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Malawi Annual district education budget and services monitoring

The broad aim of the Civil Society Coalition for Quality Basic Education (CSCQBE) has been to enhance monitoring and advocacy efforts in relation to the government’s commitment to free primary education.

Budget work was a core part of CSCQBE’s monitoring of government policy and financial commitments. It has been used to hold the government to account for its commitment to free primary education by verifying that resources allocated to primary education are sufficient to meet policy objectives, and ensuring that resources are spent as planned.

Findings from the education budget monitoring study showed a decrease in the percentage of the national budget allocated to education. These findings were used to lobby successfully for an increase in the education sector’s share of the national budget.


• Pre-budget analysis

• Post-budget analysis

• Annual school budget and performance monitoring


• Increase in share of national budget allocated to education

• Back-dating of pay for teachers where payments had been delayed


• Wide reach of the coalition at district and national levels

• Engagement in both district and national level budget processes


Karanga District budget advocacy

In Karonga District, members of the district education network discovered, through their annual education budget monitoring in partnership with the Coalition, that there was an inequitable distribution of teaching and learning materials (TLMs) – specifically of textbooks. Some schools had an oversupply of materials, while others did not even have textbooks. The Karonga district education network members met with the district education manager to discuss this problem. The district education manager was very sympathetic to this issue and indicated that he would discuss this with other officials and get back to the network members. He asked the members to indicate which schools had an oversupply of textbooks and which had shortages. At a later meeting with the district education manager, the manager and the network members attempted to resolve this issue by examining how they could redistribute the textbooks in an equitable manner. The textbooks were redistributed and there is now a closer partnership between the network members and the district education office.


Budget advocacy in Zomba District, Malawi

Education budget monitoring in the Zomba District found that the World Bank-funded Direct Support to Schools Project had implementation problems. Major problems included a lack of community involvement in the procurement process and the late arrival of textbooks. The Zomba District education network shared its findings with the Ministry of Education and the World Bank who agreed to support the network’s recommendations for change. The network members recommended that the district education office ensure community participation in the district budget process. This was agreed by the district education office which invited members of the network to contribute to the education budget process and to become involved in textbook procurement.


Read more: CEF Making the Budget Work for Education: Experiences, achievements and lessons from civil society budget work