As a way of meeting the environmental and social safeguards requirements for Digital Malawi project (DIGMAP) which is a government of Malawi project with funding from the World Bank, the Public Private Partnership Commission (PPPC) has instituted the Project Grievance Redressal Committee (PGRC) under this project.
The Commission unveiled the Committee during the Grievance Redress Mechanism (GRM) Capacity Building Workshop held on the 2nd of August 2022 at Sunbird Mount Soche Hotel in Blantyre.
Representatives from PPPC, e-Government, Malawi Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) and Malawi Communication Regulatory Authority (MACRA) form the Committee which will be chaired by the PPPC Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Patrick Kabambe.
The Committee is tasked, among others, to ensure that there is transparency and accountability in the implementation of DIGMAP; receive, record and investigate all grievances submitted by the project affected people (PAPs); and facilitate grievance resolution process in a timely manner.
Speaking during the workshop on behalf of the Chairman of the Committee, DIGMAP Project Manager, Mr. Chimwemwe Matemba said the GRM is an essential tool for the implementation of the project.
Matemba also indicated that effective implementation of the project’s GRM has the potential of preventing protracted legal remedy through courts which is often, time consuming and costly.
He emphasized that the GRM does not in any way prevent aggrieved parties to seek justice from courts.
He also stressed on the fact that grievances that are criminal in nature such as those associated with Gender-based Violence (GBV)/Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA)/Sexual Harassment (SH) and corruption must be handed over to the law enforcement agencies for their appropriate action (s).
He then emphasized on the need for all members to actively participate in the implementation of the GRM before conveying his congratulatory message to all members of the Committee.
After concurring with Matemba’s sentiment, Assistant Environmental and Social Safeguard Specialist for DIGMAP, Ms. Eddah Lijoni oriented the members of PGR Committee on the background for the project’s GRM requirements, Project GRM processes, GRM institutional arrangements as well as the PGRC roles and responsibilities.
Ms. Lijoni then concluded by listing down some of the potential categories of the grievances that the committee is expected to receive and harmoniously address.
Lijoni said: “some of the grievances expected to be handled by the committee might be related to procurement, contractor and labour payments, contract(s), compensation, safety, corruption, environmental-and-social-related complaints, among others”.