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UNESCO received the first request for assistance from the Republic of Malawi in 2008 requesting assistance in reviewing its science, technology and innovation (STI) policy. Malawi was part of the beneficiary countries from the first phase of the Spanish funded project on Capacity Building for STI policy in Africa. In this phase, UNESCO supported the elaboration of the country’s status report on STI and the revision of the national STI policy. In March 2009, a stakeholders consultation meeting was organized on the STI policy draft review and the STI indicators and statistics report for the country. It is to be noted that according to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), STI statistics and indicators are severely lacking for Malawi. The outcome of the workshop produced revised versions of the draft status report, and the policy review was sent to UNESCO for comments. Due to national elections, changes in the STI policy staff and senior Ministry officials, including the Minister for STI, the STI policy validation process was put on hold.

UNESCO renewed its cooperation with the country in August 2012, within the framework of the current Spanish project, when an official letter was addressed to the Minister responsible for science and technology (S&T), Prof Kazembe, to redefine the new priorities and organize the follow-up of the STI policy activities conducted so far. The activities within this new phase of the project included several components:

  1. Strengthening the capacity of the government and main stakeholders to support the finalization of the process to review and adopt the revised STI policy for Malawi; and
  2. Designing a monitoring and evaluation system for the implementation of the STI policy and related policy instruments in Malawi.

In line with the above, Malawi participated in the sub-regional training workshop on the Global Observatory of Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Instruments (GO-SPIN) that was organized in Harare (Zimbabwe) in November 2012. As a result of the training, the Ministry committed to fill in the GO-SPIN country profile survey that exposed the most urgent challenges facing the STI system and possible policy instruments to solve them.

Once the national taskforce produced the draft GO-SPIN country survey, the UNESCO GO-SPIN expert undertook a mission to the country in February 2014 to improve it and present it at a national workshop. Based on its results analysis, a GO-SPIN country profile "Mapping Research and Innovation" in the Republic of Malawi (pdf)  was published in book form by UNESCO in September 2014, making it the third volume within UNESCO’s series of GO-SPIN Country Profiles in STI Policy.

This country profile also served as a spring board to discuss the STI policy review and to propose an inclusive national system for STI data collection and analysis done by the UNESCO international expert. A national consultant was recruited to assist in the policy work together with the national task force and propose modifications to the STI Act.

All the outcomes were largely presented and validated during a national forum that took place in June 2014 with the main STI stakeholders attending, including officials from various science-based ministries.


Articles and Publications

UNESCO Science Report: Towards 2030 – Malawi (pdf)

UNESCO Science Report, 2015

Mapping Research and Innovation in the Republic of Malawi (pdf)

GO-SPIN Country Profile in STI Policy, 2014


> UNESCO's Country Profile of Malawi

> Latest STI Statistics (UNESCO Institute for Statistics)

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