Scottish Government funded projects

The Scotland Malawi Partnership (SMP) is core funded by, but independent to, the Scottish Government. We applaud the strong commitment that successive Scottish Governments have made to Malawi.

This page details the Malawi projects currently funded by the Scottish Government, all of which are making a positive contribution to transforming lives through real, dignified partnerships. You can find further information on the Scottish Government’s webpage.

Capacity-strengthening initiatives

Blantyre-Blantyre Clinical Research Project

Blantyre research project

Project Description: The Scottish Government are providing the University of Glasgow with £1 million over five years, which will be match funded, to fund a collaborative clinical research project with the College of Medicine in Blantyre, Malawi, and the Malawi Liverpool Wellcome Trust.

The project will set up three fully-equipped laboratories at the College of Medicine in Blantyre, enabling scientists there to conduct research into increasingly prevalent non-communicable diseases in Malawi. This will create a comparison between the populations of Blantyre in West Central Scotland and Blantyre in Malawi, and is believed to be a unique study between two such countries.

The project will aim to establish the key markers of certain non-communicable diseases among the local population, and to compare these results with research into the Glasgow Effect and the prevalence of similar conditions in the population of West Central Scotland. The new facilities will also enable the College of Medicine to host clinical trials of the drugs associated with these conditions, and provide a future platform for clinical trials in other areas.

Find out more here:

Image: The Blantyre-Blantyre Clinical Research Project team.

Community Energy Malawi Organisation

Community Energy Malawi Organisation

Project Description: The Scottish Government are providing up to £100,000 over four years, via Strathclyde University, to continue to support the small Malawi-based Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) Community Energy Malawi. Community Energy Malawi was originally established under the Scottish Government's £2.3 million Malawi Renewable Energy Acceleration Programme (MREAP).

This further funding, along with business and technical support, will continue to support and build capacity in rural communities in accessing clean energy, improving health, education and economic development.

Find out more here: https://www.communityenergymal...

Image: Edgar Kapiza Bayani, Communuity Energy Malawi's founding CEO.

Police Scotland in Africa

Project Description: The Scottish Government provided Police Scotland with £500,000 per year until 2019 to support the specialist training they are carrying out with police forces in Malawi, Zambia and Rwanda for tackling gender-based violence and improving child protection. This builds upon work that Police Scotland has been doing with the Malawian Police Service since 2016, supported by funding from our IDF, in response to and as part of the Government of Malawi's Food Insecurity response plan.

From 2019, following the success of Police Scotland’s work with police forces in Malawi and Zambia to help them tackle gender-based violence and improve child protection, the Scottish Government are supporting an expanded Police partnership programme to protect vulnerable groups in Malawi and Zambia. The phase 2 expanded programme will now support leadership to tackle local issues and give support to a wider range of marginalised groups such as women, children, those with disabilities, LGBTI and people with albinism.

Find out more here:

Scotland Malawi Psychiatry Capacity Development Project and Zambia extension/ Scotland Malawi Mental Health Education Project (SMMHEP)

Malawi mental health app Square

Project Description: The Scottish Government are providing up to £300,000 over four years to the Scotland Malawi Mental Health Education Project (SMMHEP) to deliver the Scotland Malawi Psychiatry Capacity Development Project. This project aims to address the chronic lack of mental healthcare provision in Malawi.

Building on two previous Scottish Government grants that established Malawi's first ever M.Med Psychiatry, it will provide funding for four trainees to become clinically qualified psychiatrists at Malawi's College of Medicine. Trainees will undertake two years' training at the College of Medicine and two years' specialist tuition at the University of Cape Town. The trainees will be supported by e-learning materials previously created under a University of Edinburgh project funded by the Scottish Government.

Building on SMMHEP (which was Malawi only), the Scottish Government awarded an enhanced package of support to improve psychiatric care in Zambia and promote cross-border psychiatry training with Malawi in October 2018.

Led in Scotland by the SMMHEP, this mental health programme is innovative and incredibly powerful. It involves mental health staff from across a collaboration of NHS Boards in Scotland, coming together to support two of our partner countries, and in collaboration with the Colleges of Medicine in both Malawi and Zambia.

Find out more here:


Image: Promotional image from the SMMHEP innovative mental health app.

Civic Governance

Chance for Change/ Access to Justice

Project Description: The overall objective of this project is to support the Malawi Government in enabling access to justice, and humane, child-welfare based treatment for children in conflict with the law in Malawi.

Find out more here: https://www.chanceforchange.or...

Climate Justice Fund

Climate Challenge Programme Malawi

Project Description: The CCPM is a Scottish Government initiative helping rural communities in Malawi find innovative solutions to problems caused by climate change. The CCPM is funded by the Scottish Government, administered by SCIAF and implemented in collaboration with Trócaire Malawi and a range of Malawian partner organisations.

The three year, £3.2 million programme is enabling vulnerable Malawian communities to identify and implement solutions to the climate challenges they face, with a particular focus to helping the most vulnerable, including women and girls, and promoting human rights.

The CCPM provides a clear example of climate justice in action, recognising that people in developing countries are the first to be affected by climate change, and will suffer the most, despite having done little or nothing to cause the problem.

Find out more here:

Contact: Ciara Commins

Malawi Climate Leaders


Project Description: Malawi Climate Leaders (MCL) was a project run jointly by our sister organisation, the Malawi Scotland Partnership and the 2050 Climate Group, funded by Scottish Government. The project equipped young Malawians with opportunities to increase their knowledge on climate change challenges and developed the skills necessary to take climate action. During COP26, Malawi Climate Leaders hosted a hugely successful COP hub in Lilongwe, which facilitated video conferencing into events in Glasgow.

Find out more here:

Image: Malawi Young Climate Leaders.


Global Concerns Trust/ Tools and training for livelihood in Malawi

Project Description: To contribute to the reduction of poverty, the enhancement of economic sustainability and participation in development processes of people with disabilities in Malawi, while promoting skill development, well-being and engagement in international development of people with disabilities in the UK.

Find out more here:

Contact: Emma Duncan
Contact Global Concerns Trust here.

Mary's Meals/ Mary's Meals pre-school and primary feeding programme in Malawi

Marys meals logo extra small

Project Description: This project will provide school feeding to vulnerable children in 27 primary and 79 Early Childhood Development centres (ECDs) in Zomba, southern Malawi, reducing classroom hunger and promoting access, participation and progression through primary education.

Find out more here:

Image: Mary's Meals logo.

Sense Scotland/ Promoting equal access to education in Malawi North

Sense scotland

Project Description: The project will work in Northern Malawi with children, young people, families, schools, communities and all traditional and governmental authorities to address negative attitudes towards disability, improve access to quality and relevant education and to enable all children regardless of disability to reach their full potential.

Find out more here:

Contact: Karen Goodman-Jones

Image: Sense Scotland logo.

Link Education International

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Reaching Our Goals

Project Description: Reaching Our Goals aims to improve marginalised adolescent girls’ ability to make informed decisions about their future, better enabling them to lead the lives they choose. In complementary basic education centres run by Link, Reaching Our Goals uses a Sport For Change approach to support the most vulnerable girls to develop literacy and numeracy and return to school, engage in vocational training, or enter safe, fairly-paid employment.

Link partnered with United Purpose to develop a netball-based empowerment curriculum which is delivered by community facilitators. Adolescent girls and boys participate in netball drills which are designed to teach self-confidence, sexual & reproductive health, and other life skills. Netball tournaments provide opportunities to showcase marginalised girls’ skills, challenge stereotypes, and promote their rights. Simultaneously, the project works through community and government structures to make education and work more accessible and inclusive of marginalised adolescent girls.

In 2021, 205 girls graduated from the learning centres. 64 enrolled in vocational training, 27 returned to school, 65 joined entrepreneurship training, and 19 found a job.

This project is funded by Comic Relief in partnership with the Scottish Government through the Levelling The Field Programme.

Find out more here:

Kate Sykes


NHS Tayside/ Scottish Emergency Medicine – Malawi Project

Project Description: To develop fit for purpose and sustainable Emergency and Trauma Units at all Central Hospitals in Malawi – replicating the significant improvement to delivery of essential Emergency care as experienced at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital Blantyre (the pilot for this project), with the aim of delivering in Malawi, for the first time, a National Emergency and Trauma network.

Find out more here: https://www.scottishglobalheal...

St John Scotland/ Community action and service access for maternal, newborn and child health

Project Description: The project aims to improve maternal, newborn and child health by increasing health behaviours and the use of critical health services, and by removing barriers to the provision of Malawi's Essential Health Package (EHP).

Find out more here:

Contact: Angus Loudon

University of Edinburgh/ Moving towards sustainability: strengthening rural health facilities

Project Description: The project will build on the prior collaborative and successful partnership working between Malawi and Scotland in delivery of same day cervical cancer 'screen and treat' programmes, and seeks to support rollout of that work in Northern, Central and Southern Regions, based on developing effective mentoring tools, strengthening health professional skills within Malawi, and extending services to rural health facilities.

Find out more here:

University of Glasgow/ Towards a Dental School for Malawi – The Maldent Project

Maldent project

Project Description: To establish an undergraduate dental degree (BDS) programme within the Faculty of Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Malawi, (now the Kamuzu University of Health Sciences) which will train Malawian dentists who are 'globally competent and locally relevant' and will be able to provide support for the delivery of a national oral health programme. The MalDent Project has also worked closely with the Malawi Government Ministry of Health and other key stakeholders to develop a National Oral Health Policy.

Find out more here:

Contact: Jeremy Bagg

Image: Students of the Maldent Project alongside Dr Joyce Gondwe, University of Malawi College of Medicine Dean of Students.

Water Aid/ Deliver life to mothers, girls and children in the southern region of Malawi

Project Description: This project aims to improve the health of mothers, girls and children in rural and peri-urban low income areas of Machinga and Zomba by facilitating access to safe water, improved sanitation and good hygiene in health care facilities, early childhood development centres and communities.

Find out more here:

Renewable Energy

University of Strathclyde/ Rural energy access through social enterprise and decentralisation (EASE)

Project Description: The EASE project works with local and national structures to address energy poverty in marginalised rural communities in Dedza and Balaka Districts through the deployment of appropriate renewable energy infrastructure and service provision under sustainable social business models and decentralised energy strategies.

Find out more here:

Contact: Damien Frame

Sustainable Economic Development

Challenges Worldwide/ CROPS

Challenges Group extra small

Project Description: The overall aim of this project is to strengthen farmer owned crop Value Addition Centres while creating rural sustainable business models and wealth for smallholder farmers.

Find out more here:

Image: Challenges Group logo.

Cleaner Cooking

Cleaner cooking pledge

Project Description: The Scottish Government signed up to the Cleaner Cooking Pledge with confirmed funding of £50,000 towards the Cleaner Cooking Coalition. In Malawi it has been estimated that 90% of the population rely on open fires – using wood, coal or charcoal – for their cooking or heating. The use of such fuels are environmentally damaging and contribute to deforestation, and have negative consequences on people’s health and wellbeing. It is particularly harmful for women and girls – who are most exposed to smoke; who suffer more scalding and burning accidents; and who spend the most time finding fuel. Malawi has already made major efforts to promote cleaner cooking – in recent years it has made 2 million cleaner cooking stoves available. It now has ambitious future targets: a further 2 million cleaner stoves by 2025; cleaner cooking for all families by 2030; and a transition to net-zero cooking by 2050. Scottish Government funding will help to raise awareness of the importance of cleaner cooking, and it will help communities and organisations in Malawi to make even better progress with the initiative.

Image: Honorable Nancy Tembo MP, Minister of Forestry and Natural Resources Malawi, presents the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon with a cleaner cooking stove at COP26.

Gender Based Violence, Mental Health and Climate Justice Research

Gender Based Violence, Mental Health and Climate Justice Research

Project Description: The Glasgow Caledonian University is undertaking Scottish Government funded research into the Inter-Relationship Between Climate Change, Gender Based Violence, Mental Health and Climate Justice in Malawi. Gender-based violence and mental health issues are often hidden behind the face of the physical devastation that is occurring as a result of climate change. The research seeks to develop and provide clear and robust guidance on supporting the recovery needs of women to help rebuild lives, rebuild resilience and rebuild a future that is climate just.

Only a small fraction of the SMP’s 1,200+ members have ever received funding from government, with most volunteer run and community funded. However, we feel that the Scottish Government’s Malawi Development Programme, its Climate Justice Fund, and its other work in Malawi are a hugely important part of the bilateral relationship and we commend the Scottish Government for its continuing commitment to Malawi.