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JP Improving Access and Quality of Education for Girls in Malawi Reports


JP  Improving Access and Quality of Education for Girls in Malawi Key Documents

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Promoting food diversification through supporting local farmers in the home-grown school meals project under the Joint Programme on Girls Education.
The Joint Programme on Girls Education is an example of SDG compliant programming, using the comparative advantage of three UN agencies to address the multitude of reasons why girls are dropping out of school.


The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have established a Joint Programme, using a ‘pass-through’ modality, entitled "Improving Access and Quality of Education for Girls in Malawi.” The overall aim of the programme is to improve access and quality of education for girls in three districts of Malawi; Salima, Mangochi and Dedza through an inter-sectorial approach, recognizing the myriad of issues that impact girl’s access to education and their ability to complete it.

In the short term, or the first year of the intervention, key expected results include:

  1. Increased attendance for girls in the targeted schools;
  2. Reduced dropout rates for girls in the targeted schools;
  3. Increased percentage of dropouts who returned/readmitted to school or non-formal education

In addition to marked improvements in the short-term results, by the end of the intervention in 2017, impact-level results are also expected in four key areas:

  1. Increased enrolment of girls in basic education in the targeted schools;
  2. Improved pass rates for girls in the targeted schools;
  3. Improved survival rates of girls completing grade eight without repeating or dropping out;
  4. Resilient and empowered communities who sustain girls in school


Assistance Strategy

The programme is guided by technical expertise of three UN agencies (UNICEF, WFP and UNFPA) and is defined within the government structure and as such, it will help to implement the government sector implementation plan (2013 – 2016) with specific references to the Girls’ Education Strategy and the Primary School Improvement Plan (PSIP) which are key documents in the realization of quality education in Malawi. Advancing girls’ education is of a strategic importance for the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS) II, and the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF 2012-2016). These documents confirm government and UN commitments to ensuring that all boys and girls, in and out-of-school, are enrolled and retained to complete basic education by 2016.

The programme will be implemented in a phased approach starting with 34 schools in the first phase. It will make use of a whole school approach as well as targeting specifically girls from standard 5 to 8 in Salima, Mangochi and Dedza districts in all 79 schools in 5 targeted zones for a period of 3 years. Girls in standard 5 – 8 form the targeted group based on the fact that it is exactly within this period where girls in Malawi tend to drop out of school due to numerous socio-economic and cultural reasons.

The overarching objective will be achieved through pursuit of 7 primary and related outcomes:

  1. Girls and boys in targeted schools are well nourished and able to stay in school
  2. Increased access to second chance education for both in and out of school girls
  3. Quality integrated youth friendly services, resources and structures, addressing CSE, SRHR, HIV/AIDS and GBV in place for both in and out of school girls
  4. Reduction of violence against girls in targeted schools and communities and effective referral pathways in place
  5. Teacher attitudes and skills are improved/enhanced to effectively deliver life skills based and gender responsive methodologies
  6. Adolescent girls are informed and empowered to demand SRHR services, participate and take on leadership positions within the school and the community
  7. Empowered and committed communities will value quality education for all children, especially girls

The framework being applied to this programme follows the ‘quality education’ framework which incorporates five critical dimensions (UNICEF 2000):

  1.  Learners who are healthy and well nourished, ready to learn and supported by their families and communities; 
  2.  School environment which is healthy, safe, protective and gender sensitive;
  3.  Content reflected in relevant curricula and activities contributing equally to academic knowledge, services  and skills as well as on life skills subjects such as gender, protection, HIV/AIDS prevention and sexual and reproductive health rights;
  4.  Teachers are using child-cantered teaching approaches/methodologies in a well-managed classroom; 
  5.  Outcomes that encompass knowledge, skills and attitudes which are linked to national and universal goals for education as well as active participation in society.



The Joint Progamme on Improving Access and Quality of Education for Girls in Malawi is managed through a ‘pass through’ funding modality.  The programmatic and financial accountability rests with the Participating UN Organisations, which manage their respective components of the Joint Programme.

Steering Committee: A Steering Committee consisting of all UN Heads of Agency (UNICEF, WFP and UNFPA), a senior Representative from the Norwegian Embassy, the Principle Secretaries for Education, Agriculture and Gender. The Principle Secretary for Education shall Chair and Project Coordinator shall also serve as Secretariat to the Steering Committee.

Technical Working Group: A technical working group, headed by the Project Coordinator shall be convened and will be responsible for monitoring project progress, overseeing programme implementation, coordinating project activities, and assuring achievement of project outcomes. They will meet monthly in the first phase and bi-monthly in the second phase onwards. Decision making points from this group will be taking to the Steering Committee.

At sub-national level, this Project shall be overseen through existing leadership and coordination mechanisms. As such the District Commissioner with the support of the District Planning Officers in Mangochi and Salima respectively shall provide leadership over these projects. Implementation shall happen through the District Education Officers who shall convene participating sectors including WFP Field Monitors, District School Health and Nutrition Coordinators, District Social Welfare, civil society members and provide feedback to the District Executive Committee.

Administrative Agent

The Multi-Partner Trust Fund Office (MPTF Office) of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) serves as the Administrative Agent (AA) of the Joint Programme. The AA is responsible for concluding Standard Administrative Arrangements (SAAs) with donors and Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Participating UN Organisations.




Recent Documents

This tab shows only recent documents relevant at the Fund level. To see more documents at both the fund and project level go to the Document Center.

Key Figures
Funding Status
Participating Organizations are required to submit final year-end expenditures by April 30 in the following year; Interim expenditure figures are submitted on a voluntary basis and therefore current year figures are not final until the year-end expenditures have been submitted.
Total as of
Values in US$
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Funds with Administrative Agent
Contributions from Donors 19,334,230  
Interest and Investment Income (from Fund) 9,347  
Interest (from Participating Organizations) 0  
Refunds by Administrative Agent to Contributors -42,231  
Total source of funds   19,301,347
Transferred to Participating Organizations 19,139,925  
Refunds from Participating Organizations -32,129  
Administrative Agent Fee 193,342  
Direct Cost 0  
Bank Charges 209  
Total use of funds   19,301,347
Balance with Administrative Agent   0
As a percentage of deposits   0%
Funds with Participating Organizations
Transfers to Participation Organizations 19,139,925  
Total resources   19,139,925
Participating Organizations' Expenditure 19,107,796  
Refunds from Participating Organizations -32,129  
Total expenses     19,139,925
Balance with Participating Organizations   0
As a percentage of transfers   0%
Total Balance of Funds   0
As a percentage of deposits   0%
Delivery Analysis
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For Policy and Programme Issues in Malawi

UN Resident Coordinator Office, PO Box 30135, Lilongwe 3, Malawi; Tel: +265-177-3500 +265-177-3500 ;


Administrative Agent Issues in New York

Multi-Partner Trust Fund Office (MPTF Office), Bureau for Management Services, United Nations Development Programme; Fax: +1 212 906 6990;  


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