We are searching for community-based solutions that are improving healthcare.
If you have developed and are implementing a healthcare solution, we want to learn from you!
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We envision a healthier Malawi where citizen-led, equitable, effective, sustainable health systems and integrated health services are possible through social innovation. We believe that the health of all Malawians can be improved through creative and innovative solutions created by Malawians.

SIHI Malawi was launched in 2017. We are based at the University of Malawi College of Medicine (CoM), in the Department of Community Health, the largest unit within the CoM. The Department of Community Health has thriving research spanning reproductive health, health systems and financing, communicable and non-communicable diseases. We partner with the Ministry of Health along with other key health actors and innovative organisations in Malawi. We seek to create an enabling environment for social innovation through increasing evidence and its uptake, fostering collaboration across spheres and encouraging a culture of Malawians solving their own health challenges.

ABOUT University of Malawi CoM

Established in 1991, the College of Medicine (CoM) at University of Malawi, is the only medical school in the country. The college trains future Malawian doctors (MBBS) and also include other biomedical science disciplines such as laboratory sciences, pharmacy and physical therapy. The College has also increased its postgraduate courses, including its masters in public health (MPH), masters in medical education (MMed) and various PhD programmes. The College of Medicine has distinguished itself as an initiator as well as a destination of high class research on a variety of health issues not only affecting in sub Saharan Africa, but also globally.



We identify and study social innovations in Malawi in partnership with Ministry of Health to learn lessons that could strengthen our health care system.

Connect and sharing

We provide a platform for all individuals and organisations interested in social innovation to network, share and collaborate.


We recognise, promote and build skills of innovators and citizen-led ideas to create a culture where Malawians are solving their own health challenges.


Innovation identification call

We have held two nationwide calls for creative solutions addressing key challenges in the health system. Our first call in June 2017 was focused on maternal and child health and received 16 submitted solutions, of which 11 were eligible. Our second call in March 2018 was open to all innovations improving healthcare delivery, and we received 25 solutions, of which 20 were eligible.

Case study research

Our team of researchers visits the selected social innovations to document and learn from their experiences. Full length case studies and videos of 2018 call finalists will be released in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Workshops and Events

We host workshops and open events with multi-disciplinary stakeholders such as Ministry of Health, academia, researchers, innovators, NGOs, the private sector, and others in order to share, educate, and advance healthcare delivery, pathways to Universal Healthcare Coverage, and social innovation in health in Malawi.

Student Engagement

Through our University partners, we engage the graduate and undergraduate students in multiple ways, including our cross-university student social innovation research challenge, skill-building workshops, and guest lectures.

Student Research Grants

We develop and provide research opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students to inform social innovation research in Malawi.



We provide a platform for all stakeholders to come together to share, learn, advocate, and pool resources.

Be mentored and mentor someone

Share your experience and expertise in health and social innovation among researchers and health practitioners. If you are an innovator or want to be one, we can connect you to resources that will help build your capacity.

Become a research partner

Work with us to build evidence for social innovation in health in the Malawi and expand the knowledge base through research. You may also provide funding support to student researchers in carrying out their social innovation in health research.

Be a community and policy advocate

If you want to find out more about community-based innovations, you are welcome to draw upon our repository. We welcome your knowledge about any community-based innovations happening in your setting. Collaborate with us in producing and disseminating communication materials for policy advocacy and training.

Be an event partner

Organize events that showcase social innovations and raise awareness on innovative health solutions.

Be an expert partner

If you are an investor, funder, technical expert, or entrepreneur, we can link you up with social innovators in scaling or sustaining their solutions.


SIHI Annual Partners Meeting & Co-creating a Research Guidance for Social Innovation Workshop: SIHI Malawi hosted the SIHI Annual Partners Meeting on 28 & 29 May 2018, where SIHI country hubs and partners convened to review progress and future strategy and proposed activities. On 30 & 31 May 2018, 46 stakeholders from 11 countries convened in Blantyre, Malawi for a workshop co-hosted by the University of Malawi (SIHI Malawi) and the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (World Health Organization). Participants represented the Malawi Ministry of Health, the Uganda Ministry of Health, International Agencies, Universities, Research Entities, SIHI Hubs and community-based social innovators. The workshop provided insight on how to practically advance research in social innovation in health.


Social Innovation in Health Case Competition:

The University of Malawi College of Medicine SIHI Malawi in partnership with public and private universities in Blantyre will be hosting the first annual SIHI Case Competition. The Social Innovation in Health Case Competition is a unique opportunity for graduate and undergraduate students from multiple disciplines and schools to develop innovative solutions for Malawi’s 21st century global health issues, gain skills and network with industry experts.


SIHI Malawi Director


Don is a medical doctor and epidemiologist with broad research interests in infectious diseases. He is an Associate Professor in Public Health at the College of Medicine University of Malawi.

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He is also Director at the Malaria Alert Center, a regional resource center specializing in building capacity, through research, for scaling up effective health interventions. He started his career in public health by working as District Health Officer in Malawi and over the last 20 years he has conducted research aimed at understanding the best methods for reducing childhood morbidity and mortality. As the winner of the 2012 Kenneth Warren Prize, he is a recognized Cochrane Review author who recently was appointed as a key mentor for African researchers interested in systematic reviews by the South African Cochrane Centre. Based on his work and interest in evidence based health care, Don is on several World Health Organization efficacy groups which include: the IPTp and LLINs Evidence Review Groups and the Monitoring and Evaluation Review Group (MERG). He also serves as an expert on the Global Fund Technical Review Panel.

SIHI Malawi Advisor


Atupele is a public health specialist and an epidemiologist at the Malaria Alert Centre, a research affiliate at the University of Malawi College of Medicine.

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Following her completion of PhD training in Infectious Diseases Epidemiology at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA, she is based full time in Malawi conducting research. Her research focuses on Malaria, HIV and maternal and child health. She has been involved in large studies in collaboration with the Ministry of Health (MOH) and reputable national and international institutions including a large four years WHO funded PMTCT cluster-randomized clinical trial as a co-investigator evaluating several PMTCT care models aimed at improving uptake, retention and health outcomes for mothers and infants in PMTCT option B+ programme in Malawi. She was awarded a CIPHER grant by International Aids Society to conduct a pharmaco-vigilance study to evaluate safety in infants exposed to antiretroviral drugs through breastmilk given to mothers during breastfeeding in the PMTCT Option B+ programme in Malawi. Having previously worked as a district health officer in the second-largest district in Malawi for 3 years, she continues working and collaborating with the public health sectorto improve implementation of health programmes in Malawi.


Atupele is also working to advance health research in Malawi especially among women and youth. She pioneered establishment of “Women in Infectious Disease and Health Research Network in Malawi (WIDREM)”, a national network for advancement of research careers for women involved in health research with funding from WHO-TDR. She is an honorary faculty member in the Community Health Department at the University of Malawi’s College of Medicine teaching and supervising postgraduate and undergraduate medical and allied health sciences students.

SIHI Malawi Manager


Barwani Msiska has over seven years’ experience in coordinating development programs, health systems strengthening for adolescent and reproductive health/ family planning programs in the public sector and academia settings in Malawi and USA.

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She has led efforts in repositioning adolescent reproductive health as a key pathway to managing development and the development of the costed multi-sectoral five-year National Youth Friendly Health Services Strategy 2015-2020. She has experience in project start-up and localization of initiatives such as the Malawi’s family planning 2020 commitments that aim to increase contraceptive prevalence rate to 60% by 2020 which resulted in a higher family planning budget line within the national health budget and increased local solutions for expanded access to long acting reversible contraceptives during the 2013-2015 budget periods. She has conducted health systems and implementation science research on youth friendly health services, long acting reversible contraception in Malawi and Immediate Postpartum Long Acting Reversible Contraception Programs in Georgia, USA facilitating adapting of best practices by other states and hospitals across the USA.

SIHI Malawi Researcher


Vincent Jumbe is a Lecturer in the Department of Health Systems and Policy under the school of Public Health and Family Medicine at College of Medicine, the University of Malawi.

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He is a health social scientist with firm academic grounding in the areas of Public Health, Bioethics (at masters’ level) and Global Health focusing on Health Systems and Policy at PhD level. His current research efforts focus on HIV prevention among key populations which include People Living with HIV, female sex workers, people who use drugs, men who have sex with men and Transgender persons. He is also interested in Malaria and TB prevention research. Apart from lecturing, conducting research and interfacing with policy makers, Vincent is also a Course Director for the Master of Science in Global Health Implementation (Msc-GHI) being offered at College of Medicine, Department of Health Systems and Policy. His current interest is to map pathways from incubation to uptake of social innovations in the health system and how these innovations are or ought to be sustained over time.