Decentralization aims to ensure that effective, efficient and quality education is adapted to the needs of districts, areas and schools. The Education Decentralization Support Activity (EDSA) helped Malawi’s Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MOEST) facilitate decentralization at the district and school levels by developing clear policies and procedures. FHI 360’s EDSA activities in six districts resulted in lessons on decentralization from different settings, which the project shared with the MOEST so it could refine policies and systems.
The project improved the use of education indicators in policy development, monitoring and decision making. EDSA developed a tool that helps district education offices use school-level data for allocating resources to schools. The project also focused on professional development in financial management, data collection and evaluation, and communication to improve planning and decision making. In addition, the project strengthened the MOEST Monitoring and Evaluation Unit, as well as district-level capacity in monitoring and evaluation.
EDSA helped engage local communities in improving their schools, including assisting with decisions on hiring teachers, buying materials, renovating classrooms and securing training for parent-teacher association officers. The project supplied orphans and other children in primary schools with school and exam fees, uniforms, shoes and hygiene products; those in secondary school received school and exam fees. Students with HIV received grants to pay for food supplements, clothing and transportation to medical centers.