Public Sector Capacity Development Project

What is the project about

 UNDP staff and Government officials interact during a High Level Forum and Technical Workshop on Extractive Industries in Malawi at Capital Hotel in Lilongwe, on October 29, 2013. Photo: UNDP Malawi

For the past decade, the Government of Malawi has undertaken various public service capacity development initiatives as a way of improving service delivery.  UNDP’s involvement in these initiatives started in 2001 with the implementation of the National Decentralization Programme. In 2007, in collaboration with the Government, we carried out a comprehensive capacity assessment of the public service in six functional areas of administrative common service (leadership and management), human resource management, public financial management and audit, public procurement, programme and project management and Information and Communication Technology (ICT). 

The assessment culminated in the design of the 2008-2011 Capacity Development for Public Sector Management (CDPSM) Programme. The final evaluation of this project established that the project was relevant to addressing Malawi’s development which led to the implementation of the 2012-2016 Public Service Capacity Development Project (PSCDP). In the PSCDP, UNDP seeks to further strengthen the capacity of the public service to better manage and deliver services by:

  • Reviewing and implementing policies, rules and regulations that support efficient public service delivery;
  • Increasing leadership/management skills, competencies and ethical values to drive the national development agenda;
  • Strengthening human resource planning and management capacities in the different MDAs within the public service; and
  • Promoting innovative and integrated application of ICT within public service.

In all these interventions, deliberate efforts are being made to ensure that there is gender balance in recruitment and promotion of women in leadership positions as well as training -- at all levels.  The impact of HIV/AIDS will be reflected in human resource management and planning activities. 

What have we accomplished so far

In the previous phase under CDPSM:

  • Implementing the project through a government unit has encouraged government’s ownership of the programme. This has been evident with funding commitment by government especially towards the Public Service Administration (PSA) leadership and management courses which initially were meant to be fully funded by UNDP. Government has also committed some funding towards the review of the Public Service Act 1994 (PSA) and Malawi Public Service Regulations (MPSR).
  • The programme also supported institutional capacity development of the Office of the Director of Public procurement (ODPP) and the individual training of procurement professionals up to bachelor’s and master’s levels.
  • The programme has also supported the 2011 procurement audit of selected procurement entities in the public service in Malawi, for fiscal years 2007/08 and 2008/09.  The findings of the audit have provided some assessment of the impact of the programme on how far it has strengthened the procurement legal framework.
  • Public Service Administration (PSA) and Induction courses were re-introduced after they were suspended for a while by government due to funding constraints. The induction courses are designed to ground new-entrants into the public service in the operations of the public service.  PSA courses train senior public servants in leadership and management to prepare them to assume leadership positions.
  • Training institutions, the Polytechnic and MIM have continued offering the training programmes even after sponsorship ceased ensuring continued sustainability. The programme has also supported the establishment of the Malawi Institute of Procurement and Supply, whose major objective is to regulate and promote the procurement profession in Malawi.
  • The programme also supported a capacity diagnostic in agriculture sector which revealed a number of capacity gaps to form an entry point for capacity development support in agriculture.

Currently under PSCDP:

  • Government is providing strong policy support to the PSCDP which is being manifested through the review of various policy documents.  Presently, in the pipeline for a review is the Public Service Act (1994) to ensure that the mandates which were conflicting with the constitution are aligned. The revised MPSR is awaiting a judicial review to have it vetted.
  • Cumulatively, from the previous phase, over 280 public servants have either gone through induction courses or leadership and management skills training courses.  The result of this, in a snapshot, is an increase in the number of women in leadership positions from 18% in 2009 to 26% in 2013.
  • Through the programme the Government of Malawi, is undertaking a National Human Resource Survey taking stock of the skills and determine the gap in relation to the implementation requirements of the MGDS II. After the survey is completed, a National Human Resources Strategy will be developed to guide the Government of Malawi on how it can develop its human capacity in her drive to implement the goals and objectives spelt out in MGDS II.

Who Finances it?

Only financial contributions of at least $ 100,000.00 are indicated here.

Donor Name
Amount contributed per year
$ 764,000.00


Delivery in previous fiscal year

Donor Name
Amount used
$ 767431.00

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