ACT Forum Malawi

ACT Forum Malawi

ACT Alliance is a coalition of more than 140 churches and affiliated organisations working together in 140 countries to create positive and sustainable change in the lives of poor and marginalised people regardless of their religion, politics, gender, sexual orientation, race or nationality in keeping with the highest international codes and standards.

ACT Malawi Forum background

ACT Malawi forum was formed in 2002 with a need for a joint response to emergencies and other social ills in our country.  As members of the ACT, the forum strives to reach those in dire need across frontlines, national borders without looking at gender, race, region, religious affiliation, political affiliation, ethnic origin or the like that promotes division and segregation. ACT Malawi members are signatories to the ACT Code of Conduct and other internationally agreed upon agreements like the Code of Conduct in the Humanitarian Assistance and uphold the SPHERE standards in Humanitarian assistance. It’s also signatory to HAP standards.
The main objective of the ACT Malawi forum is to increase efficiency, effectiveness and impact of the ecumenical humanitarian response and community development work in upholding the human dignity.  The forum fulfils the objective through a rights based approach, achieved through a consistent sharing of relevant information at their regular meetings, peer monitoring.

ACT Malawi Forum Partners

1.    Blantyre Synod Health and Development Commission (BSHDC)
2.    Churches Action in Relief and Development (CARD)
3.    Christian Aid Malawi
4.    Christian Health Association of Malawi (CHAM)
5.    World Renew
6.    DanChurch Aid Malawi (DCA)
7.    Evangelical Lutheran Development Services (ELDS)
8.    Livingstonia Synod Development Department (SOLDEV)
9.    Norwegian Church Aid (NCA)
10.    Inter-Churches Cooperation for Development (ICCO)

ACT Malawi forum observer members

1.    Malawi Council of Churches
2.    Association of Christian Educators in Malawi (ACEM)
3.    Evangelical Association of Malawi (EAM)
4.    Nkhoma Synod Church and Society

The forum is funded through commitments made by the members, to which national partners contribute 5% of the budget in force at the time and the funding members contribute to the rest through their commitments. Other donors have also contributed to the work of Malawi forum and these include the Church of Sweden (CoS) and Bread for the World (previously EED).Prioritization of activities ensures that the funding realized is used for the utmost needed activities for the forum.

Working Structure of the forum

The Malawi forum has a systematic working structure to guide the day to day running of its operations. Under the leadership and guidance of the Forum Coordinating Committee, the Forum Coordinator is housed in one of the partners’ offices for administrative support. The current Coordinating Committee is comprised of three members as follows: CARD (chairing the forum); Norwegian Church Aid and Blantyre Synod.

The hosting partner automatically is co-opted into the Coordinating Committee as then it has the responsibility of overseeing and supporting the Coordinator’s work on day to day basis. Hosting partners have the mandate, upon agreement, to host the Coordinator for a maximum period of three years, after which another partner takes over this responsibility.

Malawi Forum has a full time working Coordinator, who reports to the Coordinating committee and is responsible for work that relates to forum activities. He/she runs the normal routine business of the forum but is also responsible for coordinating work that ACT secretariat or any other member assigns to the forum.

The forum is also a member of a regional network, the Southern Africa Regional Forum (SARF) and has many active members contributing to the work of ACT through various advisory groups and technical working groups, such as the Climate Change Justice group and the Psychosocial working group.

Working together as Malawi Forum

The Malawi forum has since 2002 been working together in different ways, implementing different programmes on the ground, throughout the country, through its partners. Partners are located in different geographical areas nationwide. The forum has been working together through (1)funding of the operations of the coordination desk, (2) implementation of humanitarian and development activities, some of which are implemented through the forum and some bilaterally with the implementing partners. Thirdly the forum partners compliment the work of each other through the various expertise and knowledge sharing in the forum’s meetings. 

Binding Documents

ACT Malawi forum has binding documents for its work, which all members are signatory to. Such documents include the Memorandum of Understanding and the Strategic plan.
The MoU, among others spells out the effective time period, the objectives of the forum, the roles and obligations of members and the administrative structures of the forum.

Of late the MoU has included other guiding principles in case of members not fulfilling their commitment. 

The forum has just concluded the development of its new Strategic Plan from 2014 to 2016, after the previous one expired, which was from 2011 to 2013. Learning from the previous SP, the current plan spells out the SWOT of the forum, and has its focus on three strategic objectives of (1) coordinated, results and rights-based joint development and relief programming by 2016; (2) Effective evidence-informed advocacy at all levels by 2016; and (3) an effective active, visible and well coordinated ACT Malawi Forum by 2016.

Forum Structure contact details

Chairperson of Malawi Forum
The Executive Director

Melton Luhanga

Churches Action in Relief and Development (CARD)
P.O. Box 2733
Phone: (+265) 0888 393 342

Other Coordinating Committee Members

Oddbjørn Flem

Norwegian Church Aid
P.O. Box 30793
Lilongwe 3
Phone: (+265) 0888 846 312
The Regional Representative

Christian Balslev-Olesen

Current host of the Coordination Desk

DanChurchAid Malawi
Private Bag 282
Phone: 0888 831 897
The Executive Director

Lindirabe Malamba

Blantyre Synod – Health and Development Commission
P.O. Box 413