Name: Formulation of the National Social Support Programme (NSSP)
Year: 2010-2011
Client: UNICEF
Country: Malawi
Background: The Government of Malawi embarked on the process of formulating a five-year National Social Support Programme (NSSP) to provide a holistic package of social support to the country’s poor with the ultimate goal of reducing poverty. The new programme will operationalize the country’s social support policy. The policy is set to support the formulation and execution of programmes and projects that have long-lasting positive impacts on the lives of the ultra and moderately poor.
Objectives: The overall objective of the exercise was to put in place an integrated social protection system representing the strategic coordination of existing and new social support programmes. This system was to be interpreted as a reliable and accessible provider of credible support, placed alongside the main thrust of public policy, which was to create conditions under which those people who could be self-reliant to build their own pathways out of poverty. A comprehensive, integrated, and properly financed system was to give effect to the constitutional right of Malawians to social protection was expected to be institutionalised as a result of this NSSP formulation process.

The specific objective of the work of the Team Leader was to coordinate the design of the social support programme interventions with all stakeholders. The Team Leader was expected to provide technical guidance on the stakeholder consultative process, assist in facilitation of thematic workshops, carryout necessary background analytical work and assist the MDPC in compiling the NSSP document. He was expected to work with thematic facilitators, rapportuers and above all desk officers in charge of thematic programmes in the Department of Poverty Reduction and Social Protection. The final document was expected to be a concise, results-oriented and properly costed 5 year programme that identifies a technically sound institutional arrangement for implementation and lays out a solid basis for funding by government, bilateral and multilateral development partners, non-governmental organisations and the private sector.

It was anticipated that the work of the consultant and of MDPC in developing the NSSP will revolve around seven areas of programming, each of which was expected to become a fully fledged component or sub-programme under the NSSP. These were:

  • Farm input subsidies;
  • Public works programmes/cash or food or input for work;
  • Social insurance (social, crop and livestock);
  • Village savings loans;
  • Micro-credit / micro – finance;
  • Targeted support to school meals; and
  • Social cash transfers.
Activities: The scope of work consisted of seven main tasks which were included in the Terms of Reference of the mission but have also been further elaborated / clarified during meetings with the MDPC. These are to:

a)    Carryout field visits to familiarise with the existing social support programmes in Malawi;

b)    Coordinate regional study tours to facilitate learning from other countries;

c)    Coordinate (and where necessary facilitate) national stakeholder consultative workshops on various social support interventions and review in those the existing Social Support interventions and their coherence with the National Social Support Policy;

d)    Appraise the existing social support interventions in Malawi for redesign, piloting and /or scale up;

e)    Compile one holistic social support programme with several components;

f)     Cost the various agreed upon NSSP components on the basis of a 5-year implementation cycle;

g)    Coordinate one final workshop with all key stakeholders from national and district levels to validate the various components designed and establish the linkages among them;

h)    Ensure consensus on the various components and on the holistic outline of the Social Support Programme amongst all key social support stakeholders by using a variety of methodologies: workshops on the individual components, a one week workshop on the entirety of the programme outline, bilateral and multilateral meetings with government, development partners and civil society; and

i)      Provide requisite input as resource person for the national disseminations of the final NSSP document.

Special Recognition: