Chapter 13: Case Study 3. Public Works Programmes, Malawi
OVERVIEW Public works programmes (PWPs) in Malawi go back at least to 1995, when the Malawi Social Action Fund (MASAF) was created. MASAF is an ongoing programme, now in its third phase, which has attracted funding in the form of soft loans or grants to the tune of about US$250 million since it started (up to 2007). Nor is MASAF the only PWP sponsoring agency in Malawi, other large programmes in recent years having been funded by the EU through the Government of Malawi (GoM/EU), and by the Government of Malawi itself in the form of a Ministry of Transport and Public Works (MTPW) scheme. Over the years, many small scale PWP schemes operating for short durations in limited geographical areas have also been implemented by NGOs. Table C3.1 provides a list of large scale PWPs that have run in Malawi in the 2000s, as well as some details of their mode of operation. The big PWP schemes such as those run by MASAF have been countrywide. They aim to underpin the livelihoods of the poor and vulnerable by providing employment during critical months of the year. Typical design features include using a low wage or food ration as a self-targeting mechanism, work on a public infrastructure project (mostly road construction or repair), work norms based on task rates, short duration of employment, and wide geographical coverage (except for smaller, NGO run projects). To give just one example, the MASAF CCT scheme (MASAF-CCT) that ran from September to November...
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