Organisational challenges facing civil society networks in Malawi.


  • Rick James
  • Chiku Malunga


knowledge management, development, civil society, networks, Malawi, Africa


This article summarises the results of an applied research project undertaken by INTRAC. The research project aimed in particular to understand the development of civil society networks in Malawi over the last four years, assess their contribution to poverty reduction and economic growth issues, and appraise their current strengths and challenges in articulating civil society voice. The paper emphasises that CSO networks need to make strategic choices in the areas of identity and leadership. CSO networks need to decide whether to move towards more independence from their members and operate largely as advocacy NGOs with nominal membership, or to re-assert the commitment to being a network, working more efficiently and effectively in terms of achieving network goals. Lastly, CSO networks will drift away from their core purpose unless they attract leaders who are committed to networking principles.