ADRA Malawi defines advocacy as an “ongoing process aimed at changing attitudes, actions, policies and laws.” This is done by influencing people and organizations with power, systems and structures at different levels, for the betterment of people affected issues of poverty. Advocacy is used as a cross cutting strategy and has evolved from need based approach to rights based approach through a process of advocacy is guided by a ‘Communication for Social Change Theory.
An example of one of our advocacy activities is our radio and television programs titled Zatonse and Tikuferanji described above. It acts to provide a forum for advocates and policy makers to enter into dialogue and debate current issues driven by the community, ensuring relevance to the areas in which we work. ADRA Malawi’ s advocacy activities focus on three levels: advocacy towards the various civil society actors and other stakeholder; advocacy on behalf of the civil society actors; and empowerment of various actors to advocate for themselves and on behalf of other vulnerable groups in their communities.

ADRA Malawi uses a people-centered sustainable livelihood approach to build resilience and help people living in poverty to achieve lasting improvements to their livelihood and wellbeing. ADRA Malawi recognizes the strengths and diversity in abilities of people to find solutions to their problems, within a rights based framework. Livelihood security program in ADRA Malawi aim at making sure that people have adequate and sustainable access to income and resources to meet household basic needs, including adequate access to food, potable water, health facilities, educational opportunities, housing and time for community participation and social integration. Sustainable livelihood security is ensured when the household builds resilience and can cope and recover from stress and shocks.
Currently ADRA Malawi is implementing The Action for Social Change, targeting 56,000 people which uses the REFLECT approach as an entry point to provide learning opportunities, and access to finance services through Village Savings and Loans (VSL) and linkages with appropriate service providers. The Enhanced Livelihood through Gender Empowerment Project (ELGE) targeting 3,300 people in Mulanje, the Enhancing Community Resilience Project (ECRP) targeting 20,000 beneficiaries in Mwanza district, and the Tsogolo Labwino III Project in Salima district also promote Income Generating Activities (IGAs) and VSL for women as a vulnerable group. The IGA program trains women in business management, finance and market access to ensure successful and sustainable business ventures.

ADRA Malawi has a long history of over 20 years of implementing HIV/AIDS programs, working in a range of methods of HIV prevention, treatment and care support so they are empowered to prevent and mitigate of HIV/AIDS. ADRA has been using Social and Behavior Change Communication (SBCC) methodologies through mass media and community based mobilization and advocacy.
The Training of Trainers (TOT) project trains community based counselors to assist in awareness raising of HIV/AIDS and promote HIV testing and counseling (HTC), prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) and anti-retroviral therapy. Community counselors also provide psychosocial supports for the clients after they have been tested. The project is targeting 2,050 beneficiaries and 51,000 secondary beneficiaries in ADRA Malawi project areas.
The drama series called Tikuferanji “Why are we dying?” produced by the ADRA Malawi has been on the radio for nearly 13 years and on television for approximately 8 years disseminating HIV/AIDS messages. As one of the most popular television shows in the country, Tikuferanji received the radio play of the Year Award at the 2008 MBC Entertainers of Year Awards, and it has been voted the best advocacy program in Malawi on radio and television. The focus of the drama series has slowly been widening to encompass not only HIV/AIDS issues but also addressing issues on human rights, gender, democracy and other social topics.
Zatonse (which means for everyone) is a radio and television program that acts as a national forum for advocacy. Its objective is to strengthen the understanding of and attention given to rights and obligations in relation to HIV/AIDS. It acts to provide a forum for the advocates and policy makers to enter into dialogue and debate of the current issues. Issues and topics will be a combination of community-driven topics, ensuring relevance to the areas in which we work and also will include legal and policy level issues, impacting communities.
Under the ASC program ADRA has trained Home Based Care (HBC) Providers which has resulted in more communities having access to treatment, care and support. In addition the HBC project includes the provision of Community Home Based Care (CHBC) kits containing basic medicine needed for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHAs).

ADRA Malawi is working to increase their capacity to respond to and to mitigate natural and man-made disasters. This includes, developing thorough plans, mobilizing resources and coordinating with other key organizations. ADRA Malawi has therefore, been considered a reliable organization for WFP (World Food Program), Australian, New Zealand and Swedish Governments in carrying out effective accountable relief operations including food distribution.

For more than 17 years, ADRA Malawi has been delivering Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programs that provide beneficiaries access to safe drinking water in sanitary environments and training on hygiene practices. In line with the strategy outlined by the Ministry of Water Development and Irrigation, ADRA Malawi seeks to improve the access to potable water through the construction and rehabilitation of boreholes and shallow wells. Communities are trained in safe handling and treatment of drinking water to prevent water borne diseases. Currently the Water for All Project provides clean and potable water to drought-prone areas of the districts of Salima and Mulanje by drilling and rehabilitating water boreholes and educating communities on sanitation and hygiene.
ADRA Malawi is using the Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS), a methodology being promoted by the Ministry of Health. CLTS addresses the low utilization of latrines and improved facilities including hand washing stations. CLTS triggers grassroots support for improving sanitation throughout the community and demand for better practices. ADRA Malawi works in collaboration with WASH committees to build their capacities for barrier mitigation surrounding sanitation. In collaboration with the stakeholders and community volunteers, ADRA Malawi also develops and disseminates messages on disease prevention, hand washing, proper waste disposal, de-worming, water purification and safe food and water handling.

ADRA Malawi takes good health is an important pre-requisite for development at all levels. Improving health requires a multifaceted approach that not only focuses on clinical service provision but also preventive and educational strategies. ADRA Malawi therefore focuses on awareness raising, education and prevention diseases such as HIV/AIDS, water borne diseases and nutritional disorders.
ADRA Malawi has implemented several programs in the health sector, primarily focusing on women, youth, and children under five. The technical focus areas include nutrition, family planning, reproductive health, and HIV/AIDS. Of late ADRA Malawi has taken on board awareness raising activities for non-communicable diseases, specifically Diabetes and Cancer, on the radio and Television programs. ADRA Malawi works with community volunteers and health service providers to ensure that there is a close link and referrals between community and facility based interventions. One such intervention currently being implemented is the distribution of Bicycle Ambulance in rural and hard to reach areas to improve access to health care services through the provision of a permanent means of transportation for sick and injured people and pregnant women.
ADRA Malawi is promoting Sexual and Reproductive Health rights for women and adolescents and Family Planning through When Mother is a Child project and the Action for Social Change Program using communication and media platforms. ADRA Malawi nutrition activities are aligned to the national nutrition policy and Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) movement being promoted by government.
Focus is on the promotion of 1000 Special Days of Life and the Essential Nutrition Actions (ENA) from pregnancy to the first 2 years of a child’s life. Within the nutrition framework, ADRA Malawi has experience in using the PD Hearth and Care Group Models using locally available resources.

ADRA Malawi has over the past 15 years endeavored to ensure that people living in poverty should have the ability to access adequate amounts of food at all times in order to live active and healthy lives. ADRA Malawi projects therefore aim at improving household crop production and productivity to ensure sustained availability of food and surplus for sale in order to achieve and maintain self–sufficiency at household level. This is achieved through three main areas: increasing food availability, improving food access and utilization through promotion of good nutrition. Increased food availability is achieved through the introduction of improved farming methods and climate smart agriculture technologies, crop diversification and promotion of drought resistant and nutrient dense crops, promotion of small scale irrigation, winter cropping and post-harvest handling, promotion of livestock farming and creating links for agribusiness.
The Enhancing Community Resilience Project (ECRP) targets 20,000 beneficiaries in Mwanza District has two dimensions (Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Climate Change Adaptation (CCA), by contributing to the attainment of the Hyogo Framework for Action aimed at halving disaster losses and increasing communities’ resilience to climate change by 2015 in Malawi. Similarly the Tsogolo Labwino Project targeting 22,000 people in Salima and the Phalombe Resilience Project targeting 4,600 people build the capacity of vulnerable and marginalized household to adopt resilient livelihoods that are sustainable and profitable, by increasing adaptive capacity and enabling vulnerable households to have a voice in decisions affecting them.
ADRA’s projects in food security are Tsogolo Labwino project in Salima District targeting 15,000 beneficiaries and Action for Social Change in Mzuzu, Lilongwe, Machinga and Mulanje Districts targeting 80,000 beneficiaries, and Phalombe Resilience Project targeting 4,600 people. These projects with in collaboration with government departments at district and community level in agriculture, forestry, health, nutrition, water and sanitation.
ADRA Malawi is scaling up on the use of market-led agricultural approaches through farmer business and market schools promoting specific value chain like sunflower, cotton, cassava and legumes. Our approach integrates agriculture and nutrition through the promotion new crops such as soya and the provision of training in food processing and value addition, storage and utilization. ADRA Malawi is partnering with the World Food Program (WFP) to prevent acute hunger and protect livelihoods of vulnerable and food-insecure households who are exposed to recurrent shocks through distribution of monthly food rations and social cash transfer programs.