Call for Research Proposals: Music Consumption in Malawi

Music Crossroads Malawi (MCM), the Malawi National Commission for UNESCO (MNCU) and Rei Foundation Limited (RFL) are looking to commission a consultant researcher, research collective or research firm to carry out a comprehensive review on current music consumption habits, music distribution channels and music industry trends in Malawi.

The study is designed to provide both commercial and nonprofit actors in Malawi’s music ecosystem with valuable insights to adjust their operational and impact models, increase benefits for artists and better serve audiences. The research shall inform audience development, marketing and distribution strategies, and first and foremost identify trends that are beneficial and fair for all creatives involved.

Additionally, the research shall provide relevant background information for policymakers and regulators to improve effective policymaking and realize the opportunities of the 2005 UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.


The purpose of this research is to provide Music Crossroads and the music ecosystem in Malawi including both commercial and nonprofit actors with relevant data they need to develop strategic and successful business plans mindful of the COVID-19 environment.


A sum of up to $8,000 USD (incl. VAT) will be awarded to cover the project fee which includes research, planning, meetings, travel, mailings, stationery and other materials and resources as required.


1. Feasibility of the project (in terms of scope, methodology, timetable, budget, skills, qualifications and experience of the applicants) (20 points)
2. Quality of the written proposal i.e. in clarity, organization, and design (method, data, analysis) (10 Points)
3. Relevance and Strength in the following aims:
• Exploration of the current and potential consumers of music and their musical tastes in Malawi (20 points)
• Analysis of music distribution channels in Malawi (20 points)
• Exploration of barriers to economic exploitation of musical products in Malawi and ways to overcome them (10 points)
• Outline of trends in music consumption habits and developments of distribution channels in Malawi and globally, and drawing of recommendations based on the outcome of the research to be presented to stakeholders (10 points)
4. Adherence to ethical standards of research according to the Framework of Requirements and Guidelines for Research in the Social Sciences and Humanities in Malawi, by the National Commission for Science and Technology (10 points).

Financial proposals should itemize daily or hourly rates and demonstrate how many days or hours each consultant / researcher / administrator will spend on the project and what each person’s key responsibilities will be. Additionally, other expenses such as travel costs, stationary etc. will need to be itemized, too.


Please note that deliverables of the final research project must include:
• a comprehensive written report, including detailed graphs and visualisations
• a user-friendly executive summary, including simplified graphs and visualisations
The report and executive summary shall be shared with all staff and board of Music Crossroads Malawi, Malawi National Commission for UNESCO, Rei Foundation Limited, Malawi Government (Department of Arts) and relevant stakeholders in the music ecosystem both within and outside Malawi. Additionally, the report and executive summary will be made available online for public access.
Both the main report and any appendices as well as the executive summary should be produced both in printable form as well as digital PDF format.
The report will be released under Creative Commons (Attribution, Non-Commercial, and No Derivatives - CC BY-NC-ND) License.


Full Research Brief:
To apply, go to:


The closing date for submission of proposals is 14th March, 2021.
Respondents will be informed of the decision four weeks after the closing date for proposals. Shortlisted respondents will be invited to an interview before an evaluation panel at a place to be communicated or online (Zoom, Skype, Microsoft teams or Google meet whichever is possible). Ethical review will form part of the evaluation.


For additional information and clarifications contact:
The Director
Music Crossroads Malawi
Tel: +265 999916799
Email: [email protected]
Proposals should be emailed to the address below:
The Executive Secretary
Malawi National Commission for UNESCO
P. O. Box 30278, Lilongwe 3
Email: [email protected]

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