Link Community Development

Improving the quality of education in Africa

Link Community Development Malawi

Where we work

Our vision is a world where all children have access to high quality education. In order to realise that vision we work in partnership with other members of the Link group to develop and deliver innovative projects that promote access to quality education in Malawi.

Link was established in Dedza District in Malawi in January 2006 and opened an office in the capital Lilongwe in 2010. We now work closely with various MoEST (Ministry of Education, Science and Technology) departments.

In line with Link Group Strategy, Link Malawi has adopted a two-district model. In order to develop and deliver high-quality school improvement programmes, we work intensively with schools and district staff in just two districts. Link works in Dedza (our 'prime district') to develop policy and improve schools through a systemic approach to whole school and whole district development. We then test whether these improvements can be rolled out to other districts. From 2007 to 2012 we worked closely with Mulanje district and from 2016 we will be working with Mchinji district. We then share successful programmes and models at national level in order to influence national policy so that the benefits can be felt nationwide. In all its operations, Link works in close partnership with government at school, district and national level. 

By working with the District Education Office in Dedza, Link directly impacts all 236 schools and 213,266 primary school learners in the district. This, however, is only the starting point. Ultimately, by using lesson learned in Dedza and Mulanje and by working in partnership with the Government of Malawi at a national level, we aim to impact ALL schools and learners in Malawi.

Support to the Inspection and Advisory Services

Teachers discuss school performance with a Primary Education Advisor

The overall objective is to improve the provision of quality education to the children of Malawi by supporting the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology to develop (1) a cadre of professionally trained, knowledgeable inspectors, able to effectively inspect schools and to monitor school improvement throughout Malawi, and (2) a cadre of professionally trained, knowledgeable advisors, able to effectively support school improvement throughout Malawi.


INSPIRE means Integrated School Performance Improvement, Review and Engagement. The overall objective of INSPIRE is to develop integrated planning, multi-stakeholder accountability and the provision of effective support to bring about improvements in the performance of Malawian schools. This project is the culmination of Scottish Government and Link’s investment in monitoring school performance since 2006 and it represents a real opportunity for sustainable and scalable activity which can improve the quality of monitoring and support of schools, at the same time enabling wider community participation in education decision making. Central to the project are the rights and responsibilities of parents, informed by the school standard and school performance information and the opportunity to discuss school performance at school and district level.


In partnership with RTI International we are increasing parental and community engagement in supporting student reading. This is part of the Malawi Early Grade Reading Improvement Activity (MERIT) which is designed to assist the Government of Malawi’s efforts to improve reading skills of Malawian students in Standards 1-4 nationwide. 

Increasing Participatory Governance in Education in Malawi

Children at Malawi primary school

Building on our successful School Review and School Improvement Planning work, this practice-based enquiry will help us to understand why some community members are excluded from the school improvement cycle, and how we can help these marginalised groups to play a more active role in their schools.  



Funder: Open Society Foundation

Total funding: $144,940

Project dates: September 2016 - March 2018