The Chilungamo Programme builds on decades of support by the EU to governance in Malawi. Chilungamo is a Chichewa word meaning justice, with its connotation of a sense of stewardship. It addresses the following objectives related to Governance in the National Indicative Plan (2014 - 2020):
- Improve the institutional capacities and coordination mechanisms of oversight institutions;
- Create a fair and effective legal environment that promotes and consolidates the rule of law, equal access to justice, and respect for human rights;
- Enhance civic education, awareness and capacity building to demand transparency and accountability.
The programme addresses two of Malawi's core governance challenges:
- lack of transparency and accountability amongst duty bearers and
- limited access to justice for the vulnerable groups.
Weak accountability of institutions and the limited capacity of citizens to demand and claim their rights impact on all aspects of governance including democratic governance, domestic accountability and access to justice and the rule of law.
Chilungamo recognises that all of these aspects require a focus on both the supply and demand aspects of governance and thus includes support to many actors including; Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC), National Registration Bureau (NRB), Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs (MoJCA), Judiciary and Prisons, as well as to the National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE), Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC), Legal Aid Board (LAB), civil society organisations (CSOs) and the media. Through this support, these actors will be able to play their oversight roles, increase access to justice, and hold duty bearers to account. Support to the Democratic Governance Sector (DGS) Secretariat is also included to assist the DGS to coordinate the sector.