Malawi Priorities
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Technical Reports

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 starting point was the National Planning Commission's existing research agenda covering 7 main topics. By following the links, you will find the analyses comparing costs and benefits of adding additional funding to specific promising interventions within each area.

A reference group and an academic advisory committee were consulted to prioritize which questions to include in the Malawi Priorities project. You can find the survey used here.

Scroll down for a complete archive of all the Technical Reports produced for the Malawi Priorities project.

Technical Report

Malawi Priorities: Fisheries

Key Messages The fisheries sector is very important to Malawi’s economy, livelihoods, food security, and biodiversity. One estimate puts the total contribution of the sector at 7.2% of GDP while...

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Technical Report

Malawi Priorities: Disaster Risk Reduction

Key Messages Malawi is highly vulnerable to the impacts of extreme weather events. The adverse effects of climate change pose a significant risk to Malawi’s growth and development, with the nation...

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Technical Report

Malawi Priorities: Water Reliability

Key Messages Blantyre has insufficient water to meet demand. The average daily demand of 140 million liters per day vastly outpaces the Blantyre Water Board’s (BWB) maximum supply of 122 million...

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Technical Report

Malawi Priorities: Governance

Key Messages Malawi’s MSME sector contributes approximately 40% to the national GDP. Yet several obstacles restrict the growth of the MSME sector, which in turn restrict the growth of the overall...

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Technical Report

Malawi Priorities: Land Compliance

Key Messages More than half of urban residents live in informal settlements or in informal dwellings in areas designated for housing. While regulations and housing permits are critical, compliance...

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Technical Report

Malawi Priorities: Transport

Key Messages The Malawi Vision 2063 targets a 100% increase in tourism in terms of its contribution to GDP, from its current baseline of 7.7% to 14.4% in 2040. According to the AFDB (2017), compared...

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Technical Report

Malawi Priorities: National Resource Management

Key Messages Despite being endowed with substantial minerals, gemstones, and water bodies, Malawi’s mining and fisheries sectors have been unable to fully take advantage of these resources for wealth...

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Technical Report

Malawi Priorities: Industrialization and Youth Employment

Key Messages Malawi’s youth have constrained opportunities for decent and full-time employment. A quarter of the youth in Malawi are underemployed, and almost all youth are employed in the two lowest...

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Technical Report

Malawi Priorities: Land Tilting

Key Messages Malawi enacted a land reform policy in 2016. Implementation has been initiated but there is much work left to do with 4.7 million hectares of land in the country still untitled. Secure...

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Technical Report

Malawi Priorities: Utilities

Key Messages Blackouts, shortages, and unreliable access to electricity are a challenge for Malawi’s businesses. Malawian firms experience approximately 7.4 outages per month, with each outage...

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Technical Report

Malawi Priorities: Girls' Secondary Education & Child Marriage

Key Messages In Malawi, 6 out of 7 girls are not enrolled in secondary school, while 3 out of 7 girls are married before the age of 18. Common factors drive these two startling statistics:...

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Technical Report

Malawi Priorities: Malaria

Key Messages Although malaria is a largely preventable and treatable disease, it is a significant cause of mortality, morbidity, and productivity loss in Malawi. This study estimates that in 2019,...

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Technical Report

Malawi Priorities: Early Childhood Education

Key Messages Quality early childhood education (ECE) increases literacy levels, improves school enrolment and achievement, and enhances developmental outcomes. While Malawi has been successful in its...

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Technical Report

Malawi Priorities: Agriculture: Commodity Exchange Reform

Key Messages Although the majority of Malawi’s population relies on subsistence rain-fed agriculture for their livelihoods, there are multiple intersecting barriers preventing farmers from accessing...

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Technical Report

Malawi Priorities: Agriculture: Exports

Key Messages Although the majority of Malawi’s economy depends on agriculture, there are limited crops that are currently suitable for export to neighboring countries. Two barriers preventing the...

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Technical Report

Malawi Priorities: Agriculture: Irrigation

Key Messages Expanding irrigation has been a key policy goal of Malawian governments for decades. Irrigation schemes, including flagship projects, have shown a pattern of high costs that exceed the...

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Technical Report

Malawi Priorities: Family Planning

Key Messages Malawi’s modern contraception prevalence rate among married women increased substantially from 7% in 1992 to 58% in 2016, contributing to an overall reduction in total fertility rates...

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Technical Report

Malawi Priorities: Food Security

Key Messages Food Insecurity remains a significant concern, with 63% of Malawian households deemed severely food insecure. Focusing on sustainable farming models, this cost-benefit analysis...

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Technical Report

Malawi Priorities: HIV Treatment and Prevention

Key Messages Approximately 15% of new HIV and AIDS infections in individuals aged 15 years and over occur as a result of sex with female sex workers (FSWs), contributing to the spread of HIV and AIDS...

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Technical Report

Malawi Priorities: Maternal and Neonatal Health

Key Messages While notable progress has been made in Malawi’s efforts to meet the Millennium Development Goals surrounding child health and child survival, progress in curbing neonatal and maternal...

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Technical Report

Malawi Priorities: Nutrition

Key Messages Using cost-benefit analysis to determine which interventions provide the strongest impact for additional funds, this report finds that two key interventions show promise and represent...

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Technical Report

Malawi Priorities: Primary School Education

Key Messages In spite of 88% enrollment rates in primary schools (pre-pandemic), learning outcomes are poor with the low passing rates for fundamental (English and Mathematics) subjects. The most...

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