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2013 - 2016 Projects

A total of 24 projects worth a combined value of £8,110,792 are being funded through the Malawi 2013 funding round.  The first tranche of 15 projects were announced by The First Minister in March 2013 during the visit of President Banda to Scotland.  A further 9 projects were announced by the Minister for External Affairs & International Development on 22 July 2013. 

The projects will run for three years between 2013 and 2016 and will be on the thematic priorities outlined below.




Organisation:          Strathclyde University (School of Education)                             

Project Title:            Chancellor College Masters in Primary Education                      

Total award:            £399,663 over three financial years (2013-2016).

Project Summary: This project aims to address the need for a Diploma in Primary Education in Malawi, which will encourage more trained teachers to teach in primary schools.  Currently, primary teachers qualify with a Certificate in Teaching, but to advance their careers they must get a Diploma in Teaching.  As it is only possible to get a Diploma in Secondary Education, the system siphons the most ambitious, energetic and academically-able teachers away from working in primary schools.  A Diploma course will aim to improve: teacher content knowledge, including child development; training for collaborative and active learning and pupil engagement; teacher motivation; and classroom management.  Scottish and Malawian academics will work together on this project to create knowledge of the course-design features that will work and make a difference in Malawi.


Organisation:          Sense Scotland           

Project Title:            Malawi Deaf/Deafblind Awareness and Communication Training (M-DACT)

Total award:            £368,843 over three financial years (2013-2016).

Project Summary: This project aims to enable progress towards the achievement of Education for All and to support mainstream primary schools to effectively include deaf learners in the classroom.  Malawi requires additional resources for Special Needs Education (SNE) learners, as currently they do not receive any additional help to achieve at school.  Consequently, drop-out rates are high with few progressing academically. 

Sense Scotland will deliver awareness training to community leaders, families and teachers.  This will improve understanding of deafness and gain support for the project.  Additionally, they will provide training for practical skills and improve understanding of children’s rights to education.  Further, the provision of small grants from Sense Scotland to parent groups will enable them to address issues within their schools and communities including the provision of feeding programmes, and school uniforms and text books.


Organisation:          Link Community Development (LCD)                                            

Project Title:            Support to the Inspection and Advisory Services in Malawi   

Total award:            £399,722 over three financial years (2013-2016).

Project Summary: This project aims to address the problems resulting from the enrolment explosion in Malawi’s schools.  While access to education has greatly improved, data clearly demonstrates that there has been a negative impact on the quality of education.  The high drop-out rate and repetition rates in early primary years is indicative of the issues faced and combined with the lack of school performance monitoring, affects the overall primary education sector.  This project will enable the development of training for staff, including inspectors and district education officials to assist them in evaluating, monitoring and supporting school improvement in Malawi. 


Organisation:          CBM UK                         

Project Title:            Equitable Access to Education for Children with Disabilities in Malawi           

Total award:            £395,192 over three financial years (2013-2016).

Project Summary: This project will help to support and increase access to education for disabled children and the quality of education they receive.  The project will assist in the identification of children for early intervention and provide training to parents and guardians in early intervention skills.  It will also provide training for teachers and parents on sign language, Child Protection Policies and implementation guides.  Community leaders, head teachers, school management committees and Primary Education Advisors will all also be briefed on the training that will be provided to further increase awareness.  Advice will also be provided on technology that can assist teachers in their support of disabled children. 


Organisation:          Tearfund

Project Title:            Karonga Girls and Boys Empowerment Project                        

Total award:             £397,546 over three financial years (2013-2016).

Project Summary: This project aims to build on Tearfund’s 2010-2013 International Development Fund supported project, by expanding to additional communities.  The project aims to address the problems that are exacerbating the HIV/AIDS pandemic, including: harmful cultural practices; low household income; and increased exposure to HIV.  The project seeks to empower girls to protect themselves from harmful practices, whilst acknowledging that boys and the wider community also have to be targeted.  The project will further develop and reinforce community bylaws to protect children from harmful practices, including forced marriage, forced employment and exploitation.  Additionally, they will deliver increased HIV testing and counselling alongside HIV/AIDS education to improve awareness.  The provision of sexual reproductive health education and the development of Life Skills Clubs will assist in improving awareness and knowledge among school children.  The project will also set up Village Savings and Loans groups to enhance household income and encourage parents to send children to school rather than forcing them into employment. 





Organisation:          EMMS International    

Project Title:            RNM and Clinical Officer Training, Ekwendeni College of Health Sciences    

Total award:             £75,162 over three financial years (2013-2016).

Project Summary:  This project aims to address maternal mortality and the lack of medical resources and staff in Malawi’s health centres and clinics.  The project will aim to improve maternal health through increasing the number of trained midwives and capacity of Health Colleges to train clinical officers and midwives.  EMMS International will increase: training places; qualified staff serving rural areas; and, professionals in the market. Further, the project will develop the curriculum, recruit trainers, provide textbooks for students and renovate classrooms and student accommodation to improve the opportunities available for students.


Organisation: Strathclyde University

Project Title: Scotland Chikhwawa Health Iniative (SCHI)

Total award: £388,342 over three financial years (2013-2016).

Project Summary: Improved health status can be addressed through the Healthy Settings approach. Healthy Settings not only addresses access to curative health services, but also environmental, sociological and economic determinants for health in the home, school and work environments using a community led approach. This can lead to substantial reductions in the burden on curative health services and reduce the morbidity and mortality of both communicable and non-communicable diseases in communities. This project will seek to develop eighteen model communities, in-line with the Healthy Settings approach and integrate the principles into the six associated schools, five markets and one health facility.


Organisation: Scotland-Malawi Mental Health Education Project (SMMHEP)

Project Title: Enhancing Mental Health Training

Total award: £382,180 over three financial years (2013-2016).

Project Summary: This project aims to train and support mental health specialists to take leading roles in strengthening the mental health training of District-level primary health teams. The project will adopt a key recommendation of the WHO Mental Health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP) - that adequate human resources for delivery of essential mental health interventions should be met by community–based programmes, and that task shifting approaches that train and support non-specialist health professionals should be used. A programme of sustainable cascaded training in district level mental health care will be developed and delivered in 5 districts. By the end of the project the skills and infrastructure will be in place to roll out the programme to all districts within existing Ministry of Health structures.

The project will also develop sustainable e-learning based postgraduate and undergraduate mental health courses at the College of Medicine to consolidate the on-going training of mental health specialists (doctors, medical students), and reduce reliance on short-term volunteers. In addition, annual Malawi Health Conferences will be organised to promote exchange of research findings, knowledge and skills among mental health professionals within and without Malawi.


Organisation: University of Edinburgh

Project Title: Transforming the Education and Training of Clinical Professionals Delivering Maternal and Child Healthcare in Malawi

Total award: £396,425 over three financial years (2013-2016).

Project Summary: Malawi has high maternal, neonatal, child and infant mortality rates and the Government has made a major commitment to address these issues in-line with the Millennium Development Goals. A skilled, multi-disciplinary workforce able to work together to solve these problems is a national priority. Leaders in the professions, which have direct impact on health service quality, require specialist education/training beyond their initial qualifications, and both the College of Medicine (COM) and the Kamuzu College of Nursing (KCN), at the University of Malawi now offer Masters courses for doctors and nurses in maternal and child health specialties. In addition, and in response to a Ministry of Health request, COM has developed new specialty BSc degrees for Clinical Officers. In partnership with the University of Malawi, this project will support the development, delivery and management of the Masters and Clinical Officers degrees, and address missed opportunities to share teaching and training between specialties, and the lack of an integrated, multidisciplinary response to clinical problems.


Organisation: Concern Worldwide

Project Title: Improving Opportunities and Use of Reproductive Health Among Women and Youth (OUR WAY)

Total award: £400,000 over three financial years (2013-2016).

Project Summary: Although Malawi has made progress in decreasing maternal mortality over the past 5 years, the maternal mortality ratio remains among the highest in the world, at 675/100,000 live births. Concern’s health and nutrition surveys have consistently found that women living farther from health facilities are less likely to access antenatal and postnatal care, and are more likely to deliver at home. This project will address access to services through expanding community-based options for reproductive health and family planning, including mobile outreach clinics, particularly for hard-to-reach populations. Existing Village Health Clinics, which currently only treat children under five years of age, will be supported to incorporate community-based family planning services.


Organisation: Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF)

Project Title: Action Meningitis: Enhancing Awareness and Recognition of Severe Illness in Children in Malawi

Total award: £131,400 over three financial years (2013-2016).

Project Summary: Hospital-based studies suggest that late presentation to hospital is a driving factor for death from bacterial meningitis and other severe illnesses in Malawi, where the fatality rate for children with meningitis is over 50%. At primary healthcare level, recent MRF research identified that poor service provision and expectation of misdiagnoses contribute to late presentation for appropriate care in hospitals. The research also found that meningitis is regularly mistaken for malaria at both community and primary care level. Given the rapid onset of meningitis and other severe childhood illnesses, urgent hospital treatment is vital. Research into treatment pathways for children also identified the need to raise awareness of meningitis and promote appropriate health-seeking for severe illness in Malawi.

This project aims to teach health workers methods of triage, using the WHO Emergency Triage Assessment and Treatment (ETAT) system, so that meningitis and other life threatening diseases can be identified and treated far more rapidly, with a consequent improvement in survival rates. In addition, radio and theatre will be used to raise awareness of meningitis, to address health-related social issues and to encourage early treatment seeking for sick children.


Organisation: NHS Lothian

Project Title: The Edinburgh Malawi Cancer Partnership

Total award: £158,292 over three financial years (2013-2016).

Project Summary: In response to the growing numbers of patients diagnosed with cancer, the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre has established a cancer unit, the only one in Malawi. With the establishment of the unit, there is an urgent need to help facilitate the development of upgraded and sustainable cancer services to ensure that the impact of improved treatment for patients with cancer is achieved.

Therefore, the main outcome for this project is the development of an integrated cancer and palliative care unit at the hospital promoting high quality, safe and effective treatment for patients with all stages of cancer. The project will work to develop effective data management systems to organise clinical care and to monitor information on workload and outcomes. A multi-disciplinary team will work to ensure that decisions on patient care are best informed, and a multi-professional approach to care delivery is developed to ensure the service can make more effective use of its workforce, maximising capacity and capability. Further, robust evidence-based protocols that support clinically effective and safe evidence-based practice will be developed.


Organisation: NHS Lothian

Project Title: Developing a Sustainable Programme of Cervical Cancer Screening

Total award: £399,399 over three financial years (2013-2016).

Project Summary: In Malawi, cervical cancer is the most frequent cancer among women of a reproductive and economically important age (45.4% of female cancers), with an 80% mortality, with numbers projected to increase over the next two decades. There are currently no national programmes for cervical cancer prevention through immunisation or screening, contributing to the high burden of mortality: many women now survive childbirth only to die later of preventable cervical cancer. Inadequate access to treatment, ostracisation of women with severe symptoms of cervical cancer, and limited palliative care services are additional features.

This project will develop a sustainable cervical cancer prevention programme through three linked elements: increased provision of screening clinics; a ‘train the trainers’ skills model for staff in Nkhoma Hospital; and, development of staff skills in data collection and monitoring to inform future services.


Organisation: Christian Aid Scotland

Project Title: Enhanced Community-Based Maternal, Neonatal and Child Care in Karonga District

Total award: £385,963 over three financial years (2013-2016).

Project Summary: This projects aims to contribute to the achievement of Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5 by addressing the major causes of maternal, neonatal and child mortality in Karonga District, northern Malawi. In particular, the project aims to:

  • Increase access to, and uptake of, quality Maternal Neonatal Child Care (MNCH) services through strengthening village health clinics in all 63 villages.
  • Strengthen referral and case management processes through redefining the traditional birth attendants’ role to ‘mother advisors’, and establishing a reward scheme for referring women to health facilities for delivery.
  • Provide mobile telephones to link communities to their nearest health facilities, and four motorbike ambulances to enable referrals to health facilities and the district hospital.
  • Improve community participation in MNCH care through 66 established women groups, and strengthen the capacity of women, men and community leaders to make positive decisions that address socio-cultural and domestic barriers affecting women's health.


Organisation: Mary’s Meals

Project Title: Mary’s Meals School Feeding Programme Expansion

Total award: £399,846

Project Summary: The project will establish school feeding operations in 18 primary schools, in turn increasing access to education and improving nutrition for children.

Primary education net enrolment rate in Malawi is very low and the numbers of children completing primary education are low because of high dropout rates and progression rates are also poor. Malnutrition is common amongst children and low attendance at school is predominantly attributed to sickness or hunger. The project meets development needs of Malawi by contributing to the goal of universal primary education targeting children living in areas of poverty and food insecurity by removing barriers to education such as hunger.

The project will offset immediate household costs and support short-term economic growth through purchase of food from local small scale producers. Long term it contributes to sustainable economic growth through contribution to an individual’s nutritional requirements and education releasing individual potential and that of the nation in general.




Organisation:          Imani Enterprise Ltd   

Project Title:            Integrated Farming for Cooperative Agribusiness Programme  

Total award:            £392,937 over three financial years (2013-2016).

Project Summary: This project aims to provide food security to the Chikwawa district in Malawi to sustainably improve livelihoods in the area.  The district is negatively affected by its dense population and poor climatic conditions which dictate a need for irrigation for successful crop production.  However, the cost of irrigation is prohibitive, constraining communities to prolific food insecurity. There is a need to address the agricultural practices and therefore provide better food security.  This project will use local resources and markets for improved income generation, capacity, health and food security.  It will build upon existing structures and investments to develop a model integrated farming system in the district for replication across the region. 


Organisation:          Scottish Malawi Foundation

Project Title:            Electricity Kiosks in Off-grid Villages                                            

Total award:            £364,458 over three financial years (2013-2016).

Project Summary: This project will address the inadequate supply of basic electricity available in the grid-remote rural areas, where the majority of Malawians live.  It will provide the equipment required for an economically effective life, and address the consequent costs and health risks an inadequate electricity supply creates.  The proposed project is an extended pilot with potential for up-scaling.  Through the installation of solar-powered battery rental and charging stations (“electricity kiosks”) in several communities, 1,000 households (affecting approximately 6,000-8,000 individuals) will be offered specially designed battery systems allowing them to charge their electronic devices as they would if they had a grid connection.  The impact of this work has the potential to be transformative by establishing affordable accessible renewable electricity. Grant conditions will include alignment with existing renewable energy programmes in Malawi.


Organisation:          The James Hutton Institute  

Project Title:            Climate Smart Agriculture for Rural Smallholders in Malawi   

Total award:            £397,341 over three financial years (2013-2016).

Project Summary: To combat short-term food insecurity the Government of Malawi initiated the Fertilizer Input Subsidy Programme (FISP). Although it is justifiably recognised as a ‘quick fix’, use of fertilizer is economically and environmentally unsustainable and does not tackle the underlying issue of soil health. FISP is not a long-term solution to meeting the needs of those most at risk of malnutrition through land scarcity, drought or flooding, low soil fertility, or lack of disposable income. 

Sustainable, organic approaches are available as alternatives to high-input, high-cost interventions such as the FISP.  Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) is one such approach, producing the maximum yield possible with little reliance on external inputs such as fertilizer or pesticide.  It is appropriate for Malawi, offering food diversity, fuel, soil health and climate adaptation.  However, CSA is currently only promoted by a small number of dedicated organisations, with little coordination and a paucity of empirical data that national policy makers could use as evidence to support its wider adoption.

In collaboration with key stakeholders and with the support of the Government of Malawi, this project will work in two vulnerable districts of Malawi to improve household resilience and pro-poor planning for climate change adaptation through activities targeted at community, district and national levels.


Organisation: Microloan Foundation (MLF) UK

Project Title: Stimulating Business Development and Income-Growth in Central Malawi

Total award: £377,304 over three financial years (2013-2016).

Project Summary: MLF-Malawi, in the Central Region, will help 6,323 new clients to develop a business and 9,351 existing clients to grow their businesses. Clients’ businesses will generate profits and smooth the precarious incomes of impoverished households. The loan capital will be disbursed through a variety of products, and clients will open a bank account, build savings, and develop business and financial-literacy skills; crucial steps towards long-term independence from poverty. This will facilitate the economic empowerment of over 15,000 women and 78,000 children and dependents, who will benefit from increased spending on education, dietary consumption and healthcare. In addition, the project will disburse sustainable electricity, increase agricultural production, and improve women’s economic and social status in their household and community. By providing a range of products, MLF-M will provide an integrated pathway for clients to move from absolute poverty to ultimate independence.


Organisation: Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund (SCIAF)

Project Title: Mangochi Livelihoods and Economic Recovery Project

Total award: £378,225 over three financial years (2013-2016).

Project Summary: Malawi currently faces serious challenges such as a shortage of foreign reserves, scarcity of fuel and high inflation, which have resulted in an economic slowdown, and increased poverty and hunger. Against this backdrop, the Malawi Government has developed an Economic Recovery Plan to improve prospects for socioeconomic growth and development, which includes development of agricultural production for increased food security. This project aims to support 3,000 households in Mangochi to increase their income and food security through effective crop and livestock productivity and small scale business, thus supporting government efforts to enhance the productivity of the small producer agriculture sector. Overall, it aims to create an enabling environment for vulnerable groups to improve their living conditions and participate in the country’s development.


Organisation: Oxfam Scotland

Project Title: Social and Economic Empowerment of 19,200 Smallholder Producers in Rural Malawi

Total award: £400,000 over three financial years (2013-2016).

Project Summary: This project aims to address the inter-related problems of economic and social insecurities faced by 19,200 poor households, around 70% of whom will be women, and particularly those living with, or affected by HIV and AIDS (including child-headed households), as they are most vulnerable to shocks and marginalisation. Specifically, this project aims to improve: access to value-chains, particularly in the horticultural and livestock sectors; skills and technology to optimise livestock and crop production; access to financial services by smallholder producers; and capacity for advocacy of smallholder producers.

This project will develop a sustainable exit strategy from the current International Development Fund supported project (2010-2013) ‘Promoting Sustainable Livelihoods for Vulnerable Groups, Particularly Women, in Chiradzulu District’.


Organisation: Just Trading Scotland (JTS)

Project Title: Improving the Livelihoods of Rice Farmers in Karonga

Total award: £276,255 over three financial years (2013-2016)

Project Summary: Rice farmers in Karonga District are faced with the following problems: access only to poor quality seeds which produce a limited crop of variable quality; limited means of transporting their crops to market; limited markets for their products; and, unscrupulous traders operating with inaccurate scales.

This project aims to take 3,000 rice farmers in Karonga out of poverty permanently, through assisting the farmers to substantially increase their yields (and marketing) of high quality Kilombero rice, thereby increasing their disposable income. A fund will also be created through Kapara Smallholder Farmers’ Association (KASFA), from which the farmers will be able to buy basic seeds for the next planting – thus, this project aims to produce a genuinely sustainable “virtuous cycle” of crop production and sales that will run from year to year.


Organisation: Global Concerns Trust

Project Title: Tools and Training for Livelihood in Malawi

Total award: £109,738 over three financial years (2013-2016).

Project Summary: Twenty per cent of the population living below the poverty line in Malawi are disabled. This project aims to contribute to the reduction of poverty, the enhancement of economic sustainability, and improvement in community integration of physically disabled men and women in Nkhotakota and Salima districts.

The lack of skills development programmes, especially in rural areas, is explicitly recognised in the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy, and Nkhotakota is a Government targeted rural area currently without training opportunities. During the lifetime of this project, 39 men and women will receive training in carpentry and tailoring, and in Salima, 90 men and women will receive training in tailoring, knitting, cane chair/basket-weaving and curio-making to become economically self-reliant. Further, all trainees will be provided with start-up toolkits, business training and on-going support, and HIV/AIDS, reproductive health and gender awareness training. The project will place emphasis on empowering women; at least 55% of trainees will be women.


Organisation: Scotland Malawi Business Group

Project Title: Aquaculture Enterprise Malawi

Total award: £336,737 over three financial years (2013-2016).

Project Summary: The principal conclusion of the International Development Fund (2012-2013) supported scoping study, ‘Aquaculture Enterprise Malawi (AEM)’ was that, while ‘rural aquaculture’ has a role to play in sustaining household food security in Malawi, it is not commercially viable. To contribute effectively to development, aquaculture in Malawi requires manufactured formulated fish feed, a regular supply of quality young fish, access to a continuous year round supply of water, and access to markets and finance. However, given the relatively high transaction and opportunity costs involved in satisfying these requirements, the development of small-scale commercial aquaculture necessitates ponds being located within or in close proximity to peri-urban environments.

This new project aims to create and foster a supportive business environment in which an optimally located network of 60 small-scale fish farmers can operate on a commercial basis. The benefits deriving from the project will include employment opportunities throughout the production and supply chains and an increased supply of better value, high quality protein into Blantyre and its peri-urban markets, while directly and indirectly supporting the livelihoods of some of the poorer but entrepreneurial individuals in Malawi. The University of Stirling’s world-leading Institute of Aquaculture is a key partner in this project.