office towards a role where it is promoting and supporting capacity building through improved national society vulnerability analysis, strategic planning and beneficiary selection and targeting. This will help to make the national societies more effective both in relief situations and in their longer-term development work. The region is characterised by its proneness to natural disasters and it is essential that the capacity of the national societies in the region is increased to be prepared for recurring disasters.

Disaster Preparedness and Disaster Response

This year has seen the merging of the DP and DR areas in the acknowledgment of the clear and inseparable link between the two and to allow for greater flexibility in the planning and implementation of DP and DR activities. The merging will be reflected in this report as well as in next year's appeal. A disaster preparedness officer and a relief officer have been recruited to assist the implementation of DP/DR programmes.

Objective 1 Increase the capacity, both in terms of operating systems and the human resource base, of national societies to respond to natural or manmade disasters within their own countries and for use in other parts of the region by improving systems of response and the establishment of Regional Disaster Response Teams (RDRT).

The disaster response capacity in the region has been increased through the establishment of core emergency resource persons in regional disaster response teams. The RDRT is a rapid action force, which is multi-sectoral and may be called upon at short notice for deployment in any emergency within the region to deliver assistance to disaster victims. Guidelines for operationalising the RDRT has been established and will be pre-tested at the forthcoming annual RDRT integrated simulations. This user-friendly field operations manual is designed as a reference tool for RDRT.

National society staff and volunteers who meet minimum requirements enter an HR database register and are flagged in the database, where academic qualifications, experience, availability at short notice and all contact details of each person are recorded. An RDRT database with 36 entries is maintained at the regional office. During the reporting period, 13 RDRT members were deployed in the region to assist the national societies of Mozambique, Malawi, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia in flood relief, cholera and refugee emergencies. DP policies have been prepared for three national societies; Namibia, Swaziland and Zimbabwe and policy directives and DP plans established to define the complementary role of the national society to government authorities and roles and responsibilities of the national societies in disaster management.

Objective 2 Provide disaster and relief response advice to ongoing refugee operations of Mporokoso and Kala camps in Zambia and Osire camp in Namibia and to country offices of the region.

Assistance has been given to the Namibia refugee operation with the posting of a Federation programme co-ordinator. In addition, assistance in the health area has been provided through the regional health programme. (See under Health and Care)

In Zambia, the delegation has been phased-out and only limited presence will be maintained (e.g. through the Federation programme co-ordinator). The ZRCS will agree to a direct contract with the UNHCR. Project funding will be through the Federation’s regional office. The regional office will also provide, advise and support in the issues of DP/DR, logistics, human resources, evaluation and monitoring.

Objective 3 Increase capacity in the national societies and the regional office to use information technology (IT) to prepare for disasters.

In April, a meeting was held in Geneva regarding the creation of a Disaster Management Information System (DMIS) for the Federation. The proposed DMIS is a web-based tool that will provide disaster managers "in the field" with logistics data, country-specific information, reporting formats and manuals. The ISM project manager took part in the meeting and provided ‘lessons learned from the field’ from the ISM/LISN project experiences learned over the past two years. A lot of what DMIS is proposing to do globally is being done by the ISM/LISN project in southern Africa. The project manager took the opportunity to make this known, and to emphasise the need for greater knowledge sharing on these initiatives.

As part of the RDRT, the ISM delegate co-ordinated an assessment of the floods disaster in Mzurabani district, Zimbabwe. The response showed the importance of the communications equipment provided by the ISM project to the RDRT.

A consulting team began the process of developing strategic plans for information management in Namibia, Mozambique, Swaziland and Zimbabwe. A mobilisation workshop for the Secretaries general was held in Harare, and the consultancy team travelled to Swaziland to begin the process with the Swaziland Red Cross. Interviews and meetings were also held at the regional office as part of the process to develop an IT plan there. It is expected that the process will be complete by mid-September, and all IT plans will be adopted and ratified by the four national societies.

A regional website co-ordinator was hired (on a 6 month consultancy contract ending August 2001) to oversee the creation of a regional website for the Red Cross in southern Africa. By August, the website programming and testing should be complete and the site should be ready for launch.

Objective 4 Develop disaster preparedness plans/policies and contingency plans for countries in the region in co-ordination with governments and other actors, and to use previous experience in disaster response to develop these plans.

Disaster plans and policies have been developed for Namibia, Swaziland and Zimbabwe. Efforts are being made to encourage the development of plans and policies for the other national societies in the region. The activity will carry on into year 2002-2003. Contingency plans have so far only been drawn up for Zambia. A regional contingency plan for possible popoulation movement has been drawn up in close consultation with UNHCR and local government authorities. Emphasis on cross-boarder contingency planning targeting Red Cross branches in high risk areas. It is expected that a consultative group involving UNHCR, the ICRC, national societies and the Federation will convene to review and update the plan before the presidential elections in Zimbabwe scheduled for early next year.

Objective 5 Develop food security projects identified by the 4 pilot national societies of Swaziland, Lesotho, Botswana and Zambia based on guidance by a food security consultancy report.

The development of the pilot food security project in Swaziland has been the culmination of a lengthy process, which began with the production of a framework for understanding the food security concept in the southern African region. The result of the exercise has now been witnessed in the production of a detailed project document, which follows countrywide food security assessments. The project will benefit an initial target group food insecure households and mostly HIV/AIDS victims, boosting their food production and income levels. Community based early warning system (CB-EWS) is a major component of food security and is well-integrated into the project. With CB-EWS, formalised systems for information sharing between various Red Cross branches in disaster-prone regions and partner organisations will be enhanced.

Objective 6 Establish an emergency stock of goods for 5,000 persons, sourced and pre-positioned at the regional office.

The regional delegation maintains a warehouse with a capacity of 250 Mts. in Harare. This rented warehouse facility provides storage room for regional emergency stocks, which now occupy 75% of the space. During the reporting period, the following items were procured and stored at the warehouse; blankets, tarpaulins, first aid kits, jerry cans, protective clothing, torches, assorted tool kits and megaphones. During the flood relief operation in the region in the beginning of the year, items were taken from the regional stocks and delivered to the affected countries. Requisitions for replacement of items taken from the DP stocks have been drawn and submitted to Logistics unit for purchase. Replacement of these items has been made possible by funds derived from specific country appeals. The aim is to procure and stock DP non-food items to respond to a target of 5,000 people (1,000 families) for an initial 48 hour period in a time of emergency.

A positive development during this reporting period has been the pre-positioning of water and sanitation ERU equipment in the regional warehouse. This ERU equipment, with a total mass water production capacity to assist up to 20,000 people in emergencies, will further strengthen the regional response capacity.

The identification of regional suppliers, clearance of goods, transport, custom restrictions and lack of foreign currency among other problems have made it very difficult to procure and move items freely and cost-effectively across the borders to emergency sites. Against this background, the regional delegation is viewing the possibility of relocating the logistics function (at least in the area of procurement) to South Africa. Surveys and assessments will be carried out to a ascertain suitability of location and cost-benefit analysis before a policy and strategic decision is taken.

Objective 7 Assure that Sphere principles are adopted in all new national societies' policies and plans and applied in all federation assisted relief operations.

Training and sensitisation of national society staff and volunteers on the Sphere principles continues in the region. Sphere training was carried out in Swaziland for 26 national society staff and governance. At Mutare University, the DP programme manager carried out a two-day Sphere training for 23 participants representing church organisations in 23 countries in Africa. The integration of Sphere into programme planning is a key feature in national societies’ strategic and developmental plans in Swaziland and Zimbabwe. A key achievement is that new policy documents make reference to Sphere minimum standards and the humanitarian charter principles, in Namibia’s, Swaziland’s and Zimbabwe’s disaster preparedness and youth and branch development policies.

Health and Care

Objective 1 Support the building of national ownership (of the regional health and care programme) and of programme development.

Nine national societies out of ten participated in the regional health-planning meeting in March, where the health and HIV/AIDS co-ordinators exchanged ideas and experiences gained from their countries. All national societies agreed on the need for the development of a regional cholera strategy to ensure a co-ordinated approach in the fight against cholera outbreaks, as was identified through ARCHI 2010. By the end of June, six national societies (Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland and South Africa) were assisted by the regional health programme (RHP) to compile cholera strategies, which are now in the final process. The RHP also supported the HIV/AIDS programme in the development of operation plans documents in accordance with the Ouagadougou Declaration. Zambia Red Cross was given support to strengthen their health care programme by developing strategic health plans and Community Based First Aid (CBFA).

The Swaziland Red Cross (BSRC) was visited to discuss the society’s health programme. The discussion focused on assisting the BSRC to channel its health programme in line with ARCHI. Their health activities are; clinics, blood donor mobilisation, donor screening, blood collection HIV/AIDS and WatSan activities. A meeting for international team experts was held in Geneva to discuss ‘best practices’ in psychological support. The RHP is a member of this team and at the meeting it was decided that a psychological support programme should be commenced in the southern Africa region. The programme will be involved with psychological support in HIV/AIDS. Zimbabwe was selected to be a pilot country, due to its successful home based care programme.

Through the annual planning meeting, the RHP re-emphasised the need for the national societies to focus on community felt needs through PRA and to work in partnership with the MoH and other partners as well as to invest in branches and volunteers to build up capacities in order to scale up activities.

Objective 2 Strengthen the implementation of traditional Red Cross activities prioritising community health interventions in the region with integration of HIV/AIDS epidemic prevention, care, support and advocacy activities.

The period covered has seen the preparation for a massive scaling-up of HIV/AIDS activities throughout the region. Since February, the regional office has had a regional HIV/AIDS co-ordinator in place. The regional HIV/AIDS co-ordinator has worked with consultants to carry out assessments in all ten countries in the region. The outcome of the assessments has been the foundation for the development of HIV/AIDS plans for the national societies. Seven out of ten national societies have since employed HIV/AIDS co-ordinators and some countries have already started implementing HIV/AIDS programmes. The countries’ national policies have been used as guidelines for the development of the national societies’ HIV/AIDS plans. Furthermore, close collaboration with other NGOs, such as church organisations, PLWHA organisation, as well as UNICEF and UNAIDS has been given high priority in the process.

A regional planning workshop was held in Harare in June with participation of all the national societies’ Secretaries General and HIV/AIDS and health co-ordinators. The purpose of the workshop was to review all the HIV/AIDS plans and to establish ownership of these.

The scaling-up within this area comes in accordance with the Ouagadougou Declaration to respond to the HIV/AIDS pandemic - in order to prevent the further spread of the disease and to mitigate the impact of those infected and affected by it. The HIV/AIDS programme has consequently developed into a separate programme linked to the RHP with focus on home based care and orphans, youth peer education, prevention and advocacy. HIV/AIDS activities are being integrated into all other regional programmes to ensure that maximum focus and attention is given to combating the disease.

Objective 3 Improve national societies capacity through the development of staff and volunteers and provide regional technical support missions to the national societies requiring assistance to strengthen their capacity to develop and implement development/relief health programmes.

The RHP has focused its support to national societies’ health programmes with more emphasis on preventive and health promotion activities aimed at changing and improving behaviour at community and household level in line with Strategy 2010 and ARCHI.

Technical and material support was provided to cholera-affected areas in Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Swaziland. The technical support provided in connection with the South African Kwazulu Natal cholera outbreak enabled the South Africa Red Cross to develop field skills and confidence to continue with the operations on their own. An experienced Zimbabwe Red Cross environmental health technician was sent to Kwazulu Natal for a period of one month to strengthen the health education component, which was found too weak during supervision. In Malawi, the programme supported cholera refresher training to volunteers in flood affected areas in the south of the country, as part of capacity building for cholera mitigation.

The RHP further assisted Zambia Red Cross in reviewing the refugee health programme in Mporokoso and assisted in the improvement of technical areas. A treatment protocol for use in the refugee health centre was developed and distributed by the end of June.

Technical support was also given to the Danish Red Cross supported community based health care programme implemented by the Malawi Red Cross. The regional health officer participated in the steering committee meetings conducted 3 times a year. Field visits were carried out to assess progress in the areas of health education, water and sanitation, construction of clinics, drama performances, tree-planting, malaria control and drug-revolving funds. With its participatory community based health care approach, the programme is a role-model that could be adopted throughout the region in the acknowledgement that the general public health care situation is still very poor and still demands a lot of focus and serious attention. Additionally, the Malawi Red Cross Action Team received refresher training for cholera response as part of capacity building to overcome the cholera outbreak in the flood affected areas of Nsanje.

Objective 4 Building partnerships; to create a continuing dialogue and support between the national societies in the region with the Federation country and regional offices, the Secretariat, donor societies, ministries of health and other partners in health such as UN agencies, WHO and others.

The RHP is committed to strengthening the regional relationship by encouraging collaboration and networking amongst the national societies and other stakeholders. The Southern Africa Partnership of Red Cross societies (SAPRCS) is proving to be a pillar to support the relationship of the national societies in the region. This has been enhanced by the formation of the Regional Disaster and Response Team and is further strengthened by the regional health annual planning meetings and regional task force meetings.

The RHP, the HIV/AIDS and Watsan programmes all work with relevant stakeholders to share information and to secure the optimal impact of the programmes. The HIV/AIDS co-ordinator works closely with other HIV/AIDS networks, NGOs and ministries of health in the region.

Objective 5 Implement water and sanitation programmes based on the expressed need of national societies, provide training and to build a database of appropriate available resources.

The regional WatSan programme, which was launched in January this year, provides funding, technical and programming support to long-term developmental WatSan projects in the six countries of: Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe. In addition, there is a sub-project in Masvingo, Zimbabwe, as well as a further two projects; the Cross Border, Cyclone Eline rehabilitation project in Zimbabwe and Mozambique as well as the floods rehabilitation project in Zimbabwe.

The activities of the reporting period cover monitoring field visits, training, revision and feed-back on national society reports, support to the RDRT as well as the recruitment of a new regional WatSan delegate and two regional WatSan officers.

The technical capacity of the national societies has improved significantly during phase 1 (1997-2000) creating a reduction in the need for purely technical support. The emphasis in phase 2 is more in the area of financial and narrative reporting, planning and budgeting, quality and quantity of project delivery and further strengthening of the elements of community/branch/finance development, as well as the increased focus on health and hygiene awareness (with the RHP) and computer/communication skills (with regional ISM programme).

Other: Implementation of ARCHI 2010 activities by both national societies and the regional health programme were affected by poor funding of the programmes. Integrity problems in some national societies and quick turn over of staff resulted in poor project implementation. The RHP supports the national societies to develop programmes that are well focused and which address the vulnerable communities. The CAS/RAS process will ensure commitment by national societies and financial support by donors.

Institutional and Resource Development

Objective 1 National Societies have in place and are able to sustain systems and structures for branch development with a concentration on the production of relevant training material, guidelines and manuals with a participatory approach.

Lesotho, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Swaziland have produced the draft branch development materials; branch policy, job descriptions, roles and responsibilities of board members, volunteer code of conduct and the training materials for branches in project management, leadership skills, simple bookkeeping skills and management of committees, respectively. In all the five above-mentioned national societies, an average of 25 members, volunteers and staff participated in the consultative meetings, workshops and compiling of the drafts. A draft regional branch development training manual has been produced and is in its final editorial after a regional consultative and critiquing workshop held in Harare. The workshop was attended by youth and branch development officers from nine national societies. The impact of the material and the associated branch development training is already being seen in the planning used by national societies to scale-up their HIV/AIDS activities. National societies in the region now clearly appreciate the interdependence between programmes, volunteers, youth and branch structures. Support has also been given to other regional programmes throughout the reporting period such as the health and WatSan programme.

Objective 2 National societies will understand the connection between their delivery capacity and funding of core programmes and structures, and have taken action accordingly to improve their funding. To support societies in establishing and/or strengthening their domestic financial resource development capacity.

As a result of the pilot resource development project, Swaziland has recruited a finance officer to strengthen financial management. The regional ID-RD programme will learn from the experiences in Swaziland before developing more programmes like this. Hence, no further activities have been planned in this area for the rest of the year, but for next year’s appeal.

Objective 3 Continue to improve financial management capacity including both accounting practices as well as reporting to internal and external actors.

With the arrival of a finance development delegate, this area is now receiving the priority attention it deserves. All national societies have been targeted through regional programmes, primarily in the areas of budgeting and cash management. Five national societies have also benefited from direct in-country finance development input. Specifically:

  • in Swaziland, a finance officer has been appointed following an agreement for the ID/RD programme to support the BSRC in meeting part of the salary cost. The agreement includes a requirement that the BSRC embarks on a human resource restructuring process, taking advantage of the experiences from Zimbabwe. The regional office has also supported the BSRC in producing (for the first time) a consolidated budget, the first step in creating a formal planning and budgeting system.
  • It is still planned that Zimbabwe Red Cross will pilot a new regional initiative that links improvements in financial management systems with a more flexible approach to funding and financial reporting for Federation funded projects.
  • In Malawi, the regional office has engaged a consultant to produce a business plan for the establishment of a water bore hole drilling company. The project demands strong financial management and a level of transparency that exceeds current capacities and which will need to be addressed before any plan can be operationalised.

Objective 4 Further clarify and strengthen relationship between governance-management in the region’s national societies.

A leadership and change workshop was held in Harare in March with the participation of eight national societies, only Angola and Botswana were absent. The workshop was a follow-up to a similar workshop held in 1998 on governance. These events have proven very useful, as they give the opportunity for leaders to share experiences with one another. Additionally, it strengthens the links directly between governance and management within and between national societies in the region.

Swaziland has updated its strategic plan and revised its constitution, which has now been approved by the governing board. Youth and branch level governance elections have taken place following an education programme financed and supported by the regional ID/RD programme.

The recovery process of the Lesotho Red Cross society has moved forward, although progress is proving a little slower than hoped. Discussions and negotiations have taken place with the government and a number of national societies are committed to helping the Lesotho Red Cross once the outcome is clear. The ID/RD programme facilitated a strategic planning workshop in April and the resultant plan is awaited. The plan will be complemented with summary programme documents to be produced in August with the support of the regional office. A governance workshop was held in Malawi and supported technically and financially by the ID/RD programme.

In Namibia, a meeting was held between the regional office, the Secretary General and staff and the board of Namibia Red Cross to try to clarify a working relationship that had led to misunderstandings and different expectations over the previous six months. The outcome of the meeting has resulted in a consensus about how the regional office can support the national society and what expectation the regional office has of the society in return. Linked to this and the changes anticipated, the society has invited a representative from the board of Zimbabwe Red Cross to share their experience of their own change process.

The Zimbabwe Red Cross has gone through a human resource restructuring process and is now ready to appoint consultants to produce a performance management system for staff.

Objective 5 All national societies will have strategic plans linked to strategy 2010. These plans will form the basis for the Federation’s Country Assistance Strategies and Memoranda of Understanding that will be drawn up with the societies as required.

Six national societies have finalised or drafted strategic plans available. The remaining four countries (Angola, Botswana, South Africa and Zambia) will be supported at an appropriate time. The strategic plans have all been produced in a participatory style addressing the relevant country and national society context and taking into account Strategy 2010, ARCHI 2010 and the Ouagadougou Declaration. Once finalised, the strategic plans will be of sufficient quality to support the CAS process and work will proceed on this.

Objective 6 National societies have improved their capacity to plan, implement, monitor and report on projects and programmes using Logical Framework Approach (LFA) as the main tool.

So far nothing has been done under this objective. It is necessary to rethink the introduction of LFA tools in the region, as the use of logframe has not been effectively implemented in the national societies due to the complexity of the tool. A simple LFA based planning tool as well as a monitoring and evaluation system has to be looked for.

Objective 7 National Societies have taken decisive steps towards becoming well-functioning societies with ID/RD programmes linked to other programmes being implemented by the societies.

Integrity problems within national societies continue to frustrate progress in programme implementation. In an attempt to address this in some national societies, a global audit was conducted in Angola Red Cross and an audit of governance and management and financial systems was conducted in Zambia Red Cross. The result of both audits will be used to highlight problem areas and to try to improve the situation with both national societies to allow programmatic support to progress. A key lesson has been that change processes only succeed when there is ownership of the process. Whether it is organisational reform with a national society or the need to change mindsets to support a scale up in the fight against HIV/AIDS, the fundamental change that is required takes time. The speed of the change process can perhaps be enhanced by better advocacy skills and better communication within the Federation.

Objective 8 Country Assistance Strategies and Memoranda of Understanding will be drawn up with, at least, the national societies of Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Zimbabwe and Namibia based on their strategic plans.

The CAS documents will form the foundation for the co-operation between national societies, donors, and the regional office as part of the Federation’s change process and the southern Africa region being an Action-Research project area.

The major development has been the acceleration of the CAS process, which has natural links to the ID/RD programme, particularly given the need for a good quality strategic plan as the foundation for CAS. In addition, the three staff members of the ID/RD programme are all acting as focal persons for the national societies in the region. It has also become clear that the ID/RD programme must continue to link all its work to the need to address the HIV/AIDS pandemic in southern Africa, and technical support and facilitation of workshops has been rendered to the regional HIV/AIDS programme. Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland and Zimbabwe are working actively on the CAS process with the aim to meet the September deadline.

Regional Cooperation

Objective 1 Strengthen regional co-operation and priority setting through the SAPRCS forum an thereby to build national society capacity for S2010 core programme areas tailored for southern Africa and to harmonise this development support with ICRC co-operation programmes.

The SAPRCS brings all the partners in southern Africa together to determine priorities and strategies appropriate for the region and within the framework of the Federation and Movement policies, including Strategy 2010 and decisions of Africa regional conferences. SAPRCS represents the forum for promoting regional co-operation and sharing experiences. This has been facilitated by the Federation in several ways, including the regional recruitment and training programme which was launched in 1998.

A successful SAPRCS meeting was held in May. A regional strategy and programme to fight HIV/AIDS through the scaling-up of activities was endorsed, as were approaches for strengthening the recruitment and management of volunteers. According to this timeframe, each national society had new plans and budgets in place for their HIV/AIDS programmes by the end of June and had committed to developing policies for HIV/AIDS in their own workplaces before the end of the year.

Co-operation with the ICRC has been maintained and efforts made to strengthen it both with ICRC regional delegations in Harare and Pretoria. The ICRC participates in the Federation’s quarterly meetings and efforts are made to ensure consistency, co-ordination and standardisation within the Movement in terms of statistics, data and other country information used in articles, reports and appeals.

Objective 2 Access and exchange skilled and experienced personnel within the region through the implementation of the regional delegate recruitment and training programme. The regional office continues to facilitate access to people in the region with skills and experience to support increased mutual support and cross learning between national societies. Experienced national society personnel have assisted sister societies with constitutional revisions, strategic planning, HIV/AIDS, water & sanitation and relief programming during the reporting programme.

Coordination and Management

Objective 1 Effect an "added value" change in the work of the regional offices through implementation of an Action Research project passing greater programme co-ordination at the regional office.

Under the Action Research project, approaches have been developed to better target Secretariat support to the national societies. These are now being field tested in the region and include:

  • criteria for determining appropriate assistance strategies based on the national society’s stage of development.
  • strengthening knowledge centres around best practices through the setting up of regional web sites and data bases.
  • changing the organisation and working methods of the regional delegation. Under the new structure, each delegate, in addition to their technical responsibilities, will have a responsibility to facilitate knowledge sharing, drawing on both internal and external sources and most delegates have taken responsibility to be the focal delegate for a particular national society, co-ordinating Federation assistance.

A challenge has been to get people to change the way they work under the action research project This has required frequent coaching and meetings to ensure people are aware of the new approaches, understand the reasons for them and are committed to the new working practices. Ongoing monitoring of the new ways of working is also required.

Objective 2 Strengthen the profile of the Red Cross and foster support and partnership with international organisations and the donor aid community.

Routine activities have been maintained. The appointment of a regional information delegate is awaited.

Objective 3 Increase accountability and visibility of the achievements and values of the operations and programmes supported by the regional office, through reports and information production.

Unfortunately, the regional office has had neither a reporting nor an information delegate throughout the reporting period covered. This has meant that there has been and continues to be some delays in these areas. However, a reporting delegate will arrive in August and an information delegate in September.

Objective 4 Operate a Regional Finance Unit for processing of all financial information for federation activities within the region.

A decision has now been taken to site the RFU servicing southern Africa in Nairobi.

Objective 5 Operate a Logistics Unit to assist national societies and those activities supported by the Federation and PNS. Further, the logistics unit will work to strengthen the logistics capacity of the national societies.

The department continued its service and assistance to the national societies and country delegations in the region, which were affected by the intense rains during this period. Four countries were hardest hit. These were Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe. In procurement, eight vehicles and nine computers were procured for the scaling-up of the HIV/AIDS programme in the national societies.

The second quarter of the year saw the escalation of security problems in the country and the logistics department was involved with the sending of families and dependants of delegates to Pretoria for a period during a security threat. Fuel shortages in the country has become a major problem and foreign exchange constraints do not allow optimal performance. Fuel and spare parts are mostly imported from South Africa and payments need to be made in US.

The feasibility study for transfer of the logistics department to South Africa is completed. The assessment has been made to show the advantages and disadvantages for establishing the regional logistics unit in South Africa, assessing several strategic locations i.e. Pretoria, Durban and Johannesburg. Consultation about future strategy is now to take place with those responsible in Geneva.

Objective 6 Assist the South African Red Cross society in its effort to transform itself to an organisation that is more representative of, and responsive to, the country’s needs.

Advice has been provided to the SARCS’s National Executive and senior management to assist the national society, as it seeks to resolve its leadership problems. The process has been slow, but the constitutional provisions have been respected. During the reporting period, the Federation has provided financial assistance to maintain the core infrastructure of the national society and to help reduce financial liability, through the advance of a soft loan of CHF 824,000. Resolution of the main difficulties that hinder the society’s ability to grow are expected in the second half of the year.

Objective 7 Provide effective and efficient management of the Zambia and Namibia country offices (and any other that may be established) and to co-ordinate the lending of technical support to the Angola and Mozambique country offices, so long as they report to Geneva.

Two advisors (one on finance and another on administration) have been appointed to work within Angola Red Cross and the Federation’s office has been closed there. These advisors are now supported directly from the regional office, this being felt to be a more appropriate way to support Angola Red Cross, more particularly to follow-up on the results of the global audit.

The two refugee operations in Namibia and Zambia were visited through Federation delegates based in both countries reporting to Harare. This regionally co-ordinated support proved effective and responsive to operational needs.

The Mozambique delegation continued to report directly to Geneva, a relationship that will change in the second half of the year.

Objective 8 Co-ordinate the provision of technical support from the regional office to assure programmes and services are mutually reinforcing and build capacity and sustainability.

Each national society now has a specific delegate appointed as their "focal" person, who will ensure the co-ordination of assistance channelled to them and will drive the CAS process for that national society. Objective 9 Foster the core programme area of the promotion of humanitarian values, both through the delivery of regional programmes and through fostering commitment and skills to promote humanitarian values within national societies.

Efforts continued to be made to mainstream dissemination activities through regional programme implementation. This is not as successful as it needs to be and further efforts need to be made.

Outstanding needs

Further cash support is need for the remainder of the year to implement the planned programmes. For further details please contact: Richard Hunlede; Phone: 41 22 730 4314; Fax: 41 22 733 03 95; email: hunlede@ifr.org

All International Federation Operations seek to adhere to the Code of Conduct and are committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (SPHERE Project) in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable.

For further information concerning Federation operations in this or other countries, please access the Federation website at http://www.ifrc.org.

Bekele Geleta
Head
Africa Department

Peter Rees-Gildea
Head a.i.
Relationship Management Department

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