CoST Malawi has created an innovative SMS platform to provide citizens with a real-time reporting mechanism for infrastructure issues affecting their local areas. Launched in late May, Malawians can now text the toll-free SMS number 576 to log details of any infrastructure projects, such as roads and schools, where they have concerns with its delivery. The service covers everything from delays in project commencement and changes in project proposals to failures in safety requirements. The number provides a lifeline for citizens to ensure that the services their taxes pay for are delivered efficiently and effectively.
In the six week since its launch, CoST Malawi has been inundated receiving almost 150 texts from local citizens seeking accountability from their public infrastructure decision-makers. CoST Malawi is submitting all received information to the relevant authorities, who are then provided an opportunity to respond through both radio panel discussions and concrete remedial actions within their institutions. In order to provide transparency and accountability, CoST Malawi is also developing their website to publish all information gathered from the SMS platform.
The new platform is just one of the ways CoST Malawi is working tirelessly to engage citizens in public infrastructure delivery. From trainings for civil society to media outreach, CoST Malawi is encouraging citizens to raise their voice in order to ensure accountability in public infrastructure. Furthermore, CoST Malawi held their second Media Awards as part of the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Malawi Chapter Awards Ceremony on Press Freedom Day. Honouring those who actively promoting transparency and accountability in public infrastructure, CoST Malawi awarded trophies and new laptops to Mercy Malikwa, Nation Publications Ltd (print media), and Innocent Kumchedwa, Maziko Radio (electronic media), for their efforts in investigative journalism. CoST Malawi has seen a significant rise in reporting on public infrastructure over the last year and will continue to support the media to inform and engage citizens around this vital issue.
Stay tuned for CoST Malawi’s upcoming assurance report which is influenced by the trends emerging from the SMS platform. To find out more about how CoST Malawi is delivering better value public infrastructure, visit their website today.