Implementation of donor funded projects by selected public institutions in Malawi

Mangeni, Chimwemwe Joey
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The purpose of the study was to establish factors affecting implementation of donor funded projects by public institutions in Malawi, with reference to the Rule of Law Project, a project funded by the European Union. Despite having a number of donor-funded projects in Malawi aimed at facilitating development and alleviation of poverty, there are many challenges that are faced by the public institutions in the course of implementing donor funded projects. The target population of the study was beneficiary institutions of the Rule of Law Project in Malawi. The sample was six respondents from purposively selected three beneficiary institutions of the Rule of Law Project. Data collection involved use of semi structured questionnaire and interviews of key staff involved in project implementation. The key findings of the study were as follows: factors that affected implementation of the Rule of Law Project in Malawi included levels of participation in the project by various actors, degree of support by the Project Implementation Unit, degree of support by institutional top management, changes of beneficiary institution staff responsible for the implementation of the project, bureaucratic procedures, delays in procurement of project items, delays in liquidating funds, rules and procedures governing the project, weak coordination among the beneficiary institutions, business as usual mentality, lack of incentives to motivate project implementers as well as lack of a harmonized monitoring and evaluation function. Almost all the respondents indicated that capacity building for the public institutions is important to ensure smooth implementation of projects. The following recommendations were drawn that could be used to enhance the effectiveness of donor funded projects in Malawi: Promoting professionalism and leadership autonomy of project management in public institutions; enhancing integrated planning in project management; capacity building for staff of the implementing agencies; ensuring coordination among projects beneficiaries, stakeholders and development partners; encourage donor harmonization and alignment of procedures and continuous provision of technical support by the Project Implementation Unit.
Economic assistance, Domestic;Sustainable development;Project management;Economic conditions--Malawi