Assessment of World Learning's Malawi Scholarship Program (MSP) Report

The purpose of this performance assessment of the Malawi Scholarship Program (MSP) is to provide USAID/Malawi information about the program’s efficacy and relative importance in ensuring an adequate number of trained healthcare workers for the health sector in Malawi. The assessment team adopted a mixed-methods approach that integrated a thorough analysis of project documents, a secondary analysis of existing quantitative data, and the collection of primary qualitative data generated during fieldwork and gathered through key informant interviews, focus group discussions, and group interviews.
Available evidence suggests that the design and implementation of the activity will achieve only three of the six objectives by the time the project comes to an end in 2020. The project has, to a limited extent, enabled recipients to contribute to health service delivery in family planning/reproductive health; maternal, neonatal, and child health; pharmacy; HIV/AIDS; and nutrition, yet only 149 scholarship recipients have so far been deployed out of the 376 that graduated (through in-country training). Adding the 32 third-country training and US training recipients who are in-service, the number comes to 181 out of a total of 799 scholarship recipients enrolled.
USAID/Malawi should sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of Malawi on scholarships to enhance coordination of the MSP and deployment of scholarship recipients. Concerted efforts by the government and key development players are urgently needed to address delayed deployment of scholarship recipients from pre-service training—given high vacancy rates and delayed project benefit realization—through coordination, budget availability, and prioritization. There is also an urgent need to prioritize recruitment and make funds available to facilitate absorption of the trained health workers.

Resource type: 
Operating Unit: 
Kennedy Musonda
Mathildah Chithila-Munthali
Publication date: 
November, 2019
Technical Area: 
Contract mechanism: 
GH Pro