A community meeting to verify the households to be included in the UBR, Dedza District, Malawi.
Photo: © Mc Neil Mhango

16.06.2017

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Social protection programmes are increasingly making use of integrated IT solutions in order to register and reach beneficiaries. The benefits of these solutions and how their integration into comprehensive systems can be accomplished while maintaining government ownership can be learnt from the case of Malawi.

Social protection interventions need to capture, store, and process large amounts of data in order to identify eligible beneficiaries. Malawi’s Social Cash Transfer Programme (SCTP), for instance, collects a variety of information on households in order to determine who is most in need of support. It gathers information on the type of housing materials used (e.g. the type of floor, roof or latrine), whether the household owns land and how many meals its members eat per day, among other things. The data are kept in an electronic management information system and can be accessed by various users; this system also uses an algorithm to select beneficiaries.

But the SCTP is not the only social protection programme in Malawi. In fact, it constitutes just one of the five pillars of the country’s social protection system; the other four are the Public Works Programme (PWP), the School Feeding Programme, Village Savings and Loans Associations and Microfinance.

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