MANASO activities are geared to giving greater national impacts of community based organizations in responding to HIV and AIDS epidemic. The strategic design of programs looks at answering the question “How could Malawi have a more effective response to HIV and AIDS?”
The following are some of the activities undertaken by MANASO:
Generating and sharing of information and best practices
MANASO provides a platform for its members to establish and maintain effective communications with each other. This is through networking forums and exchange visits which call for exchange and analysis of information and shared best practices to provide for an attainment of common goals and objectives.
To enhance access to information by the membership MANASO also manages information resource centers in all its three regional offices from which members can access HIV and AIDS information as well as hold on line discussion forums through a network of computers which are all connected to the internet.
Skills and capacity building
Advocacy and building solidarity
MANASO provides both formal and informal opportunities for enhancing the skills levels of member organizations. Members benefit from the general sharing of information, experiences and best practices. MANASO also provide opportunities for mentoring among peer organizations. And formally MANASO provides skills building opportunities for members during workshops and seminars such as project management, monitoring and evaluation, resource mobilization, HIV and AIDS management etc. The workshops focus on both institutional and technical development of member organizations to respond effectively and efficiently to HIV and AIDS. MANASO also does undertake onsite technical support visits (TSV) to members to provide them with time assistance which reaches out to many individuals within the community.
MANASO coordinates advocacy actions for matters of mutual concern to members. MANASO also does identify advocacy issues from the membership and communities through a number of strategies including the community discussion forums, position papers developed during networking forums among others.
MANASO has over the past ten years been coordinating the commemoration of national and regional World AIDS Campaigns in Malawi.
MANASO is also mindful of the need to build a sense of solidarity among members so that they are better able to achieve their goals and objectives.
Networking and Coordination Department
MANASO operates through regional offices with a secretariat in Blantyre. Administratively MANASO has two management arms (Administration and Programs) with four technical departments, each department with its own core functions. These technical departments are:
The department is responsible for networking/coordination activities that are aimed at promoting the sharing of ideas, information, experiences and best practices in HIV and AIDS work. Activities coordinated by this unit include networking forums, exchange visits, provision of technical support through visits to ASOs and NGOs etc.
Behavioural Change Interventions, IEC and Capacity Building Department:
This department works to provide technical support in order to improve capacities of ASOs in BCI and Community Mobilization. The Department is responsible for assessing the needs of ASOs and facilitating project management and service related trainings in HIV and AIDS prevention, impact mitigation including care and support. The unit also work to source or produce and distribute IEC materials to support HIV prevention and mitigation activities. This department also manages the Resource Centres.
Policy and Advocacy Department:
This department is responsible for engaging communities in participatory advocacy at community and local levels as well as high level advocacy at national level. It is also responsible for conducting and giving training of ASOs in advocacy. The same department is at the helm of developing organizational advocacy implementation plan as well as conducting policy analysis and producing policy briefings on HIV and AIDS and other SRH issues.
Monitoring and Evaluation Department:
Responsible for monitoring and evaluation of activities in MANASO at three levels: monitoring the MANASO activities, monitoring members’ activities and also monitoring implementation of activities by recipients of the mini grants.