Full Q&A Webinar Transcript – : Rotary’s First Program of Scale: Partners for A Malaria Free Zambia

by | May 18, 2021

1. What advice do each of you have to clubs that are interested in applying for a Programs of Scale grant?

Answer: Fully understand the concept of Programs of scale and commit to the fundamental elements of an evidence –based program with a proven concept that is ready for scaling. Select complementary partners that bring assets to your efforts and create a whole that is larger than the sum of its parts. Bring in additional resource partners so that you have sufficient funds to fully implement your program and bring benefits to more people in more places.

2. How will the news coming out of Burkina Faso about the efficacy of a new malaria vaccine change the fight to end malaria?

Answer: Extremely promising news and another tool in the fight to end malaria. It will be a valuable addition to the arsenal at hand and help advance progress in efforts to end the disease.

3. How important is measurement in for Rotary in tracking a program of scale and its success?

Answer: It is one of the essential elements of Programs of Scale and a driver for the future work of the foundation. For each program of scale, we will want to track program implementation and sustainability, as well as document and study the role of members in driving program success. This research can and should be shared with members who are seeking to maximize the impact of their service projects.

4. How were partnerships originally envisioned with PoS? Did this evolve during the application process?

Answer: Partners were always considered critical to Programs of Scale both technical partners and resource partners. The latter was left to the determination of the developers of the proposal but in order to scale for three to five years additional resources would be very desirable. Technical and implementation partners are a critical and necessary asset to a program of scale even when Rotarians bring technical expertise; it serves to strengthen the subject matter base and the ability to bring evidence-based solutions to the problem.

5. Were large partnerships ever the main visions?

Answer: Rotary members have a vision and ambition to create long-term, lasting change for people around the world—no matter the area of focus. No issue is solvable without strong partnerships with people and organizations mobilizing action and resources to support that change. So yes, partnerships are part of the vision for scale and impact.

6. How can future applicants, namely small Rotary Clubs think about apply for a PoS?

Answer: It would be critical for smaller clubs to work within the global network of Rotary and collaborate with other clubs and districts. Taking an idea to implementation at scale will require many levels of action and so clubs should be thinking about how they can work with others to create the change that they want to see. That said applying to Programs of Scale may not be for every club as it is only one aspect of the continuum of international service projects supported by Rotary.

7. The bar has been set high, is PoS reachable for small clubs?

Answer: Again, I think it is important to think of Programs of Scale as one of our many opportunities for clubs to be involved in international service and clubs should determine what works best for them. Members in clubs of any size can still spread the word about the high-impact works of members, utilize the learnings from, and continue to support The Rotary Foundation so that Programs of Scale and member-led service projects can continue to reach more people in more places. 

8. What made this application stand out from all the others? How much weight was given to how World Vision and the Gates Foundation’s participation leveraged Rotary’s investment?

Answer: This program is fully integrated in to the national and provincial health system in Zambia. All of the key stakeholders have been mobilized and are ready to support and sustain the program and its benefits. There is also a strong monitoring, evaluation, and learning system that will be used to both inform program implementation as well as help all of the partners to understand the potential for future scaling together.

The Rotary members in Zambia and the United States work extremely well together and value the respective contributions to program success, and the Rotary members in Zambia are also represented at with policymakers and within their communities as People of Action.

Finally, the additional $2M each from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and World Vision to create a $6M program was inspiring to all. The dollars will increase the health benefits for more people in more districts in Zambia, but they also represent the belief in Rotary-led change—a value that transcends the dollar amount for this program.

9. This club got some very powerful partners to join them. Will future Program of Scale grants require Rotary clubs to bring other funding partners to the table? Should we wait to apply if we haven’t already secured a partner?

Answer: Moving forward, we will require that clubs and districts mobilize co-funding for their programs.

10. How do you interface with USAID?

Answer: Rotary has a number of partnerships with USAID including a longstanding Strategic Partnership in the WASH area of focus.

The President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) is under the USAID umbrella.  It is a major player in malaria activities in many countries in Sub Saharan Africa. Martha has interacted with PMI’s office frequently in the last two years. Our Programs of Scale partners World Vision Zambia and Path also have close ties with PMI.  Malaria Partners International has met with PMI in Washington DC.  There is a real possibility for future collaboration (World Vision Zambia and the Rotary Clubs of Federal Way and Kalulushi, Zambia received 81,100 bed nets from PMI to supplement a 2013-14 Rotary grant).

Both MPZ and USAID attend monthly directorate meetings at the national malaria elimination centre and through this plat foam, we have an opportunity to interact and get information of partners activities. MPI has invited us to participate during their annual planning sessions.

11. Will the new programme have scope to integrate a severe malaria component (rectal artesunate for children aged 2 months to 6 years old)?

MAM@Scale has been supporting the national scale of up RAS in 10 districts in Zambia since 2017. A pilot project implemented between July 2017 and July 2018 resulted in a 96% reduction in case fatality rates among young children (from 8% to 0.5%) in intervention sites.  See here. The RAS training for CHVs is integrated into iCCM training. It would be a missed opportunity to roll out iCCM training in Central and Muchinga provinces without this innovative component. We’d love to work in partnership with Partners for a Malaria Free Zambia to achieve this integration. Adding a RAS and community mobilization training onto the iCCM training costs approx GBP 7,000 per district – a relatively small investment considering the potential lives improved and lives saved.

Answer: We have had several conversations with mamas, and we know that ras is part of the curriculum for the CHW. You may be aware that the curriculum and training is conducted by MoH and we are guided by them. However, we will look into this proposal and if we will have the required amounts in due course. This would be an exciting partnership.

12. How can Rotary clubs in the USA help this effort?

Answer: Track this program—watch what works and apply it to your work at any level of service. If you are interested in mobilizing around malaria, reach out to Malaria Partners International and connect with other clubs who are also interested in supporting malaria elimination efforts.  Rotary is also exploring other ways for members to engage in Programs of Scale. Please send your interest and ideas to programsofscale@rotary.org. We may not be able to activate on all ideas, but your feedback is important to the team at Rotary.

13. How soon would this project be able to spread to lets say Sierra Leone? Or neighboring countries?

Answer: Malaria Partners International has already had discussions with Rotarians interested in malaria-related projects in Sierra Leone.  I would expect a modest sized Global Grant will be developed in Rotary year 2021-2022.

14. How do you ensure that CHWs are continuing their work after the program ends? Is the government willing to take over on their training and funding?

Answer: Yes, the government is willing to take over.

15. How does a rotary club get a copy of the curriculum that is being used in Zambia?

Answer: They can get in touch with marthalungu@yahoo.com

The National Malaria Elimination Centre has control of the curriculum.

We will inquire to learn if they will release it.

16. Does the 90% success rate a season rate?

Answer: No, in the southern province where prevalence has fallen from 8% in 2012 to 0.6% in 2015.

17. Our NGO plans to address Malaria related issues in Cameroon even without funding. How can your foundation assist us in implementing our intent?

Answer: Global grants would be my suggestion.

18.  How is success measured–what is the criteria?

Answer: Each program must define its intended impact and have a strong theory of change that drives program design. From there, the program should articulate the key metrics that will allow all stakeholders to understand program progress towards that intended impact.

For Partners for a Malaria-Free Zambia, we will all be looking for a clear measurement of reduced cases of malaria–especially severe malaria and death– in the target districts of Zambia by the end of the program. We will also monitor and document the role of Rotary members in supporting implementation and sustainability so that future programs can benefit from the tips and learnings around Rotary and scaling.

19. How can Rotary benefit from publicizing these Programs of Scale to the wider world beyond Rotary?

Answer: We believe that Programs of Scale will not only engage and inspire our current members, but also engage and inspire future members, partners, and funders around Rotary impact. We want Programs of Scale to providing concrete examples of how a volunteer-based organization like Rotary can mobilize around and implement programs that have positive impact in the world.

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