Malawi is among the world's least-developed countries and one of the most densely populated in Africa, home to 17 million people. The population is largely rural, the economy based chiefly in agriculture with a high burden of poverty, and the infrastructure poorly developed. As a result, government depends heavily on outside donors to provide even basic government services, including health. HIV infection is generalized in the population and malaria is endemic throughout the country, placing a heavy health burden on a government already strapped for resources.
Malawi has a severe shortage of adequately trained health personnel across all professional cadres, and it is difficult to train, retain, and manage existing workers. There are critical gaps in such areas as supply chain management and health information systems.
MEASURE Evaluation works in Malawi to strengthen health information systems and improve the quality and use of data as evidence for decision making to help the government strategically invest scarce resources in the most effective ways. We help strengthen organizational networks as a means to collect data in a systematic way that yields information about how organizations connect among each other and how they can improve connections to leverage learnings and best practices. The government is independently adapting MEASURE Evaluation’s networking approach to strengthen ties among community-based programs in economic strengthening, livelihoods, and food security to facilities offering nutrition assessment, counseling, and support services.
In Malawi, MEASURE Evaluation focuses on:
- Building M&E capacity for systematic improvement in data collection and data use to inform policy making at the national level, including strengthening the civil registration system and human resources management systems, and for interventions for people living with HIV and AIDS – this work including research into gender-related barriers to retention on Option B+ (lifelong adherence to anti-retroviral treatment [ART] to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV);
- Strengthening organizational and institutional capacities to monitor and evaluate health programs and services at the subnational level, especially for M&E on malaria activities; and
- Providing technical assistance to apply M&E results for more effective and sustainable health programming in Malawi.