CISANET hosts a dinner meeting with Parliamentarians

On Monday the 19th of October 2020, CISANET in collaboration with Welt Hunger Hilfe (WHH) and Save the Children hosted a dinner meeting with parliamentarians at the Bingu International Conference (BICC). The meeting aimed at sensitizing parliamentarians about the food and nutrition bill.  In attendance were over 45 people including leaders of the parliamentary committee on agriculture, representatives of different CSOs, the Media and Justice Dr Redson Kapindu who was the main speaker at the event.

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CISANET Launches Strategic Plan

On Thursday 28th November 2019, CISANET successfully launched its Strategic Plan for the period of 2019 to 2023. The high level event which took place at BICC in Lilongwe brought together more than 100 participants from local and international organisations, government ministries, departments and agencies; private sector and academia.

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CISANET Members Engage MPs on Agriculture

On Tuesday, 17 September CISANET had a highly interactive dinner meeting with the new Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture at BICC in Lilongwe.  The meeting aimed at introducing the Network to the committee and establish a positive working relationship with the members.  Over 60 people attended the meeting.  These included leaders of the committee and their members, senior officials from a cross section of international and local CSOs as well as other key stakeholders in the agriculture sector such as representatives from UN agencies, the private sector, and the media.

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Women Empowerment in the Agriculture Sector

Partner: Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA)

CISANET contact person: Sibongile Kadewere and Pamela Kuwali

Description:

The Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) and the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) agreed to collaborate to support capacity development activities in selected Sub-Saharan African countries within the context of South-South cooperation. BADEA AND ACBF noted that initiatives for integrating women into agricultural programs and strategies had not been sufficiently effective in empowering women in agriculture on a sustainable basis, for transformative changes in their livelihoods, food security of their households and communities and sustained gender equality and development in other areas of national development. The project covers a three-month period between March and May, 2020. Under the project, CISANET was contracted by ACBF to manage seed funding grants provided to five women cooperatives in Malawi.

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Advocacy for Enhanced Nutrition Security and Community Empowerment (Afikepo)

Partner: Save the Children

CISANET contact person: Lovemore Mtsitsi

Description:

Running for 4.5 years, between July, 2018 and August, 2022, the Afikepo project is being implemented in collaboration with Save the Children and the International Development Studies of the University of Sussex, United Kingdom. The project is being funded by the European Union and aims at contributing to enhanced nutrition security of all Malawians for achieving optimal nutrition for women of child bearing age, adolescent girls, infants and young children. Though targeting a total of 10 districts across Malawi, CISANET is implementing the project in 5 districts of: Chiradzulu, Mulanje, Nkhotakota, Salima and Thyolo. The key partners that are supporting implementation of the Afikepo project include the: Department of Nutrition, HIV and AIDS (DNHA), Civil Society Nutrition Alliance (CSONA), District Nutrition Coordination Committees (DNCCs) in all the target districts and the Parliamentary Committee on Nutrition, HIV and AIDS.

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BMZ Global Programme Rural Government for the Right to Food

Partner: Welt Hunger Hilfe (WHH)  

CISANET contact person: Lovemore Mtsitsi and Pamela Kuwali

Description:

CISANET is implementing the Rural Governance for the Right to Food project in collaboration with the Welt Hunger Hilfe (WHH) Malawi and Community Initiative for Self-Reliance (CISER). The project aims at strengthening the local governance to support the realization of the Right to Food in Malawi. The project activities and interventions are being carried out on the micro (community), meso (district) and macro (national) levels using the Human Rights Based Approach (HRBA) and advocacy to promote public service delivery by duty bearers with respect to the right to food. Being implemented in Mangochi, the project is being financed by the German Government through the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). This is a 4 year project from May, 2020 to June, 2024. The Right to Food project is still in its infancy stages. The project contract with WHH was signed in the middle of the last quarter.

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Agricultural and Food-System Resilience: Increasing Capacity and Advising Policy

Partner: AFRICAP

CISANET contact person: Lovemore Mtsitsi and Pamela Kuwali

Description:

Funded by the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), the AFRICAP project is an innovative program of work that aims at promoting the development and implementation of evidence-based policy pathways for sustainable, productive and climate smart agricultural systems. The project is being implemented in Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia. It is premised on the understanding that agricultural development is fundamental to achieving many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Sub-Saharan Africa. The project sets out to collaboratively build the capacities required across research and policy to tackle the complex and multi-faceted challenge of achieving sustainable and resilient transformations of the agriculture and food systems.

The project addresses research and capacity growth under 3 broad themes: (1) How to make agriculture (and food systems) productive as well as resilient to extreme weather whilst minimizing impacts on the environment and maximizing its contributions to livelihoods, and food and nutrition (2) As the economic and food-security demands on agriculture change over the next decades, and at the same time weather and climate risks change, what are the feasible ways that agriculture can develop to become more productive in order to meet future needs? (3) How can policy be developed that enables potential sustainable, productive, climate-resilient pathways to be realized in the most inclusive way, thus maximizing the contribution of agriculture to achieving the SDGs.

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Open Contracting Processes in the Agricultural Sector

Partner: Hivos

CISANET contact person: Thokozani Guta, Pamela Kuwali, and Sibongile Kadewere

Description:

CISANET is implementing the Open Contracting Processes in the agriculture sector with financial support from Hivos. The project is premised on the realization that open contracting in public institutions remains a fundamental public governance issue in Malawi. On average, 60% of government expenditures are managed through public contracts rendering public contracting as one of the essential steps in the process of delivering real goods and services to the population.

At the same time, public contracting has been identified as the government activity that is most vulnerable to wastefulness, mismanagement, inefficiency, and corruption. It is for this reason that CISANET aims at contributing to the strengthening of the procurement processes in the Ministry of Agriculture and provide space to the civil society with insights on how public procurement is done and on how they can effectively play their crucial oversight role in ensuring more government transparency and accountability in public contracting. In the understanding of the project, open contracting involves the full chain of government deal making, from the sale of state assets to the procurement of goods and services for citizens.

It covers not only the awarding of contracts, but also planning, procurement, contract negotiation, implementation and performance. Specifically, the project intends to: create a forum for sector players contribution to the transparency and accountability of open contracting in Malawi, enhance media engagement in transparent and accountable open contracting in Malawi, and integrating Women, Youth and vulnerable groups in open contracting processes in Malawi.

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About Us

Overview

The Civil Society Agriculture Network (CISANET) is a grouping of civil society organizations established in 2001 to facilitate the engagement of the civil society organizations (CSOs) working in the agriculture sector with Government over policy issues affecting the sector. CISANET’s membership comprises local and international Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), farmer organizations and interested individuals. As a Network of organization, CISANET is coordinated by a secretariat that is headed by a National Director who reports to the Board of Trustees that is accountable to the General Assembly of members. CISANET operates both at the national and local levels and also contributes to regional policy advocacy as the Malawi node host for Food and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANPARN) and Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Program Coalition for Non-State Actors (CAADP CNC). At the national level, CISANET operates through thematic groups, while at the district level, CISANET operates through District CSO Networks.

Background

CISANET is registered as an NGO with the NGO Board and is also a member of the Council for Non-Governmental Organizations of Malawi (CONGOMA). The Network was formed to respond to a need that became apparent after the onset of the multiparty democracy in Malawi and also the development of the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper in 2000, which among others recognized the civil society as a partner of Government for successful implementation of its programs by providing necessary independent checks and balances and also supporting Government in the agriculture sector.

Mandate

The core mandate of CISANET is to provide leadership among Non-State Actors (NSAs) in agriculture policy analysis and advocacy. The organization provides space for NSAs working or interested in the agriculture sector to constructively engage Government for policy influence focusing at positively impacting agricultural production and productivity, marketing as well as food and nutrition security. CISANET aims at ensuring that NSAs in the agriculture sector have a voice and are able to contribute towards agriculture policy formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. In addition, CISANET aims at providing alternative views as well as checks and balances to Government for increased mutual transparency and accountability in the agriculture sector.  From its establishment, CISANET has been instrumental in the creation of space for NSAs in policy processes both at the local and national level. CISANET is recognized as the voice for NSAs in the agriculture sector. The Network has actively participated in formulation and implementation of agriculture related policies, was instrumental in lobbying for the increase of budgetary allocation to the agriculture sector and is currently focusing on playing an active role in reinforcing mutual accountability.

Vision: To be a leading Network that effectively coordinates and fosters collaboration among non-state actors towards Malawi’s agricultural transformation.

Mission: Promote agricultural development and sustainable livelihoods for the rural poor by influencing desired change in policies, practices and attitudes of Government, donors, civil society and other stakeholders through effective and results focused advocacy, research and Networking.

Core Values

Inclusiveness, Transparency, Accountability, Integrity, Independence, Sustainability and; Pro-poor.

KEY PRIORITIES AND THEMATIC AREAS

Strategic Priorities: To effectively coordinate the Network, the CISANET secretariat will focus on five key strategic priorities as outlined below:

  1. Mutual Accountability and Transparency in the Agriculture Sector
  1. Capacity Building and Organization Development
  2. Policy Research and Analysis
  3. Monitoring, Evaluation, Learning, and Sharing
  4. Communication, Networking, and Member Engagement

Thematic Areas: As a Network, CISANET’s advocacy strategy will concentrate on the following thematic areas:

  1. Access to Profitable Markets
  2. Livestock, Aquaculture, and Dairy Development
  3. Resilient and Nutrition Smart Agriculture
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