This guide is part of the End Malaria Councils and Funds toolkit.
End Malaria Councils and End Malaria Funds are country-owned and country-led approaches to combatting malaria. There is no one-size-fits all approach. As a result, the content of this section is illustrative and must be adapted to the unique context in each country.
The process for establishing a national End Malaria Council or Fund typically follows a three-step process:
- Advanced planning
1. Design phase
The design phase is a consultative process. The national malaria programme and its partners meet with relevant stakeholders to gather feedback and review best practices based on the country’s experience with public-private partnerships.
There are three primary objectives of the design phase:
- Identify key operational bottlenecks and resource gaps limiting the implementation of the national malaria strategic plan
- Develop a concept note proposing the structure, composition and operations of the End Malaria Council or End Malaria Fund
- Sensitise and get approval from senior political and other leaders of the proposal and a mandate to move forward with the process
Several inputs can help accelerate the identification of bottlenecks and gaps, including recommendations from malaria programme reviews, budget gap analyses, business plans and investment cases, and identified needs included in the Prioritized Above Allocation Request (or PAAR) submitted to the Global Fund.
After identifying the bottlenecks and gaps, the next objective is to design a structure that can address these challenges. This includes:
- defining the mission, vision and theory of change linked to the gaps and bottlenecks
- identifying senior leaders across all sectors—government, the private sector and communities—that can mobilise commitments to close gaps in the national malaria strategic plan
- selecting an appropriate structure
- outlining the roles and responsibilities of members and how they will work in partnership with the national malaria programme
- determining accountability mechanisms
- identifying any start-up costs and legal and financial risks
This design is documented in a short concept note. Because this concept note is the primary method to sensitise senior stakeholders, a best practice is to keep the document concise—typically around 7 pages.
Some countries have held validation workshops with technical experts to gather feedback about the concept note. However, others have avoided the additional costs and risk of delay by establishing a task team to oversee the drafting of the concept note and meeting directly with key experts, including those from other sectors, early in the process.
The national malaria programme (with the support of its partners) then uses the concept note to sensitise relevant stakeholders within the ministry of health to get approval for the concept. Once approved by the necessary stakeholders, such as the Minister, the concept note and a cabinet memorandum are typically submitted to the Head of State and Government to provide notice.
2. Advanced planning phase
The primary objectives of this advanced planning phase include:
- recruiting and training the senior leaders that will be the founding members
- establishing the administrative secretariat
- developing initial advocacy, communications and resource mobilisation plans
Typically, the members are appointed or invited to join the council or fund by the Head of State and Government. This is typically done by letter sent from the President or Prime Minister’s office. This letter typically outlines the mission, objectives and members’ roles and responsibilities; and invites the members to attend an orientation meeting organised by the national malaria programme. These letters may also be distributed in-person by a representative who can meet with and answer the member’s questions.
Shortly after the letters are sent, the members are convened for an orientation meeting. The agenda for this meeting typically includes:
- introductions of the members
- a presentation by the national malaria programme on the objectives of the national malaria strategic plan, status of malaria control and elimination, identified gaps and bottlenecks, and the national malaria scorecard
- a review of the terms of reference for members and a discussion about their roles and responsibilities
- the election of any roles, such as chair, secretary or treasurer—as may be needed
- a discussion of the next steps, including the establishment of any legal entity, the administrative secretariat, and the development of advocacy, communications and resource mobilisation plans
Several countries have organised these meetings over dinner in order to create a relaxed environment that builds collegial relationships between the members.
Following the orientation, the national malaria programme and the members recruit a coordinator to establish a lean administrative secretariat. This secretariat is responsible for:
- organising quarterly meetings and preparing reports for the members
- helping members engage their sectors to mobilise commitments for advocacy, action and resources
- liaising with the national malaria programme to identify gaps
- working with the members to implement adequate policies, processes and internal controls for avoiding conflicts of interest, managing finances and budgeting, and audit
Additional resource needs such as for staffing, office space and technology are typically provided in-kind by the members, partners and the national malaria programme in order to keep overhead costs low. Special attention is also given to avoid fragmentation or duplication of activities already being performed by the national malaria programme.
The members and secretariat also work together to develop advocacy, communications and resource mobilisation plans that will be implemented following the launch. This includes doing a landscape analysis of other government ministries and parastatals, businesses and private foundations and community organisations and leaders that could address the gaps and bottlenecks. The members should provide guidance on who within their networks and sectors they will engage. Specific plans should also be made for a communications campaign, including engaging with media, to raise the visibility of malaria and the council or fund after the launch.
3. Launch phase
The launch of the End Malaria Council or Fund serves three main purposes:
- It raises the visibility of malaria
- It is a call to action for everyone to join the fight against malaria, such as by declaring that “Zero Malaria Starts with Me”
- It announces the council or fund and gives the members a mandate to engage their sectors to mobilise commitments
To achieve these objectives, the launch typically includes remarks by senior national leaders and partners, a presentation by the national malaria programme and a ceremony where the members commit to the fulfil the mission of the organisation.
This event is often televised and involves the media, which may be complemented by print and online advertisements.
Councils and funds also typically announce a public-facing website for people to get more information, make contributions and express interest in supporting the fight against malaria.