Malawi—Governance for Solutions (GfS) Activity

Client: U.S. Agency for International Development

Duration: 2022-2027

Region: Sub-Saharan Africa

Country: Malawi

Solutions: Governance

Nearly 30 years since its peaceful democratic transition, Malawi remains one of the poorest countries in the world, with citizens suffering from low life expectancy, poor access to basic health facilities, low education quality, and critical levels of deforestation and over-fishing impacting livelihoods, energy access, and food security. Decentralization—which aims to consolidate Malawi’s democratic system and improve service delivery—has advanced, but has not fully lived up to its promise.

The Malawi Governance for Solutions (GfS) Activity builds on the incremental gains Malawi has made over the past few years in decentralization and associated service delivery improvements. To make the significant leaps now required for Malawi to meet its own development goals—in the context of a fast-growing, young population—a bold, adaptive, and sustainable approach is required.

Through a problem-driven, iterative adaptation approach, DAI helps local stakeholders to tackle the root causes of service delivery failures through best-fit solutions. By testing, iterating, and implementing multiple solutions, GfS-supported coalitions will deliver 60 to 80 working solutions to remove major human resource management, public finance, and policy and regulatory implementation bottlenecks in the target districts. GfS will foster stable, resilient, and more self-reliant partnerships that best position local communities to address their own challenges and contribute to the trajectory of Malawi Vision 2063.

WATCH: “Better Governance Improves Maternal and Child Health Outcomes in Malawi”

Work begun in 2020 under a DAI-led component of a previous project and continued under GfS has culminated in vastly improved maternal health outcomes in Zomba, Malawi.

Sample Activities

  • Launch an Innovation Fund to provide small grants and/or in-kind assistance to support coalition members to research and test innovative ideas and deliver on the most promising reform initiatives.
  • Support the government in recruiting, hiring, and funding additional human resources for the healthcare industry.
  • Apply innovative approaches to bring together the District Environment Sub-Committee, traditional leaders, and community policing structures to streamline and enhance the system for monitoring the sale of illegal charcoal in markets.

Select Results

  • Assisted eight district councils with the finalization of staff salary budgets for the fiscal year. These budgets will serve as the foundation for developing recruitment strategies to occupy essential positions in newly authorized establishments within the government. These activities contribute to GfS’ goal of improving human resources management within the government.

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