Malawi

Pathways Project End of Project Evaluation Report

Pathways aimed to increase productivity and income in equitable agriculture systems. CARE innovated an effective Theory of Change to address real issues affecting rural women farmers by providing them with capacities in agriculture; access to inputs, extension services and markets; empowerment to influence decisions; and an enabling environment for growth.

Pathways has met and, in most cases, surpassed targets set in its M&E framework. In the words of women themselves the project has worked very well, focusing on groundnuts and soybean as high-value cash crop substitutes for tobacco because of their high potential for markets, ability to replenish the lost soil fertility and strong nutritional value. It has grown from working with 9,000 to 14,282 farmers (hosting a population of 71,410 people), organising them into 1,528 groups. Women provide leadership to most of the groups after being transformed to become successful wives, farmers and entrepreneurs who can make independent decisions and speak in public.

In 2015 alone, collective sale revenues from groundnuts and soy amounted to MK128, 601,938 (US$233,821.7) and rose to MK854, 356,267 (US$751,511) by the end of 2017. Contract farming organized by the project contributed US$34,233 to these revenues. In 2014, the project conducted 188 community-wide gender dialogue sessions and reached out to 9,654 people, 7193 female and 2464 male, helping them to internalize and address gender inequalities. Men have generally started looking at women as partners in agriculture and development that is cementing marriage bonds and creating an enabling environment for women to succeed. Along with this, CARE Malawi linked women farmers to key players in the groundnut and soy value chains to help them excel.

As a consequence, by December 2016 a total of 246 farmer groups had accounts with OIBM and other banks through which they saved MK49, 175,577 and 6 VSLs accessed two group loans worth MK4,800,000 (US$7,804.88) which they invested in agriculture, business and VSL activities. VSLs profited and shared out US$871,178 in the year, with more benefits seen in 2017 when savings accumulated to US$3,756,435 e.g. earnings of MK47, 489.32 to MK204, 769.33 per household on average. In turn, per capita household monthly incomes and expenditures doubled by the time the project closed in December 2018. Although agricultural productivity continued to decline over the project life due to poor weather conditions, Pathways farmers remained food secure and continued to eat at least two meals a day. Household dietary diversity (HDDS) and women intra-household food access (AHA) data from this evaluation found levels of consumption to be acceptable and typical of food secure households. These results showcase that Pathways beneficiaries have grown their incomes, assets and food availability in the face of the changing climate and are better off even in difficult years. Read More...

Cyclone Idai Regional Rapid Gender Analysis

CARE International is responding to the impact of Cyclone Idai and the associated floods in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. As part of our response, CARE’s team in each of the countries is currently developing or is planning to develop a Rapid Gender Analysis (RGA) for the affected regions. An RGA provides information about the different needs, capacities and coping strategies of women, men, boys and girls in a crisis. It is built up progressively using a range of primary and secondary information to understand gender roles and relations and how they may change during a crisis. It provides practical programming and operational recommendations to meet the different needs of women, men, boys and girls of different ages, abilities and other contextually relevant forms of diversity and to ensure we ‘do no harm’. RGA uses the tools and approaches of Gender Analysis Frameworks – such as community mapping; focus group discussions, key informant interviews, safety audit tools and secondary data review - and adapts them to the tight time-frames, rapidly changing contexts and insecure environments that often characterise humanitarian interventions. Read More...

Pro-Resilience Action Program Baseline Study

Christian Aid and United Purpose are leading separate consortia implementing the ProResilience Action (Pro ACT) programme with funding from the European Commission. The programme aims to address existing food and nutrition security challenges among the poorest households under social cash transfer in seven districts by increasing their resilience to climaterelated stresses and shocks. The project will support interventions that foster great resilience to climatic shocks and diversification of livelihoods for vulnerable households and create synergies with the existing support to Social Cash Transfer Programme (SCTP). With this background, Christian Aid Malawi and United Purpose jointly commissioned the baseline study for the programme. The assessment was required to establish and verify baseline indicators related to the current food and nutritional status of the project beneficiaries and their ability to respond to climatic shocks. The baseline was conducted in the 7 districts of Nsanje, Zomba and Mulanje under the United Purpose led consortium and in Chikwawa, Mwanza, Neno, Mzimba North and Mzimba South under the Christian Aid led consortium The overall objective of the assignment was to carry out a baseline study for the “Pro-ACT programme” in order to determine the pre-project situation against major project indicators. This would provide a benchmark on which to formulate project targets and a basis for assessing project milestones during and impact after implementation. [83 pages] Read More...

Increasing Mitigation, Productivity and Adaptation through Crop-Recovery Techniques (IMPACT) II Project: Endline Summary Report

In the 2015 / 2016 season, Malawi experienced severe floods and droughts that occurred as a result of El Nino weather conditions. The Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC) -composed of the Government, UN agencies and NGOs- forecasted that a minimum of 6.5 million people, or 39 percent of the country's projected population of 16.8 million, would not be able to meet their annual food requirements during the 2016/2017 consumption period. Nsanje, Phalombe and Mulanje are some of the districts that were hit hardest. CARE Malawi implemented the IMPACT project from August 2016 through July 2017 to help the people from the three districts recover their agricultural-based livelihoods. After closure, USAID’s OFDA provided a new grant of US$1,125,519 for IMPACT to run from August 2017 to July 2018 in a bid to consolidate the gains achieved in the first phase and reach additional households affected by continued dry spells and the Fall Armyworms. CARE subcontracted ADRA (Adventist Development and Relief Agency), an international NGO with experience and presence on the ground, to implement activities of the second phase in Phalombe and Mulanje (as they had in Phase I). This evaluation aimed to assess the design, performance and impact of the second phase. It used mixed methods to collect quantitative and qualitative data from 476 beneficiary households, 14 key persons and 8 fo¬cus group discussions with lead farmers, women and men, local committees and non-beneficiaries. Training of research assistants and pre-testing of study tools were done to ensure quality of the data collected. [48 pages] Read More...

Impact Assessment of Savings Groups

Researchers from IPA, along with CARE staff and their implementing partners, conducted a randomized evaluation of Village Savings and Loans Association (VSLA) programs in Ghana, Malawi, and Uganda to examine two questions: Who joins savings groups? And, what is the impact on households from programs that promote savings groups? The evaluation used a randomized control trial (RCT) design, in which eligible communities were randomly divided into two sets: a set of villages with access to a VSLA program (the treatment group) and a set of villages where the program was not implemented during the study (the control group). The study started in Ghana in 2008 and in Malawi and Uganda in 2009, and the final data collection took place in 2011 in the three countries. Each site included a panel survey in which households were surveyed before the start of the program implementation and again two or three years later. Over 15,000 households in almost 950 communities were surveyed. The surveys covered a large variety of topics, including health, education, income-generating activities, asset holdings, food consumption, non-food expenditure, intra-household decision making and community involvement. At the time of the endline survey, after an average of two years of program implementation in the three sites, one third of respondents had joined a VSLA group. On average, members had been part of a group for 15 months and 61% of members had gone through a full savings cycle, normally lasting between 8 and 12 months. The evaluation should thus be thought of as assessing the relatively short-term impacts of the intervention. [62 pages] Read More...

Southern African Nutrition Initiative (SANI): Baseline Household Evaluation — Malawi

CARE is currently implementing the South Africa Nutrition Initiative (SANI) project in Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia. The goal of SANI is to improve the nutritional status of women of reproductive age and boys and girls under 5 years. This baseline study was conducted to obtain baseline values for the key SANI intervention areas in Dowa and Ntchisi Districts of Malawi. Eleven (11) key PMF indicators were able to be measured in order to set-up baseline values and establish achievable life of project targets for SANI in Malawi. (78 pages) Read More...

Creating spaces for dialogue: a cluster-randomized evaluation of CARE’s Community Score Card on health governance outcomes

Social accountability interventions such as CARE’s Community Score Card© show promise for improving sexual, reproductive, and maternal health outcomes. A key component of the intervention is creation of spaces where community members, healthcare workers, and district officials can safely interact and collaborate to improve health-related outcomes. Here, we evaluate the intervention’s effect on governance constructs such as power sharing and equity that are central to our theory of change. Read More...

Umodzi – Men, Women, Boys and Girls in Alliance to Achieve Gender Equality Final Narrative

Umodzi was a two-year action research project to test the effectiveness and scalability of a gender-synchronized, transformational approach that is integrated into existing school-based life skills (LS) and sexuality education programs for 10- to 19-year-old adolescent boys and girls. The purpose of Umodzi was to enhance the sustained empowerment of adolescent girls in rural communities in Central Malawi to exercise their sexual and reproductive health (SRH) rights and ultimately achieve better life outcomes. The project used a comparative study to demonstrate evidence-based impact and also used a proof-of-concept component to inform process in real time. [20 [pages] Read More...

Shelter Project Performance Report

Between May and December 2016 (phase I), CARE and UNHCR provided safe, durable shelter to 531 families (1,917 people of concern) who had fled conflict in Mozambique. After starting with a transitional model using tarpaulins and blue gum poles, CARE worked with local skilled and unskilled labourers to upgrade the transitional models or create new semi-permanent shelters with mud brick walls and roofing comprised of iron sheets. The project also established kitchen gardens to support the nutrition and provide limited income generation for interested households. [12 pages] Read More...

Increasing Mitigation Productivity and Adaptation through Climate-smart Techniques

This report covers the cumulative achievements of the Increasing Mitigation Productivity and Adaptation through Climate-smart Techniques (IMPACT) project, from August 2016 to 31st July 2017 from the three targeted districts of Mulanje, Nsanje and Phalombe. Activities under the Agriculture and Food Security Sector focused on two subsectors: Improving household food security and Irrigation. [23 pages] Read More...

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