Nissily Mushani

2017 Winner

Position: Knowledge Translation Officer
Organization: African Institute for Development and Policy (AFIDEP)
Current Location: Malawi, Africa

Masters Degree from University of Zambia/Masters in Economic Policy Management

Additional Degrees and Certifications:
• Bachelor of Social Science (2006) University of Malawi, Chancellor College
• Certificate in Strategic Planning, CIDA –GAP (2007)
• Post-Graduation Certificate in Monitoring and Evaluation at RIPA, London, 2009
• Certificate in Integration of Population issues in Development Plans (IPDP), Uganda, 2011
• Certificate in Strategic Communication for Health and Development, (ICF Macro), 2011

Awards Received:

Graduate Scholarship Program
Awarding Organization:
The Joint Japan /World Bank
Date Awarded:
June 16, 2009

Presenters Award
Awarding Organization:
Population Association of America
Date Awarded:
December 16, 2016

Nissily Mushani is an economist with over 9 years of extensive experience in population and development, development economics, public sector economics, health economics and public health. Nissily has experience in leading grand and challenging start-up projects, research, policy analysis, monitoring and evaluation of development projects, advocacy, IEC, and knowledge translation. She has worked as a Policy and Advocacy Coordinator and a Knowledge Translation Officer at the African Institute for Development Policy (AFIDEP). Her role included contributing to the efforts of bridging gaps between development research, policy and practice in Malawi. She has contributed to the demographic dividend agenda and SRHR for young people in Malawi. Prior to joining AFIDEP, she was a Principal Economist in the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development, responsible for coordinating the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the National Population Policy and its related programmes and working with other partners to mobilize support to reposition family planning as a key strategy for sustainable development. Nissily holds a master’s degree in Economic Policy Management (EPM), obtained from the University of Zambia in 2011, as well as a bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences, from the University of Malawi. She is a Leaders in Environment and Development- Southern and Eastern Africa (LEAD-SEA) Fellow, and a member of Women Leaders Advocates for FP/RH. She has also served as Board Chairperson for National Youth Network on Climate Change, and was the Country Coordinator for International Youth Alliance on Family Planning, 2014–15, for Malawi

“Nissily promotes prioritization of FP in development planning at national & district level as an economist & researcher. She advocated for inclusion of population sub-theme in the national development plan enhancing access and delivery of RH services

– Barwani Msiska, . at .

Describe your contributions to and achievements in family planning.

-While with Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning I was pivotal in the inclusion of the Population sub theme in the national development plan of which one of its strategies is to Enhance the provision, access, delivery and utilization of sexual and reproductive health services to all including the vulnerable and disadvantaged groups.
-Contributed to the development of the 2013 National Population Policy which focuses on prioritizing and revitalizing family planning and population programmes
-As a Policy and Advocacy coordinator at AFIDEP, I contributed to increased discussions and policy considerations of family planning through carrying out and disseminating the demographic dividend study
-contributed to the adoption of different strategies in enhancing youth friendly health services

What sparked your passion for family planning?

The fact that high population growth reinforces poor socio economic outcomes for poor households. Poor young girls and women in rural areas are the poorest who have more children. Investing in Family Planning keeps girls in school, keeps women alive and contributes to productive labor in society. Family Planning enables individuals and couples to control their fertility and to plan for their lives. We need to speak on their behalf while creating platforms for self-expression.

Give one or two examples of how you display leadership in your family planning work.:

Working as an Economist with the Population Development Unit, I led national and district campaigns advocating for family planning to be included in district and national development plans and budgets. Family Planning is key component to achieving sustainable development. I participate in national health and population technical working groups that contribute to development and implementation of SRHR policy and programmes.

If you are named a winner of 120 under 40, how will you use this new platform and the $1000 grant to advance your work?

Mentoring young people, especially Members of the Youth Parliament to take up leadership role in advocating for young people’s SRHR. Young people must be empowered to demand for YFHS for themselves and others. Modules covering challenges and opportunities of improving SRHR outcomes in Malawi will be developed and delivered.

Photos of the nominee in the field/at work