The Malian Red Cross (CRM), in partnership with the Dutch Red Cross (NLRC), the Canadian Red Cross (CRC), the Danish Red Cross (DRC) and with the support of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), is embarking on a journey to institutionalise the Community Engagement and Accountability (CEA) approach.

After attending a 5-day Training of Trainers course given by IFRC experts in Cameroon, Fatoumata Sow, the national CEA coordinator, with the support of Philippe Onana (CRD) and Camilla Chatenier, delegate (NLRC) organised two national training courses. The first one took place from 12 to 14 December 2022 and was addressed to the Regional Secretaries and Project Managers.

The first objectivee of this training was to strengthen the capacities of the participants on the integration of CEA in the programmes, to present the CEA Boost pilot project, supported by the NLRC, which aims at setting up a feedback mechanism in the regions of Kayes, Koulikoro and Sikasso. This workshop was an opportunity to share with the participants the steps that the project team intends to follow for the implementation of the feedback mechanism, the sharing of IFRC tools supporting CEA activities, but also to learn from colleagues who have already implemented similar activities.

The second objective was to develop a document that sets out the CRM’s Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for managing complaints and sensitive information. The intention was that participants (heads of departments, project managers, regional secretaries of Malian Red Cross branches) would contribute to the CRM SOPs for the management of claims and sensitive information, particularly on roles and responsibilities, data flow, handling of sensitive information and handling of parties involved in the cases. One of the unexpected outcomes of this workshop was the creation of a drafting committee for the CRM SOPs for the management of complaints and sensitive information that can revise the document so that it best fits the reality of Malian Red Cross.

The next steps in this process are to support the team in the use of the shared tools and the sharing of lessons learned by the branches concerned. In particular, in terms of the difficulties and strengths in implementing the feedback mechanism in the regions of Kayes, Koulikoro and Sikasso as well as the programmatic benefits that the field teams will have gained from the project.

The Mali Red Cross and Netherlands Red Cross teams are eager to see how CEA unfolds in these branches of CRM!