The Swiss Red Cross (SRC) and the Malawi Red Cross Society (MRCS) 

The Swiss Red Cross has been in a partnership with the Malawi Red Cross Society since 2014. This collaboration has worked on multiple activities in Malawi, including an integrated community-based healthcare programme and a blood donor recruitment project.  

In line with its International Cooperation Programme for 2021-2024, the SRC decided to alter its geographical focus and to increase its regional programming. This involves phasing out some of its country programmes, including the one based in Malawi.  

This, in turn, meant an end to the SRC’s programme funding to the MRCS. Formal communication of this was received by the MRCS in October 2022. Project funds will continue until the end of 2024, and SRC have offered to continue supporting their Malawian partner with organisational development (OD) and in times of emergencies. 

INTRAC’s role in supporting a responsible transition process 

INTRAC has a longstanding interest and expertise in responsible transition processes. In 2022, INTRAC was contracted by the SRC to provide support in this case. INTRAC’s focus was on working with both partners to ensure a responsible transition and phasing-out process for the Malawi programme by the end of 2024. This involves three key activities undertaken by INTRAC Principal Consultant Lucy Morris: 

  • Holding a series of discovery calls with seven staff from MRCS, IFRC, Danish RC and Malawi Blood Transfusion Service 
  • Designing and delivering a one-week workshop for MRCS staff and key stakeholders in Malawi in late January 2023 
  • Holding monthly calls and capturing key learning on the transition process until funds cease in December 2024 

Throughout this work, Lucy has drawn on her own experience of transition processes and on INTRAC’s past research on successful transitions. Lucy has helped both the SRC and the MRCS to gather key lessons from the process so far and will continue to do so until the end of 2024. 

“INTRAC’s expertise and coaching helped to change our mind-set and wording, we talk now about responsible phasing-out instead of exit; and the partnership perspective is increasingly incorporated into the project focus which requires clarity and commitment.” – Swiss Red Cross