An Investigation of How Local Councils in Malawi are Guided by Decentralization Policy in Project Selection and Implementation: The Case of Nutrition Security Projects in the District Development Plan 2017-22 of Zomba District Council

Nicholas Mwisama


Decentralization policy prescribes active and wide participation of citizens in project choice and implementation for Malawi’s local councils  to achieve ownership and sustainability. From both literature and empirical data, this paper examines how decentralization policy in the local councils guides  project choice and  implementation focussing on nutrition security projects. The study was carried out through a case study of Zomba district local council with concentration on governance aspect as there was insufficient data to show how decentralization policy corroborates projects selection and implementation in the local councils. Purposive sampling, coupled with snowball sampling, was used to identify respondents and data was analysed through thematic area analysis using Nvivo for windows. The paper concludes that selection and implementation of projects, especially on nutrition security, in the local councils is carried out with abundant disregard to governance structures as stipulated in the laws and decentralization policy. It recommends, among other strategic measures, filling of all key positions in the local councils and put in place a transparent and responsive implementation framework.

Keywords: Malawi, Decentralization Policy, Local Council, Project selection and implementation, Nutrition security

DOI: 10.7176/PPAR/11-9-05

Publication date: November 30th 2021

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5731 ISSN (Online)2225-0972

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