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Position: Consultancy - Feasibility Study
Location: Blantyre

The Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS), is a parastatal organization responsible for promoting standardization and quality assurance in Malawi. The MBS was established in 1972 by Act of Parliament Cap51 of the Laws of Malawi revised June 2012. The MBS is also responsible for enforcement of the Weights and Measures Act Cap 49 currently being revised and to be passed as a Metrology Act. The MBS has been implementing 2017-22 strategic plan and therefore wishes to engage the services of competent consultants to a feasibility study towards an MBS separation model that will separate standardization, regulatory and conformity assessment functions as provided for in the MBS Strategic Plan, as well as eventual unbundling of the MBS as per National Quality Strategy (2015-20).


2.1 One of the key outputs of the SQAM Project was the development of National Quality Policy approved 2014 and National Quality Strategy (NQS) 2015 - 2020 aimed at providing a fully functional and SQAM Environment in Malawi;

2.2 In line with WTO/TBT and SADC Trade Protocols the NQS provides notable strategic objectives providing for reforms related with the MBS functions are as follows:

2.2.1 Revision of the National Standards Act to empower the MBS (Objective # 4);2.2.2 Establish an interim operating model to separate the regulatory, standards and conformity assessment services (Objective # 18) and

2.2.3 Establish a new regulator for Compulsory Specifications (Objective #20);

2.3 The proposed MBS reforms from NQS were incorporated for implementation in the MBS Strategic Plan 2017-22 under Strategic Pillar #2 Institutional Restructuring and Governance Reforms;

2.4 Under this strategic pillar, the goal is to have a provisional model that will enable separation of MBS regulatory and conformity services;

2.5 A number of strategic objectives need to be achieved under this goal namely:

(a) Strategic Objective 2.1 To institute an MBS Provisional Pragmatic Separation (PPS) Model for regulatory & Conformity assessment services by 2022;

(b) Strategic Objective 2.2 To institute an autonomous and effective governance structures for all Units within MBS by 2022; (c) Strategic Objective 2.3 is to develop and implement a reorganization strategy for MBS by 2022;

2.6 While NQS suggests eventual unbundling of the MBS, in the longer term, through establishment of a new regulator for compulsory specifications, the MBS Strategic Plan only proposed establishment of a separation model;

2.7 Hence this paper provides Terms of Reference for a feasibility study that will show economic viability to the nation or otherwise of these proposed reforms for Malawi Bureau of Standards in order to meet both NQS and MBS Strategic Plan objectives.


3.1 To review the National Quality Policy, National

Quality Strategy (2015-20) and MBS Strategic Plan (2017-22) to understand the rationale behind separation of the MBS functions namely standardisation from regulatory and conformity assessment services;

3.2 To determine viability and impact of separation and unbundling of the MBS on the national economy against Malawi’s commitments to regional and international protocols;


4.1 Desk Review: It will be necessary that the consultant conducts a desk study in order achieve the following:

(i) To Identify, assemble and select all the available key reports and reference documents relevant for the reform agenda of separation and unbundling;

(ii) Review all critical documents available namely MBS Strategic Plan 2017-22, National Quality Policy, National Quality Strategy (2015-22), Malawi Growth and Development Strategy III, Malawi Vision 2063, National Export Strategy, SQAM and MACTB Project Support Documents, WTO/TBT/SPS/SADC Trade Protocols as well as other key reports generated from the projects and other interventions;

4.2 Inception workshop: It is expected that the Inception workshop will be attended by key stakeholders,Ministries,DepartmentsandAgencies (MDAs) namely Ministry of Industry, Ministry of Trade, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Economic Development, Public Private Partnership (PPP) Commission, UNDP, MCCCI and Malawi Bureau of Standards, and other selected public and private sector organisations some 20 participants in total.

4.3 Surveys and Consultations: It is anticipated that the assignment will be achieved through a questionnaire that will be prepared for survey and interviews for data collections at national, regional and International levels.

4.3.1 National Level. The survey will cover MBS offices throughout the country as well as key stakeholders in order to determine to what extent they envisage the separation or unbundling to benefit the country or not. Consultations will be conducted with individuals and groups involving one-on-one interviews and group discussionswith relevant Government Ministries and Departments, Technical Agencies, Business Associations, development partners and primarily Private Sector that are directly or indirectly involved with the MBS in the country.

4.3.2 Regional and International Level: The consultant will need to collect data from the following key institutions:

(a) Regional Economic Communities and Institutions namely SADC,COMESA and East African Community, WTO/TBT to appreciate the driving forces, commitments and experience on separation and unbundling of NSBs.

(b) National Standardisation Bodies

(NSBs). Further the consultants will need to gather information and data from the NSBs in sample countries in the region namely South Africa, Mozambique,Zambia,Ethiopia,Namibia and Tanzania to determine their position, rationale, extent and experiences in the unbundling process;4.4 Reporting and Validation Workshop: The consultant will undertake data analysis and prepare report indicating viability of separation and unbundling for Malawi as well recommendations on the possible way forward for Malawi. He/she will further conduct a validation workshop where the report will be reviewed by stakeholders who attended the inception workshop.


  •  An inception report to be prepared before the consultancy is undertaken;
  •  A full report on feasibility of separation and unbundling, for Malawi with recommendation on possible way forward for the country;
  •  Validation report on the feasibility study report;

The consultant or the consulting firm shall have at least a Masters degree in Strategic Management, Business Administration, Engineering and Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, Economics and other related qualifications.

The consultant shall have to demonstrate competence in and have a clear understanding of the following:

  • Demonstrate understanding of the MBS and Standardisation, Quality assurance, Accreditation and Metrology (SQAM) or National Quality Infrastructure (NQI) in Malawi and/or in other developing countries;
  • Familiarity with the economic landscape and policy framework of Malawi Government as it relates to industry, trade and private sector development;
  • Demonstrated experience and proven track record in formulation of feasibility studies and/or similar assignments with objective evidence.


The assignment is expected to take 60 man days inclusive of report submission and validation Workshop.


The Consultant will work under the supervision of the Director General. The Consultant will be adequately qualified and experienced in the field to satisfactorily deliver the expected outputs and will ensure strict adherence to timely and quality delivery of the preliminary and final report.


Interested consulting firms and individuals should source detailed tender documents available at a non-refundable fee of MK20,000 and submit their technical and financial proposals at the Malawi Bureau of Standards Head Office, Moirs Road next to Arkay Plastics by 5:00 pm on Tuesday, 9th March 2021.

The proposals should be addressed to:

The Senior Procurement Officer

Malawi Bureau of Standards

P. O. Box 946


Email: mbs@mbsmw.org

Skills Required

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    10 Mar, 2021

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