Non-Governmental Organisations in Malawi

Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs)
Speech during the inauguration of the new classroom Enlarge image Speech during the inauguration of the new classroom (© Liman Mawanda) Non-governmental organisations are a manifestation of civil-society involvement both in partner and in donor countries. The term “non-governmental organisations”, or NGOs, basically covers all associations or groups which are independent of government or state bodies and have a common interest, without themselves pursuing commercial aims. Some typical and important fields of NGO activities include development, the environment and human rights.

The NGOs’ strength lies, among other things, in the high degree of motivation and specialist know-how of their staff and partners as well as in the fact that they are in close contact with underprivileged sections of the population – a key prerequisite for mobilising people to help themselves and take the initiative. NGOs are either funded by private donations or get financial support through Governments. NGOs do a lot to ensure that the importance of development cooperation is firmly anchored in the public consciousness. They play an important role in stimulating debate in society, in Europe as well as in developing countries. They are gaining increasing importance in their role as watchdogs, that is both as independent admonishers and as advocates of those people whose own voice is not heard in the political arena.

Information about Government funding for German NGOs is available at BENGO .


The German Government has been cooperating with the Protestant and Catholic churches on development cooperation since 1962. The Protestant and the Catholic “Zentralstellen für Entwicklungshilfe” (EZE and KZE) were founded to organise the implementation of these development programmes. Both churches decide independently of the Government which programmes and projects they are going to support. The implementation of programmes for the Catholic church is conducted by MISEREOR. Easy access to water for Mponela Enlarge image Easy access to water for Mponela (© S.Schlegel, AA) For the Protestant church, "Brot für die Welt" is the implementing agency. In Malawi, both MISEREOR and "Brot für die Welt" are conducting projects.

Brot für die Welt

Political foundations

Political foundations are also active in development cooperation, especially when it comes to society and social welfare, thus helping develop and strengthen democratic structures as well as encourage ecologically sustainable and socially just economic development. Political foundations are each linked to a particular political party. None of Germany’s political foundations is at present represented by an office in Malawi. Nevertheless, some of the foundations do invite Malawian nationals to participate in their regional programmes.