How We Work

How We Work
HAITI 2010. MAGNA team in Port-au-Prince after the earthquake. Copyright Martin Bandžák/MAGNA

MAGNA humanitarian and development projects have been taking place on three continents - in Africa, Asia, America; in eleven countries (Cambodia, South Sudan, Kenya and Somalian border, DR Congo, Myanmar, Haiti, Nicaragua, India, Vietnam, Philippines, Nepal, Hungary and Croatia - Regugee crisis) where we have been providing medical, nutritional and psychosocial help to peoplem mainly children at risk. According to its implementation policy, MAGNA uses structures and methods that respond to the needs of inhabitants and have positive influence on the whole communities or regions. Our main activities consist of close cooperation with local institutions and representatives, who in cooperation with MAGNA terrain representatives create innovative forms of help accepted by majority of receivers.

We work in the unstable contexts where help for people is insufficient. We are experts within the field of our support and focused on work in distant areas.

On the basis of our close cooperation with Ministries of Health and local health care providers, we create permanent change. Changes created by us are firmly integrated to local health care systems and they save human lives also after our departure from. We work directly with health care employees and cooperate with local organizations in local communities. Work with the community enables us to create a referral system for correct informing and monitoring of patients. Complex approach includes also cooperation with community volunteers connected to the health care facilities.

We lay firm foundation of evidence of big differences that we have been achieving for people we work with.

We have been building a solid evidence base to demonstrate and measure the difference we make to people with whom we are working. We also measure the strength of health systems, which rely on our evidence collected during monitoring, assessment, evaluation and learning from everything we do. This helps us design quality programs that really deliver results. We also use this data to influence the changes in health policy and practice.

MEDICAL AND MATERIAL AID

Our teams provide medical aid (consultations with a doctor, hospital care, nutritional care, vaccinations, surgeries, obstetrics and neonatal care, therapeutic care) and material aid (medications, food, shelter, etc.). If it is necessary, we also reconstruct or build healthcare facilities.

HOW DO WE MANAGE OUR PROJECTS?

Each MAGNA project has its detailed budget, which is re-evaluated on a regular basis. Project Managers monitor the budgets of individual projects throughout the year to ensure that all operations are carried out responsibly and in accordance with the project’s objectives. All budgets are controlled and approved by the Board of MAGNA.

Responsible for implementation of humanitarian projects is the MAGNA operations department of in Slovakia. The operations department is responsible for defining the intervention policy of MAGNA. It decides the human, logistics and financial means required for the implementation and management of a mission. In collaboration with field teams, the operations department discusses and validates advocacy activities. In addition, it carries out monitoring throughout the year, using tools such as monthly reports produced by field teams, quarterly reviews undertaken by the desks and the operations director, and the annual report compiling information on activities implemented in the field, concentrating largely on medical data. 

HOW ARE THE PROJECTS SELECTED AND IMPLEMENTED?

Humanitarian projects are focused on saving lives and alleviating the suffering of those in need. Armed conflicts and unstable political situations have a devastating impact on ordinary people - direct violence, forcible expulsions, epidemics, famish and psychological trauma, are the usual effects, often accompanied by a disrupted local health services.

MAGNA’s main priority is the provision of medical and nutritional assistance to victims of conflicts and crises. Another point of MAGNA’s program focus is the suffering associated with infectious diseases that are neglected by local structures. The organization aims to provide adequate treatment and care for people affected by diseases such as HIV/AIDS, TB, cholera, malaria, dengue fever and others. MAGNA also responds to the needs of people who do not have the access to basic healthcare or assists victims of natural disasters.

MAGNA’s decision to intervene during a crisis is based only on our independent evaluation and the needs of people- not on the political, economic, or religious interests. Every year we send hundreds of doctors, nurses, logisticians, administrators and other medical and non-medical professionals to the field. They work directly alongside the local medical staff. Currently, MAGNA has more than 500 workers in the field.

The projects are described in detail before they start and they are evaluated throughout their operations. Clearly defined quantitative as well as qualitative targets are revised, if necessary. The duration of our intervention is based only on those needs that are defined and reviewed through the course of the mission. The projects and needs are continually assessed. We use a standardized data collection system and continuously generate studies.

MAGNA is determined to guarantee that its aid actually reaches those who need it. Therefore, we insist on access to health facilities for our field workers, and also on their communication with people on the spot so we are able to assess granting of the aid.

MAGNA implements and operates most of its projects alone. In rare cases, we may provide financial support to other humanitarian organizations, community groups or healthcare institutions with which we cooperate in particular areas.

LAUNCHING A MISSION

When the Operations department and teams in the field learn about particular crisis or problem which affects vulnerable groups of population, they organize an exploratory mission there. The collected information then gives MAGNA a chance to decide whether an intervention is necessary or not. At this stage, we take into account several factors: the population, assessing of people´s needs, the possibility of free access to particular region and the compatibility of the operation with the strategy and action plan of MAGNA. After defining the intervention possibilieties, we send international staff and necessary material to the field.

Subsequent monitoring, assessment and conclusion of the mission are regularly evaluated by the operations department to ensure the best possible response in ongoing developments of medical, technical and political fronts. These assessments measure the suitability of the programs and the means used in them, and are often carried out during the visits of the headquarters staff. The operations department pays close attention also to developments of the security conditions. If the situation requires it, the department may also decide on temporary or permanent repatriation of international teams and organize security measures for local staff.

The operations department can also decide to close the mission in cases where the crisis is resolved, the project objectives are achieved or when local structures take over the activity begun by MAGNA.

COOPERATION AND PARTNERSHIPS

MAGNA works with a wide range of partners, including:

  • Ministries of Health in all countries where we implement our projects, at the district, provincial and national level
  • National and international NGOs
  • International organizations such as the WHO / UNICEF / WFP / UNFPA
  • Academic institutions                                                                                                                                   

These effective partnerships help us expand the coverage and scope of our programs with clear objective: to ensure that the greatest number of people benefit from them, and to identify the best practice and learning. 

We respect recognized international standards for medical practice and humanitarian area. These include the policies of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the health policies of countries, for example the Code of Conduct of Red Cross and SPHERE.                     

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