- Early Grade Reading Activity (EGRA) (June 2013-October 2016) Implemented by RTI International in 11 education districts, EGRA provides technical assistance to the MoEST to improve the reading performance of Malawian students in Standards 1–3. EGRA improves early grade reading instruction, provides TLMs, encourages greater parental and community engagement in providing reading support, and strengthens the policy environment for early grade reading.
- EGRA Impact Evaluation (EGRAIE) (April 2013 – September 2018) This evaluation, implemented by Social Impact, measures the effect of EGRA on student reading outcomes and tests the hypothesis that integrating USAID interventions in education, agriculture, and health, as well as adding a community strengthening component, results in increased learning amongst primary school students. Data collection for the EGRAIE will take place in 2013, 2015 and 2017.
- Strengthening Early Grade Reading in Malawi (SEGREM) (October 2014 – October 2017) The Malawi Institute of Education, a parastatal organization, replicates EGRA activities in Standards 1-4 in the Chiladzulu, Dedza, and Mchinji Education Districts.
- Learning to Read Activity (December 2014- November 2015) The African Centre for Communication for Development, a local organization, replicates EGRA activities in Standards 1 and 2 in the Phalombe Education District while also increasing retention of girls in school and reducing overcrowding in primary schools.
- Strengthening Early Grade Reading for Malawi’s Children Through Teaching Assistants (SEGRA) (April 2014-April 2015) Implemented by the Forum for African Women Educationists in Malawi, a local organization, this activity addresses the problem of over-crowded classrooms and their effect on learning outcomes. Implemented in two districts, Ntchisi and Mwanza, 70 percent of the beneficiaries for this activity are women with an interest in the teaching profession who will work in schools as Learning Assistants (LAs) for reading.
- USAID - Lakeland College Educational Partnership (March 2014-January 2017) Twenty language arts teacher trainers from public Teacher Training Colleges in Malawi will earn their Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree, with an emphasis in early grade reading instruction, at Lakeland College in Wisconsin. The degree program includes a research practicum on early grade reading in Malawi.
- Girls’ Empowerment through Education and Health Activity (ASPIRE) (December 2014 – December 2018) Save the Children Federation, Inc. ASPIRE is designed to specifically address the challenges that girls face in the Malawian Education System. A collaborative, co-funded activity between USAID/Malawi’s Education and Health Offices and implemented by Save the Children Federation, Inc., ASPIRE focuses on all primary and secondary schools in the Balaka and Machinga districts. Interventions will improve reading skills for girls in upper primary school, increase the adoption of positive sexual and health-care seeking behaviors, and decrease key structural and cultural barriers for girls’ access to schooling.
During the 2013-2014 school year, Standard 1 zero scores in familiar word reading dropped from 94% to 63% in USAID reading intervention areas.
In Standard 3, the mean score in oral reading fluency rose from 13.6 to 25.8 correct words per minute.
A 2014 reading assessment found that 72% of students in Standard 2 who were able to read 30 correct words per minute or more came from USAID reading intervention districts.
Reading creates the foundation for lifelong learning and social and economic development for Malawi.
Brattle Publishing Group
Creative Centre for Community Mobilisation (CRECCOM)
Higher Education for Development
Malawi Institute of Education
Save the Children
Michelle Chen, Office Chief
Last updated: September 29, 2015