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Voluntary National Review 2020

1.0 Introduction

  • Government of Malawi integrated the SDGs into its national development planning framework, the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS III). This process cascaded to the local development planning process including the indicator frameworks in order to customise the global indicators. Progress reporting on SDGs hence happens in the context of district and national plans.

2.0 Country ownership

  • The development planning process in Malawi is highly participatory. The Post 2015 consultation process helped Malawi to effectively input into the formulation of the SDGs. SDGs were translated into 3 main local languages to increase awareness at subnational level;
  • In reviewing SDGs progress for the VNR, Malawi engaged a multi-stakeholder technical and steering committee that comprised state, non-state actors and umbrella bodies. These met and harnessed inputs from their constituents, mostly employing virtual means amidst COVID-19.

3.0 Leaving no one behind

  • Malawi is implementing the National Social Support Programme II (2018-2023) which has seen the expansion of social support provision nationwide with mechanism for scaling-up during disasters/epidemics/pandemics;
  • Malawi implements the Agenda 2030 through promoting human rights standards in a manner consistent with its commitments under international law. Malawi ensures protection and fulfilment of rights of everyone in its jurisdiction, with a focus on the most vulnerable;
  • Malawi prioritizes collection of disaggregated data in order to better identify the most disadvantaged and vulnerable groups of people. These include the multidimensional poverty analyses, integrated HH surveys, and Population and Housing Census;
  • Malawi has increased efforts towards the elimination of violence against women and children through such interventions as the Spotlight Initiative whereby girls and women that are at risk of violence are able to access essential services including sexual and reproductive health and there is accountability for perpetrators of violence.

4.0 Institutional mechanisms

  • Malawi has recently established the National Planning Commission that domesticates SDGs in the national vision and medium-term development plans that ensue at all levels as well as overseeing their implementation;
  • Malawi is strengthening Sector Working Groups to facilitate quick realisation of development objectives through sector-wide approaches to planning, implementation and monitoring of various development policies.

5.0 progress on Goals and Targets

  • Malawi is making significant progress on 29 of the 169 targets especially around SDG 3 and SDG4 (on health and education respectively); moderate and poor progress is being made on 59 and 81 of the targets respectively; the 29 targets that are progressing well include significant decline on under-five mortality rates; Gender parity in primary schools already equal to parity; Net Enrolment in Primary Schools is close to target;
  • Malawi is experiencing insufficient long-term progress on SDG 1 relating to poverty eradication whose targets are showing negative trends due to recurring disasters and insufficient investment in empowerment activities. However, even though over half of the population lives below the poverty line, the rate of extreme poverty has significantly improved. Relatedly, child marriage remains high affecting 42% of girls.

6.0 Means of implementation

  • Malawi’s partners have rallied their support towards national development objectives through alignment of their country assistance strategies. However, an increase in support towards productive sectors is required;
  • Malawi encourages stakeholder engagement and support for predictable financing mechanisms and enhanced M&E on SDGs, and ensuring that CSOs are particularly empowered in this direction.
  • Malawi is committed to increase coordination, accountability and transparency in resource use among stakeholders through utilisation of the Aid Management Platform (AMP).

7.0 Data management

  • Malawi has developed a National Statistical System Strategic Plan (2020-2023) to ensure evidence-based planning and timely availability of official statistics for monitoring and evaluation of MGDS III and SDGs.

8.0 Key challenges

  • Largely, social inequalities and ineffective monitoring and evaluation systems for accountability are posing a challenge in realising the SDGs targets;
  • A prolonged global and national economic slow-down caused by COVID-19 will adversely impact progress in implementation of SDGs since there is diversion of focus and resources from national development priorities towards containing the spread of the pandemic.

9.0 Way forward to accelerate SDG implementation

  • Guiding external support towards building domestic capacity for revenue mobilization including for containing COVID-19, specific priority sector implementation capacity support, and fighting corruption which erodes implementation resources.
Focal point
Ms. Etta Mmangisa
Secretary for Research and Environmental Affairs

Documents & Reports

National Reports
Report Topics covered Process
National Report - Malawi Rio+20;

Partnerships & Commitments
The below is a listing of all partnership initiatives and voluntary commitments where Malawi is listed as a partner or lead entity in the Partnerships for SDGs online platform
18 Jul 2017
22 Jun 2012
2 Sep 2002
United Nations