What barriers might hinder the success of your project and how do you plan to overcome them?
(i) Lack of financial security. Limits access to equipment and supplies as well as progress in the implementation of the project. Financial planning ensures financial security.
(ii) Lack of community support. Community support is very important in projects like COFEMali-JV. Large number of women and their households consume the product. Without associations, a joint venture will collapse. Nurturing partnership and listening to partners always ensures longevity of the venture.
(iii) Limited geographical Growth. Wider geographic coverage builds greater customer-base for the product. Long-term planning guides coverage of geographic growth.
(iv) Lack of cost recovery mechanisms. Mechanisms that guarantee long-term financial security, such as cost recovery on services, guarantees sustainable funding.
(v) Lack of Transparency and Accountability. A frequent and destructive in a partnership that seeks to grow. COFEMali is helping its associations to trouble-shoot for transparency and develop timely plans to correct the situation.
(vi) Lack of strong partnerships. In a joint-venture, maintaining strong partnerships with core partners (the associations) and other meaningful partnerships are crucial for growth. COFEMali-JV nurtures all partnerships that can sustain its activities.
(vii) Restrictive cultural norms. Reaching associations and district leaders with education on the role of women in development will surely weaken barriers due to poor women’s status. Community Dialogue meetings offer good opportunities.
Tell us about your partnerships
Core COFEMali-JV Partners: Partnerships exists between COFEMali San and 220 Women’s associations. Associations are not only outlets for marketing COFEMali Soap but are financial partners who contribute funds for soap production.
Partnerships in Health: COFEMali San uses health messages to promote the use of soap.
(i) USAID and collaborating agencies, trains the women to adopt and practice HEHPs, including hand washing with soap and water. Johns Hopkins University Center for Communication Programs is responsible for training, designing and producing communication tools on HEHPs and household monitoring forms.
(ii) Universities/Academic institutions. COFEMali is blessed to collaborate with three universities: (a) Georgetown University, provides training in naturally family planning (b) in addition to producing communication materials. It trains women in community distribution of health products (contraceptives, water purification tablets (Aquatabs); (c) University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, trains women in malaria prevention.
Partnerships for COFEMali-JV soap.
(i) Four for-profit companies. They sell soap-making equipment and soap-making supplies (cotton-seed oil, Sodium Hydroxide, Bicarbonate, Silicate, and perfume.
(ii) Hotels offer COFEMali special rebates for services.
(iii) Three Community radios collaborate with COFEMali San--provide free airtime for public service announcements on soap and health.
(iv) Luxemburg Development trains women in community development
(v) Women’s associations. 220 women’s associations are partners with COFEMali San.
Explain your selections
Friends and family: Supply firewood for heating soap mixture. They promote the use of soap in households, and identify local for profit companies for soap-making supplies.
Individuals: Have supplied gloves and protective masks. Some women provide cleaning of equipment used and food to soap-making workers, carry soap as head load to associations, and promote hand and face washing with soap.
National NGOs: Effective in training leaders of women’s associations in health themes --malaria, prevention, household essential health practices including hand-washing. International NGOs/Non-Profits: Global Village Network, Institute of Reproductive Health, and USAID/KC II community health project. These organizations train women on the Two Washes or education on Household Essential Health practices, including hand-washing.
Businesses: A factory that markets cotton-seed oil with rebate to COFEMali, other businesses that market caustic soda, bicarbonate, etc. for soap-making.
District/Regional government: Mayors offices in the district and LGA’s COFEMali San and women’s associations in remote areas. They receive and dispatch phone calls and messages to and from associations.
National government:Provides a political friendly environment for COFEMali Soap operations, defines technical and policy guidance from through the Ministries of women and children affairs and Economy and Finance.
Customers:Women’s associations who contribute financially through membership fees, transport COFEMali soap to their associations, and ensure the distribution and promotion of COFEMali soap
How do you plan to strengthen your project in the next three years?
Train high performing market teams to work in the outlets. Over three years 220 outlets will be strengthened in FY01. A total of 440 women will be trained to handle and market COFEMali Soap (or other products) in the outlets, equipped with marketing support tools.
Training of Soap-making teams on machines. About 50,000 tablets of soap are needed every month to meet demands from 7840 households
Procure equipment and supplies. Soap production services will be strengthened with trained staff, machines and supplies.
Logistic for supervision and distribution of products. Moving soap from Bamako to the outlets in the Local Government Areas in a timely manner will require a delivery van. This will be purchased in FY01.
Monitor Associations for management capacity for transparency and accountability. The different outlets will be monitored for transparency using pre-determined indicators. Monitoring will be carried out twice a year to detect changes.