Youth Net and Counseling Organization (YONECO) says complaints and feedback mechanisms (CFMs) are vital in promoting accountability among the country’s populations during implementation of relief services.
CFMs are strategies used to promote accountability among populations affected by different kinds of disasters in order to empower them so that they are able to report on anything they are not happy with during relief services.
Speaking Friday during orientation of Lilongwe District Council officers on complaints and feedback mechanisms, YONECO IT and Helpline Services Manager, Panji Harawa said the objective of the orientation was to build the council’s capacity.
He said after being oriented, the officers were expected to equip communities in the district with the same knowledge to be used during relief services.
“As humanitarian workers, now that the district councils are in the front line of distributing relief food items, they are supposed to be accountable to the people.
“So, the first step is to orient the district councils we are working with on how they can give a platform for beneficiaries to be able to report complaints,” said Harawa.
He explained that CFMs provide platforms to people affected with disasters to voice out their complaints and provide feedback, hence the need for effective awareness on the tools that are used to report the complaints.
“Communities must be sensitized about reporting systems and district councils need to set up reporting systems; designate focal persons of high integrity and ensure the affected are protected from sexual exploitation and abuse,” he added.
According to Harawa, YONECO is currently using toll free lines for receiving complaints which they record and refer to district councils within 24 hours for the councils’ action.
He said, however, that YONECO only provides immediate responses to callers requesting for basic information.
Harawa therefore urged the task force committees to play a big role in raising community awareness on the YONECO toll free lines; 116, 5600, 6600, through which beneficiaries can call anytime and report their complaints during every relief-items distribution.
YONECO is undertaking the orientation program in 27 districts and so far, 16 have already been oriented.-MANA