|Overview : |
Malawi developed a National Registration and Identification System Project in October 2016 following a successful proof of concept phase. The goal of the project is to establish a permanent and continuous national registration and identification system in Malawi. The project has the following outputs:
- Up to 9 million Malawians are registered and issued with a National Identity card in 2017
- NRIS is transitioned to a permanent and continuous registration system
- Government MDAs are assisted to adopt the use of the NRIS.
- Project is efficiently managed, staffed and coordinated, and is implemented with national ownership.
The project has been implemented with financial and technical assistance from DFID, EU, USAID, Norway, Irish Aid and UNDP from 1 November 2016 through basket fund arrangement with UNDP as the managing agent. The initial budget for the project was $50,868,742 of which $20,858,400 was government contribution and the rest was provided by the development partners.
The project implemented a mass registration exercise between 01 November 2016 and 31 December 2018 during which period 8.94 Million Malawians were registered and issued with national identification cards. To date 9.3 million Malawians have been issued with national identification cards. UNDP and the National Registration Bureau under the Ministry of Home Affairs are the main implementing partners for the project.
During the mass registration phase the project engaged over 4200 Registration personnel who were deployed in centres throughout the country. Given the complexity of the exercise PricewaterhouseCoopers were engaged to provide human resource services. Card production was outsourced to a firm in France. Subsequently, the project has deployed registration personnel in all 28 district councils and selected Post Offices across the country in registration and card distribution exercises.
The project was designed to be completed by December 2018 but was extended to 31 December 2019 to provide time for refurbishing of some Post Office buildings to host registration services and support use of national identification cards by service providers in the public and private sectors.
The project has been further extended and revised to incorporate outputs on child registration, issuance of birth certificate and use of birth certificates. This component is being implemented with technical support from UNICEF. The current phase of the project has been extended to 31 December 2021.
The project has not been evaluated since its inception. According to UNDP policies it is mandatory to evaluate projects of its resource size twice: at mid-term and at the end of its life. While some elements of the project which started in 2016 are continuing, most components were completed by December 2019. It is important to evaluate the project now while would-be key informants to evaluators and project personnel are still around and still remember important details of the project.
The evaluation is going to take place during a Covid-19 pandemic which has affected almost all countries in the world. As of 28 September, 2020 Malawi had 5,770 confirmed cases of which ……….. have recovered and 179 have died. Among the measures taken to prevent the spread of the virus, Government has ordered use of masks in all public places, in government offices and public transport. Regular flights in and out of the country were suspended from March 2020. However, government has announced the opening of its airports from 1st October 2020. Schools which were closed in March are opening in a phased manner from 7 September 2020. All classes will be open from 12 October 2020.