Health Policy Project

The Health Policy Project ended in 2016. Work continued under Health Policy Plus (HP+) until 2022.





Malawi is one of the fastest-growing countries in Africa. Its population has more than tripled over the last 40 years, from four million in 1968 to nearly 15 million in 2011. Less than half of all married women use any method of family planning and many more want to use family planning, with 26 percent state they have unmet need.

With the new National Population Policy poised for adoption and the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy forthcoming, the Government of Malawi is strengthening its efforts to expand family planning services, particularly at the community level. Over time, investments in family planning will lead to slower population growth and less strain on resources, thereby enabling the government to devote more funds to provide primary education, an improved public health system, and more employment opportunities.

What We Do

To ensure that access to high-quality family planning services remains a key issue for policymakers and providers, the Health Policy Project (HPP) is mobilizing the commitment to strengthen family planning services. HPP supports the Ministry of Finance, Development and Planning and other groups by improving the capacity of local partners to raise awareness about the effects of rapid population growth on development. Such capacity building aims to help public health stakeholders, including national policymakers, to better advocate for expanding family planning and reproductive health services to improve the health and well-being of all Malawians.

Develop Data and Tools for Advocacy and Policy Planning

HPP provides technical assistance to the demographic unit at the University of Malawi and the National Statistics Office (NSO) in developing and using the RAPID software model as an advocacy tool to increase commitment to expanding family planning services. HPP activities also build the capacity of the Family Planning Association of Malawi to update the RAPID model with new data from the Malawi Demographic Health Survey and conduct advocacy initiatives at the district level.

Strengthen Coordination of Family Planning and Population Activities

HPP is collaborating with partners to identify current family planning and reproductive health advocacy activities to serve as a baseline or starting point for developing a broader strategic communications plan. HPP also supports the Population Unit at the Ministry of Finance, Development and Planning to strengthen its linkages with population and development partners, including the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), the NSO, and others. In addition, HPP serves as coordinator of other USAID-funded population and family planning advocacy activities in Malawi, ensuring harmonization with relevant ministries and other related programs.

Recent Progress and Achievements

  • HPP and the Family Planning Association of Malawi presented the results of the RAPID analysis to Malawi’s Parliamentary Committee on Health and Population to raise awareness about the impacts of high population growth.
  • HPP trained representatives from University of Malawi/Chancellor College Demography Unit, NSO, Family Planning Association of Malawi, and Ministry of Finance, Development and Population on using the Spectrum Policy Modeling System and RAPID.

Publications and Resources

Integration of Family Planning and HIV Services in Malawi: An Assessment at the Facility Level

Inconsistencies in the Total Fertility Rate and Contraceptive Prevalence Rate in Malawi

Health Budget Advocacy: A Guide for Civil Society in Malawi

Gender-based Violence in Malawi: A Literature Review to Inform the National Response

Report on the Orientation of District Staff on the Joint Sector Strategic Plan (JSSP), Strategic Plan, and the Institutional Framework

Youth-Friendly Health Services (YFHS) in Malawi: How Does the YFHS Program Performance Match Up to National Standards?

Youth-Friendly Health Services in Malawi: Do Youth Know of and Use These Services?

Youth-Friendly Health Services in Malawi: Young People's Sexual Experiences

Peace in My Home, Peace in My Country: Informing Malawi’s National Response to Intimate Partner Violence

Achieving the MDGs in Malawi:The Contribution of Family Planning and FP2020 Goals

Engaging Religious Leaders in Managing Population Growth in Malawi 
In 2013, religious leaders from the six major Christian and Muslim religious bodies in Malawi observed a "Population Weekend," speaking to their congregations about the health and social benefits of family planning and managing population growth. This video was developed by the USAID-funded Health Policy Project in Malawi, in collaboration with local partners.

Population Malawi Website
This website aims to raise the profile of the population agenda and development issues in Malawi. It is a resource center for Technical Working Group (TWG) on Population and Development Advocacy members to share communication and advocacy materials on population and development including family planning.

Malawi Country Factsheet (PDF) 

RAPID Malawi: Overview  

RAPID Malawi: Booklet 

RAPID Malawi: Presentation 

Parliamentarians in Malawi Advance Family Planning Agenda (PDF)


Health Policy Project Exchange: Systems Strengthening For Improved Sexual and Reproductive Health Outcomes

Midwives: We’re the Change Makers!

Religious Leaders Rise for Population Management 

Malawi Parliamentarians Secure First National Funding for Family Planning Commodities

A Profile of HPP's Olive Mtema and Her Dedication to Family Planning in Malawi

Case Study: Parliamentarians in Malawi Examine Impacts of Rapid Population Growth  


HPP collaborates with a range of in-country and international partners in Malawi, including:

  • Family Planning Association of Malawi
  • Ministry of Finance, Development and Planning
  • National Statistics Office
  • University of Malawi/Chancellor College’s Demographic Unit
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The Health Policy Project is a five-year cooperative agreement funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development under Agreement No. AID-OAA-A-10-00067, beginning September 30, 2010. The project's HIV-related activities are supported by the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). It is implemented by Futures Group, in collaboration with Plan International USA, Avenir Health (previously Futures Institute), Partners in Population and Development, Africa Regional Office (PPD ARO), Population Reference Bureau (PRB), RTI International, and White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood (WRA). The information provided on this Web site is not official U.S. Government information and does not represent the views or positions of the U.S. Agency for International Development or the U.S. Government.

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