Vulnerable children in Malawi: KIT’s role in a situation assessment and policy development


Last year UNICEF Malawi asked KIT to conduct a situation analysis on vulnerable children in Malawi, feeding into a new National Plan of Action for Vulnerable Children for 2014-2018. UNICEF Malawi has a strong focus on improving the situation for vulnerable children. They provide financial and technical assistance to the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Welfare.


Money and Resources are scarce in Low and Middle Income Countries like Malawi. The main result of KIT’s involvement in Malawi was a vulnerability framework, which can be used to assess which children are most vulnerable and, based on that, which programmes would have priority in the resource constrained setting of Malawi.

“We are the ones facing the biggest problems here because we have no parents and suffer more than others. Day after day, we go house by house to ask for piece-work.”
(Vulnerable children 6 -12 years old in Chiradzulu)

Children in need

Many children in Malawi live in dire circumstances. More than six in every ten children live in households with too little income: less than 1 dollar a day. Many lost one or both of their parents to AIDS. A substantial amount of children live in desperate conditions with no adults to care for them, insecure housing, and their survival is based on begging on the street or finding piece work every day.

How we helped

KIT collected and analysed existing literature including international evidence of promising practices for vulnerable children. KIT also analysed existing representative data sets of surveys already conducted in Malawi and conducted an extensive qualitative consultations involving vulnerable children, their care givers and relevant stakeholders in four districts.

National Plan of Action

With the results of the situation analysis, KIT developed the draft of an evidence-informed National Plan of Action which was discussed with all relevant stakeholders in country. Currently, the situation analysis and the fully budgeted National Plan of Action are finalized by the Government of Malawi.


This project was carried out by our advisors Pam Baatsen en Maryse Kok. More about KIT’s work in on Health Systems & HIV/AIDS