Project: Strengthening Social Accountability in the Education Sector in Malawi 
Country: Malawi
Sector: Education
Executing Agency: CARE International Malawi
Grant Amount: $950,000
Closing Date: January, 2019



Despite significant investments in education, Malawi suffers from poor human and social development outcomes. The education sector is characterized by low levels of student achievement and high dropout rates in primary school. There are large disparities in education outcomes as well as shortages and uneven supply of trained teachers, disproportionately affecting rural and poor regions.

Weak institutional capacity and inefficiencies in the education procurement systems result in mismanagement of public resources, a lack of adequate school infrastructure, and significant delays in the provision of teaching and learning materials (TLMs). A large proportion of teachers in Malawi experience low motivation and high absenteeism rates due to challenging working conditions, irregular and low pay, overcrowded classrooms, budget shortages, and little institutional support.  Students graduating from public schools are not adequately prepared and equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively participate in the labor force, imposing a constraint in the growth of the economy.  



Care International Malawi, an organization with extensive experience in the education sector in Malawi, received a grant from GPSA to ensure that children have access to high quality, accountable and transparent education services. The project seeks to address inefficiencies in the education procurement system and teacher absenteeism by: 1) monitoring procurement processes in the education sector to identify weaknesses; and 2) training School Management Committees (SMCs), students, and parents on social accountability tools, such as community score cards, and mobile technologies to monitor teacher absenteeism; and 3) collecting and curating knowledge to improve project design. Information generated through the project will be feed into national and district monitoring and evaluation (M&E) systems to strengthen transparency and ensure the efficient use of public resources.


Project Results:

Outcomes in the 90 targeted schools:

  1. Teachers’ absenteeism has decreased by 15%.

  2. 30% increase in community participation in schools. Parents and community are now working to address problems that cause teachers absenteeism in their children’s schools.

  3. 7,650 community members have been trained in monitoring the procurement process of teaching and learning materials, as well as absenteeism of teachers.

  4. The relationship between teachers, parents and students has improved, as evidenced by increased student attendance and more involvement of parents in developmental activities at school.