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Malawi Government Malawi Government Delegation of the European Commission to Malawi
Malawi Government
Malawi Government
Introduction | The Programme | Overall Objective | Purpose | Programme ImplementationProgramme Implementation Area | Financial Resources | Expected Results
About the Income Generating Public Works Programme
Poverty in Malawi is widespread, severe and deepening, with a per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of around US$205 and with 65% of the population living below the poverty line. About 85% of the population live in rural areas and depend almost entirely on subsistence agriculture, with an average income per household per year of less than US$100. Furthermore, the performance of the Malawian economy in recent years has been weak and characterised by low or negative GDP growth rates, a large budget deficit, exchange rate volatility and high inflation and interest rates which have all impacted negatively on the poor. Constraints on the productivity of land include rapid environmental degradation and limited access. Most farmers therefore focus on daily subsistence, giving minimal consideration to land degradation, soil fertility and the adoption of new land husbandry practices. Constraints on labour include generally low levels of education, poor health status complicated by the high prevalence of HIV and AIDS, limited off-farm employment, rapid population growth, and gender inequalities.

The Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS) is GoM's overarching statement on development strategy and forms the basis for all Government activities. The Decentralisation Policy, approved in 1996, is a key feature in the reduction of poverty and it focuses on the empowerment of the poor, through their participation in decision-making and the devolution of public services to District Councils (DCs). This is a rather challenging policy considering the capacity of District Councils (DCs); limited means available to enable rural communities earn income, the poor performance of the economy as a whole and the agriculture sector in particular. Rural roads and bridges infrastructure is generally poorly developed and in many instances impassable during the rainy season, making access to markets and socio-economic services in general difficult.

The Income Generating Public Works Programme (IGPWP)
Rural Roads and Small Bridges are Rehabilitated and UpgradedThe Income Generating Public Works Programme (IGPWP) is one of the initiatives designed to respond to the income-generation needs of the rural poor through a variety of multi-sectoral and cross-cutting initiatives. These initiatives address needs such as access (infrastructure), environmental protection (forestry), food security (irrigation); capacity-building (institutional and human resource development) and enterprise (using road maintenance wages and Village Forestry and Irrigation Club payments) which are not readily covered within the scope of one given sector. Overall, interventions under the programme will as reflected in the Malawi-European Community Country Strategy Paper and National Indicative Programme (2001-7) contribute to poverty reduction in the focal sectors of agriculture and transport.

Productive Local Forestry Activities - Comprising Fuel Wood, Timber and Fruit Tree Production are DevelopedIn responding to the issues highlighted, IGPWP accords rural communities the opportunity to improve livelihoods through the creation of income earning opportunities, being more food secure, having improved access to services and learning how to manage natural resources in a sustainable manner. Specific attention is paid to participation and the empowerment of the rural communities by working with them in determining how the resources available under the programme can be used to meet their needs. The programme is developing and will implement capacity enhancement plans for the District Councils (DCs), and existing structures below the assemblies, in order to ensure meaningful participation and empowerment.

Overall Objective of the Programme
The overall objective of the IGPWP is to contribute to the reduction of poverty amongst the rural and peri-urban poor in line with the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS).

Purpose of the Programme
Project Management is Adequately Addressing Cross-Cutting IssuesThe purpose of the IGPWP is to enhance the socio-economic situation of targeted rural and peri-urban communities, through improving access, infrastructure, income and production. The programme will address the following specific problems:
  • Rural areas have poor road infrastructure and roads are often impassable during the rainy season, limiting access to social services and markets in both rural and urban areas
  • Stagnation of the rural economy due to limited availability of capital
  • Deforestation and soil fertility decline as a result of wanton cutting down of trees and lack of money to purchase inorganic fertilizers
  • Communities especially women spend a lot of time collecting fuel wood and as a result production in other areas of their livelihoods declines
  • 60% of households experience income/food shortages
  • Smallholder farmers continue to rely exclusively on rain-fed agriculture with only 14% of productive land under irrigation
  • The HIV and AIDS (HIV prevalence of adults (15-49 year olds) is estimated at 15%) is impacting negatively upon all sectors of the Malawian society and in particular the poor and malnourished. The pandemic has put an enormous strain on public service delivery
  • Inadequate capacity of District level authorities to plan, implement and manage development initiatives

Programme Implementation
IGPWP is using lessons learnt from the GoM/EU PWP and the Multi Annual Food Security Programme (MAFSP) to implement a labour intensive programme with the aim of promoting income generating activities as well as productive activities for the rural and peri-urban poor, assisting them to promote sustainable livelihoods. It is recognised that resources available under IGPWP cannot meet all the development needs of the rural poor. The activities under the programme are maximising on synergies with projects, institutions and initiatives through coordination, cooperation and linkages. In this regard, IGPWP links into existing coordination forums and where necessary, establishes new forums; standardises documents and procedures (for example on road maintenance), harmonises approaches and promotes adherence to designs and set standards. Furthermore, specific links to HIV and AIDS initiatives are made to enable beneficiaries of the IGPWP have direct access to resources and services available under those initiatives.

The IGPWP is being implemented in two phases (first phase of three years and second phase of two years) over a period of five years during which the involvement of the District Councils and contribution of the GoM will be scaled up. Programme implementation commenced on 01 August 2005.

Implementation of the IGPWP interventions will be continued by the DCs once they have the appropriate capacity to do so. DC capacity building is one of the core activities during phase I. In the second phase the DCs will be enabled, amongst others, to manage road maintenance funds including the part for public finance (as per precondition of the 2nd phase).

Programme Implementation Area
IGPWP Implementation AreaThe beneficiary District Councils (DCs) covered under the programme were selected based on the poverty ranking as partly determined by the Malawi Fiscal Decentralisation Model (MFDM), which gives base poverty data for the country per District Council. The following are the beneficiary councils: Blantyre, Chikwawa, Dedza, Dowa, Kasungu, Lilongwe, Machinga, Mangochi, Mchinji, M'mbelwa, Mulanje, Nkhotakota, Ntcheu, Thyolo and Zomba.

Programme Financial Resources
The programme is funded from the 9th EDF budget to a total value of Euro 25 million.

Expected Results
Listed below are the expected results of the IGPWP:

  • Rural roads and small bridges are rehabilitated and upgraded
  • Rural roads are maintained
  • Productive local forestry activities comprising fuel wood, timber and fruit tree production are developed
  • Productive local agricultural activities are developed through improved inputs and irrigation
  • Project management is adequately addressing cross-cutting issues as listed below:
    1. HIV and AIDS awareness is promoted
    2. Role of women and youth in household income generation and decision-making is increased
    3. Linkages are facilitated to other socio-economic initiatives for the rural poor
    4. Environmental management
    5. Programme visibility is enhanced
  • Implementation capacity of District Councils is enhanced
    The IGPWP is ensuring that all activities funded by the European Union (EU) are visibly acknowledged through, among other activities, briefings, newsletters, press conferences, presentations, erection of sign posts in strategic positions and, production of commemorative plaques. Contact us for details of the visibility strategy.