Malawi Priorities
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About The Project

What is the project about?

Malawi Priorities is a project designed to help Malawi determine policy priorities so as to do more with each Kwacha that the country spends. The aim of the Malawi Priorities Project is to provide the government and its development partners with a systematic process to help prioritize the most effective policy solutions so as to maximize the social and economic benefits of the investments. The project will facilitate the prioritization of policy options or the country based on cost-benefit analyses. The project will also seek to identify interventions that will enable the government to generate more financial resources to finance its development agenda. This will be achieved through academic research, stakeholder engagement, and a targeted outreach strategy to determine the best investments.

Timeliness of the project

The Malawi National Planning Commission (NPC) is currently reviewing Malawi’s long-term national development plan, Vision 2020, with a view to beginning the development of a successor vision, National Transformation (NT) 2063. The NPC is also planning a mid-term review of the current medium-term national development strategy, the Malawi Growth, and Development Strategy(MGDS) III. The Malawi Priorities will hence inform the discourse around Malawi’s long-term aspirations and the development pathways that will inform the development of the NT 2063. More importantly, the priorities to be defined at the sector level will inform subsequent medium-term development plans that will operationalize the NT2063. The Malawi Priorities. will hence support evidence-based planning and implementation of Malawi’s inclusive and sustainable socio-economic transformation agenda. Malawi Priorities fits neatly within NPC’s mandate.

How will the priorities be defined?

The Malawi Priorities approach will work with a range of stakeholders and partners to identify the most urgent issues and establish many of the most promising solutions to optimal resource generation and utilization. These solutions will range across many different policy areas, including agriculture commercialization, industrialization, urbanization, energy and infrastructure development, education, health, governance, water, sanitation, environment. Representatives from across Malawi will then help pick a select number of the most important solutions to be analyzed. The project will then bring together the best local, regional and international academic experts that will employ cost-benefit analysis together with sector experts’ input, broad stakeholder engagement, and extensive policy outreach to evaluate and prioritize the top solutions.

Who will coordinate the project?

The project will be coordinated by the NPC, with support from the African Institute for Development Policy (AFIDEP). The academic research will be coordinated by the Copenhagen Consensus Centre (CCC) who has pioneered the methodology for economic analysis coupled with a cost-benefit analysis to produce comparable returns on investment of a range of interventions. The economic research will be supported by international expert economists and local eminent economists. The importance of having the project coordinated by NPC, supported by AFIDEP is to ensure its institutionalization in government systems and relevance to the Malawi context so as to maximize the uptake of the findings. The project will build on experience and lessons with the priorities approach in other countries, including Haiti, Bangladesh, and India (with largely successful outcomes), and is currently ongoing in Ghana. Some outcomes from these and other experiences can be accessed here.

Project budget estimate

In Malawi, the project budget is estimated at $3,098,611, over a two-year period. A prospective US-based funder is interested in funding part of the project but requires the support of other partners.