In-depth

UNV pose for a photo with Helen ClarkUN Volunteer doctors have improved health service delivery in central and district hospitals by increasing the number of specialized health personnel and providing training to local health workers. Photo: UNDP Malawi

Consolidating democracy and delivering social services in Malawi is to a large extent impeded by inadequate capacities, primarily in the public service institutions. Major capacity challenges include policy and strategy formulation, programme implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation.

Capacity Development is at the heart of UNDPs mandate and functions in responding to the growing demands for support at both national and sub-national levels. The demand is for support to smart strategies, policy and investment options and reforms that enable institutions perform better, and to do so consistently over time and adapt to shocks that is demonstrating resilience.

UNDP Malawi, works closely with partners to build the national capacity to combat the widespread and deep-rooted poverty in Malawi. We are engaged in strengthening skills, systems and processes for analysis, planning, service delivery and accountability, in its effort to support capacity development for the achievement of the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy II (MGDS II) and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). One way in which this is achieved is by providing technical support through expatriate Advisors who work alongside nationals in various ministries and transfer and consolidate skills. All our capacity development programmes and projects are aligned with the following:

Results Based Management (RBM)
UNDP programmes in Capacity Development aims to institutionalise RBM management practices in the public sector. RBM is a strategy through which planning, monitoring and evaluation come together. The Development Effectiveness and Accountability (DEAP) for instance, ensures focus on results and instilling of RBM in all activities supported by the programme. DEAP will put into place a process that ensures that results from all pilot agencies feedback into the RBM manual and are used to further refine the RBM manual and procedures.  

Development Effectiveness
In order to obtain meaningful and sustainable development results, there is an application of incorporating planning, monitoring and evaluation into the various themes and processes. Our development initiatives look beyond the outcomes, the outputs and the activities, and place emphasis on what is being done to obtain results and not simply at how development work is being done.

The main principles underlying the concept of development effectiveness are applied in such a manner that they include the following:

  • Promotion of national ownership- there is an effort to ensure that projects are led or co-led by government for the enhancement of ownership and leadership.
  • Promotion of national capacity development- there is a need for strong government commitment to ensure activities strengthen the capacities of institutions to fulfil their mandates effectively.
  • Promotion of inclusiveness, gender mainstreaming and women’s empowerment-   Every programme involves men, women and traditionally marginalised groups and these are reflected in the planning, monitoring and evaluation processes.

Monitoring and Evaluation
To enable regular and quality reporting, key performance indicators are identified for each output in all the capacity development programmes. The indicators assist to focus efforts and resources for evaluating programme performance. By assessing the relevance of the assistance, initiatives, efforts made to combat poverty and support of desirable changes, capacity development programmes are better able to measure and assess progress and achieved outputs and targets utilising clear and specific targets set.

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