Establish a coordination committee with appropriate membership and agree to the terms of reference (TORs).
TORs for coordination committee
Conduct first meeting and agree on TORs.
Agree meeting frequency.
Who to include
While a wide group of stakeholders may have been invited to participate throughout the strategy design and planning stages, it may not be realistic to assume that a large group of professionals, each with other responsibilities, will be able to attend numerous meetings as part of a co-ordination committee. It is also important to consider timelines in developing and launching a new program or revising or scaling up an existing program. While broad coordination and buy-in are key to the long-term success of the program—and vital at the strategy design stage—they can be time consuming and delay implementation. For these reasons, carefully select the coordination committee membership. Usually, there is an already existing committee that can coordinate CD activities (e.g. LLIN sub-committee etc.). Review membership of this committee and co-opt new members as needed.
At certain points in the process—particularly determining detailed implementation, training, supervision, and monitoring plans and timelines—it will also be important to give responsibility to one or several smaller group(s) of specialists to develop draft plans that can be discussed at periodic larger meetings. In these cases, make sure the stakeholders clearly understand their roles and responsibilities. The MOH may also want to provide guidance on the frequency of and level of participation in meetings for the overall planning and coordination task force for routine ITN delivery, as well as for working groups for logistics and supply chain management, training, communication, and M&E, for example.
Many NMCPs already lead regular malaria task force meetings with stakeholders to discuss planning, advocacy, funding, and other strategic issues; in many cases, they have smaller technical working groups for malaria case management, prevention, malaria in pregnancy, M&E, etc. Countries that have implemented mass campaign delivery of ITNs may also have a national coordinating committee and working group sub-committees. TORs for these groups could be adapted, if needed, to provide for the particular needs of CD. Membership in the group may also need to be augmented to ensure participation from those directly linked to the CD channels selected. An example of a coordination committee TOR is available below in Resources.
Many of the challenges facing CD programs from country to country involve financing, procurement, and supply management. The coordination committee can support the efforts to overcome these challenges by providing support on a continuous basis to review progress, find solutions when problems arise, and plan for contingencies to avoid problems before they arise. This role can, hopefully, be part of the TOR.
Channel specific guidance
Health facility-based distribution
Ensure good health system-wide participation in the coordination. To ensure ITN distribution, it is important that it is not seen as only an NMCP activity with the NMCP making demands on the time and resources of health facility personnel. Managing the make-up of the coordination team—as well as how tasks are described and presented—will help with this.
Specific community networks may be included in the distribution and should have a key role in the coordination committee.
It is important to maintain the involvement of all MOH personnel who would be involved in the committee for a health facility–based distribution; district- and health facility–personnel will likely have an important role to play in the community-based channel.
MOE must be involved in the coordination committee; their support is vital and they will have important insights into implementation issues.
Some pilot countries have found it important to include local government authorities in the planning and coordination stages, because they have a role in sustaining the approach in some settings, given their role in financial management.
It is important to include all the MOH personnel who would be involved in the committee for a health-facility based distribution; district and health facility–personnel will likely have an important role to play in the school-based channel.