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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


JPGE II Overview

Following the success of the first phase of the Joint Programme on Girls Education (2014-2017) entitled “Improving Access and Quality of Education for Girls in Malawi”, 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 second phase of the Joint Programme on Girls education in Malawi entitled "Poverty reduction through improved quality education and basic life skills for in and out of school adolescent girls in Dedza, Mangochi and Salima districts”. The overall aim of the programme is poverty reduction through improved quality education and basic life skills for in and out of school adolescent 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.

  • Following JPGE 1 successes in the key expected results which included:
  • Increased attendance for girls in the targeted schools;
  • Improved pass rates for girls in the targeted schools
  • Reduced dropout rates for girls in the targeted schools;
  • Increased enrolment of girls in basic education in the targeted schools;
  • Increased percentage of dropouts who returned/readmitted to school or non-formal education

In addition to marked improvements from JPGE I, by the end of the intervention in 2020, impact-level results are also expected in four key areas:

  • Increased promotion rates of girls in standards 5 to 8;
  • Decrease in repetition rates for girls in Standards 5 to 8;
  • Improved survival rates of girls completing standard eight and transitioning to secondary schools;
  • 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 various government policies and strategies with specific references to the National 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.

The programme will be implemented in the 81 JPGE Phase 1 schools which will be used as model schools and scaled up to an additional 88 schools in the 3 districts. A trainer of trainer model will be used to expand the programme to fully cover all the schools in the three implementation districts. The programme will continue to use a whole school approach as well as targeting specifically girls from standard 5 to 8 in Salima, Mangochi and Dedza districts in all 81 schools in 5 targeted zones for a period of 3 years. Girls in standard 5 – 8 form the targeted group since 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 programme will also focus on out of school adolescent girls ensuring that they receive basic life skills to help them target adult life.

The overarching objective will be achieved through pursuit of 3 Strategic Objectives and 9 primary and related outcomes as follows:

Strategic Objective 1: Adolescent girls remain and complete primary school education leading to transition to secondary school:


  1. Adolescent girls and boys acquire foundation skills, and life skills in an all-inclusive and gender sensitive environment
  2. Girls and boys in targeted schools are provided with diversified school meals.
  3. Girls and boys in the targeted schools have access to SRHR information and services
  4. Reduced violence against girls in primary schools
  5. Parents and community engaged in education

Strategic Objective 2: Out of school adolescent girls acquire basic life skills to allow them to tackle adult life.


  1. Adolescent girls out of school acquire basic numeracy and literacy skills.
  2. Out of school adolescent girls acquire SRH and life skills. 
  3.  Adolescent girls out of school acquire basic livelihood skills

Strategic Objective 3: Government structures at district and National levels effectively design, implement and monitor girls’ education programs in Malawi.


Government district and national level staff acquire coordination, networking, design and programme implementation skills

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

  • Learners who are healthy and well nourished, ready to learn and supported by their families and communities; 
  • School environment which is healthy, safe, protective and gender sensitive;
  • 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;
  • Teachers are using child-cantered teaching approaches/methodologies in a well-managed classroom; 
  • 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 Programme on Girls Education 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: 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 will be the decision-making body of the programme. The Principle Secretary for Education shall Chair and Project Coordinator shall also serve as Secretariat to the Steering Committee.

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 taken 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 Dedza, Mangochi and Salima respectively shall provide leadership over these projects. Implementation shall happen through the District Education Officers who shall convene participating sectors including District Health Officers, Youth Friendly Health Services Coordinators, 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 21,115,722  
Interest and Investment Income (from Fund) 62,243  
Interest (from Participating Organizations) 0  
Total source of funds   21,177,965
Transferred to Participating Organizations 20,931,837  
Refunds from Participating Organizations 0  
Administrative Agent Fee 211,157  
Direct Cost 0  
Bank Charges 234  
Total use of funds   21,143,228
Balance with Administrative Agent   34,737
As a percentage of deposits   0.2%
Funds with Participating Organizations
Transfers to Participation Organizations 20,931,837  
Total resources   20,931,837
Participating Organizations' Expenditure 20,878,579  
Refunds from Participating Organizations 0  
Total expenses     20,878,579
Balance with Participating Organizations   53,258
As a percentage of transfers   0.3%
Total Balance of Funds   87,995
As a percentage of deposits   0.4%
Delivery Analysis
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Administrative Issues in Malawi

  • Ms. Claire Medina, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, Malawi; Email:
  • Dr. Dan Odallo, UNFPA Representative, Malawi  Email: 
  • Ms. Johannes Wedenig, UNICEF Representative, Malawi Email:
  • Mr. Benoit Thiry,  WFP Country Director, Malawi  Email:
Focal point
Chimwemwe Msowoya, Head of Resident Coordinator Office, Malawi

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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