This guide is part of the End Malaria Councils and Funds toolkit.
What are End Malaria Councils?
National End Malaria Councils (EMC) are public-private partnerships established to help accelerate progress against malaria. EMCs are country-owned, country-led, and guided by the National Strategic Plan. They work in partnership with the National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP) to mainstream responsibility for malaria across all sectors; drive advocacy and action; mobilise resources; and strengthen accountability for achieving national targets.
Council versus Fund
You may have also heard of “End Malaria Funds” (for example Eswatini End Malaria Fund). This toolkit collectively refers to both councils and funds as “EMCs” because they are synonymous. All are composed of senior leaders; mobilise commitments for advocacy, action, resources, and accountability; work in partnership with the NMCP; and are supported by a lightweight administrative secretariat.
EMCs are composed of senior leaders from across all sectors—government, the private sector, civil society, and communities. This can include Ministers and Principle Secretaries, senior business executives, clergy, and traditional leaders. To demonstrate a strong commitment of political will, the members are invited to join the EMC by the Head of State and Government and the members serve on a voluntary basis.
Case study: Zambia End Malaria Council
In 2019, H.E. President Lungu appointed 16 individuals and organisations to form the Zambia End Malaria Council. These members included five Ministers (Health, Office of the Vice President, Finance, Defence, Tourism), five private sector companies and trade organisations (for example Zambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry), and four representatives of civil society (for example a Chief, the Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Lusaka). The Minister of Health was designated the founding Chair of the EMC.
EMCs meet regularly with the NMCP to understand the status of malaria control and elimination and any operational gaps and bottlenecks. These updates increase the transparent sharing of health information across sectors, such as via national and subnational malaria scorecards. NMCPs can escalate challenges to be addressed by the EMC.
EMC members then engage their sectors to mobilise commitments for advocacy, action, and resources to help address these challenges. Commitments are documented and tracked by the EMC and channelled to the NMCP, which remains responsible for implementing the NSP. At each subsequent meeting, the members review the status of commitments and hold each other mutually accountable for delivering the mobilised commitments.
The Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) donated trucks and vehicles to be used to distribute LLINs and support IRS; ZRA also donated TV and radio advertising for social and behavioural change communication messaging. $500,000 USD was mobilised from Guillin Pharmaceuticals and other private sector companies to support the Mass Drug Administration campaign.
Procured antimalarials for the Central Medical Stores following a nationwide stock-out. Financed operational costs for Indoor Residual Spraying during the 2020/21 malaria season. Conducted workshops with traditional leaders and the media to sensitise them to the goal and priorities for malaria elimination.
Organised a mass media campaign and high-profile bicycle race with the Minister of Health for World Malaria Day to raise the visibility of malaria. Sensitised private sector leaders to actions they can take to eliminate malaria.
Engaged the private sector to sensitise them to burden of malaria and mobilised financial and in-kind commitments worth more than $3.5 million USD to support the NMCP.
Finally, EMCs are supported by small administrative secretariats. These secretariats (often 2-3 persons) are responsible for organising quarterly meetings, documenting and tracking the commitments mobilised by the members, liaising with the NMCP and development partners, and preparing quarterly and annual reports. To minimise overhead costs, these secretariats are often staffed by secondments from the members and development partners. For example, a member might allocate an accountant on a part-time basis to help close the financial books and track expenditures.
A simple process has been developed to support the design, implementation, and launch of a national EMC:
Design: Develop a concept note outlining the objectives, structure, and operations of the EMC and get high-level political approval.
Advanced planning and launch: Recruit and on-board the members, establish the secretariat, develop a plan to engage each sector, and announce the EMC to establish the council’s mandate for advocacy, action, resources, and accountability.
Mobilisation: Mainstream malaria as a strategic priority across sectors and mobilise advocacy, action and resources.
Accountability: Meet regularly to track and report on progress and hold the various sectors and NMCP mutually accountable for achieving the objectives of the NSP.