Millennium Challenge Account-Malawi (MCA-Malawi) has signed a $800 000 (about K546 million) Programme Cooperation Agreement (PCA) with the National Statistics Office (NSO) to support the implementation of the Fourth Integrated Household Survey (IHS4) and the Fourth Integrated Household Panel Survey (IHPS4).
MCA-Malawi chief executive officer (CEO) Susan Banda, speaking during the signing ceremony at MCA-Malawi offices in Lilongwe, said NSO surveys are a source of valuable data for monitoring and evaluation activities of the $350.7 million (about K223.4 billion) power sector compact.
The compact’s Power Sector Revitalisation Project seeks to increase the capacity and stability of the national electricity grid and bolster the efficiency and sustainability of hydropower generation in the country.
Banda said that is why data collection activities under the two surveys will help in complementing evaluation activities for the compact.
“The survey will provide us with baseline data on how household use electricity, their perceptions of the efficiency of access to electricity as well as the efficiency of the power utility, [Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi] Escom,” she said.
According to the signed agreement, NSO and MCA-Malawi will work together through the IHS4 and IHPS4, so that data relating to indicators in all three of the compact’s projects—power sector reform, infrastructure development, and environment and natural resources management—are collected and processed in an accurate and timely manner.
NSO deputy commissioner Jameson Ndawala said NSO uses the IHS to track progress on different socio-economic indicators and the survey is conducted every five years since 1997.
“We are very grateful for MCA-Malawi’s support, resources are very hard to come by and to implement a survey for a year is quite expensive. The money we have received from MCA-Malawi will help ease [NSO’s] financial burden,” he said.
Based on the signed PCA, MCA-Malawi will provide additional compact related questions to be incorporated in future survey instruments. Among others, MCA-Malawi’s resources will be used to support implementation of these surveys.
MCA-Malawi will use data from IHS4 to assess whether compact activities are achieving their intended results, reaching beneficiaries and achieving the desired impact overtime on poverty and economic growth.
The social economic data from the survey will also be useful when Malawi becomes eligible for a second compact grant from MCC.
The compact is a five-year grant from the people of the United States of America (USA) through the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC).