The functions of the Ministry are mainly carried out in four technical divisions namely: Economic Planning, Development Planning, Social Protection, Monitoring and Evaluation, and International Cooperation
1. Economic Planning Division
Economic Planning division provides macroeconomic advice, strategic direction for the economy and guidance on issues affecting important aspects of the real sector in order to spur economic growth. Particular emphasis is placed on the analysis and formulation of the country's economic and social development policies.
The core activities include: Formulation and coordination of the implementation of the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS); implementation of the Millennium Development Goals Based Planning Project (MGDS Needs Assessment); Monitoring Performance of the Economy; Development of the Economic Empowerment Roadmap and Climate Change.
The division is also the focal point and coordinates activities of the New Economic Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) Programmes as well as the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) process. It also handles international and regional integration initiatives through the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Africa Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA), Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), African Union (AU), Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the Southern Africa Development community (SADC). Focus is on the economic and social implications of their decisions on the Malawi economy.
2. Development Division
The Development Division primarily prepares and coordinates national development programmes and projects. The division therefore undertakes the following functions: Preparation of the Public Sector Investment Program (PSIP), provides technical advice and assists line ministries in formulation of development program proposals, provides guidance on the integration of population issues into development planning, coordinates the implementation, monitoring and evaluation and periodic review of the national population policy and coordinates the implementation of the Infrastructure Services Project (ISP). The division also coordinates the Millennium Challenge Account programme in the country.
3. Poverty Reduction and Social Protection Division
The Poverty Reduction and Social Protection Division's overall goal is to reduce poverty and enable the poor graduate out of poverty and vulnerability. Its programs are built around three thematic areas of provision of welfare support, protection of assets and promotion of livelihoods through enhancement of productivity.
4. Monitoring and Evaluation Division
The monitoring and evaluation division has the mandate to carry out monitoring and evaluation exercises on all government programmes and projects to determine if they are achieving their intended objectives. It carries out the following activities in view of this: The MGDS annual reviews, MDG Progress Reports, PSIP Monitoring, Community Based Monitoring and Evaluation (CBME), vulnerability assessment and monitoring and evaluation studies such as Public Expenditure Tracking Survey (PETS) and Performance Auditing.
5. International Cooperation Division
The International Cooperation Division exists to facilitate and promote economic development cooperation and integration with other countries and international organization. To achieve its purpose, the division formulates and reviews Malawi's foreign policy on relevant economic and technical cooperation matters; coordinates foreign aid; cultivates, harnesses and strengthens areas of economic and technical cooperation at both bilateral and multilateral levels; facilitate exploitation of opportunities in trade, tourism and investment and other forms of economic cooperation with other countries and international organizations; and facilitate and participate in negotiations between Malawi and her bilateral and international economic cooperation partners.