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26 April 2021 / Research Reports

Vector-borne diseases are illnesses transmitted by mosquitoes, ticks, tsetse flies, lice, snails etc. Africa is disproportionately affected by vector-borne diseases, with most deaths occurring among children under five. The main vector-borne disease in the continent includes malaria, yellow fever, dengue and HAT.  The Partnership for Increasing the Impact of Vector Control (PIIVeC) programme seeks to reduce the burden of vector-borne diseases through effective, locally appropriate, and sustainable vector control.

This stakeholder analysis was based on a rapid desk review of policies, strategies, programmes and other relevant information from the various stakeholders. Based on these reviews, we scored stakeholders’ interests and influence in vector-control and vector-borne disease policies and programmes in the continent. 

Although the majority of Malawi’s economy depends on agriculture, there are limited crops that are currently suitable for export to neighbouring countries due to quality control issues, poor transportation linkages, uncoordinated farmers with relatively low productivity levels and access to markets, and policy disincentives. 

This analysis has focused on two of the primary barriers preventing the export of regionally demanded crops: The long-standing export ban on maize; and Poor quality control standards and regulations for groundnuts. 

30 March 2021 / Policy Briefs

Agriculture is the backbone of Malawi’s economy; it accounts for almost 80 per cent of employment, and 80 per cent of the country’s total exports (World Bank, 2020). However, Malawi remains highly reliant on tobacco and has been slow to diversify into other crops. Two barriers preventing the export of regionally demanded crops are the long-standing export ban on maize and poor quality-control standards and regulations for groundnuts.

The following policy solutions for maize and groundnuts demonstrate the greatest potential for export growth and alignment with national priorities.

Malawi’s education system is facing many challenges. Despite a consistently high proportion of the government’s budget being
allocated to education, youth in Malawi are failing to progress to secondary school in large numbers and consistently do poorly
compared to other similar countries assessed on literacy and math skills. This report has proposed several intervention options that
can mitigate some of the barriers to high-quality primary education that currently exist in Malawi. This includes five interventions:
classroom construction, reduced class sizes, in-service teacher training, school feeding, and technology-assisted learning.

23 March 2021 / Policy Briefs

Malawi has made great strides since primary education was made free to all students in 1994. This has encouraged many children to attend school. In spite of 88% enrollment rates in primary schools (pre-pandemic) learning outcomes are poor with low passing rate for fundamental (English and Mathematics) subjects. The most cost-effective method identified to improve learning outcomes is Technology Assisted Learning (TAL). 

16 March 2021 / Policy Briefs

Agricultural commercialization in Malawi is broadly constrained by poor market systems and unorganized farmers. Further still, there are a multitude of other challenges constraining the development of formal agricultural markets in Malawi.  The COVID-19 pandemic has also introduced additional challenges to the agriculture sector in Malawi. 

The proposed intervention for this analysis is the reform of the two commodity exchanges. This was selected because it has the potential to improve policy and market coordination at a national level, as well as provide a practical avenue for farmer training, storage, and credit systems. 

16 March 2021 / Research Reports

Agricultural commercialization in Malawi is broadly constrained by poor market systems and unorganized farmers. Further still, there are a multitude of other challenges constraining the development of formal agricultural markets in Malawi. The COVID-19 pandemic has also introduced additional challenges to the agriculture sector in Malawi.
The proposed intervention for this analysis is the reform of the two commodity exchanges. This was selected because it has the potential to improve policy and market coordination at a national level, as well as provide a practical avenue for farmer training, storage, and credit systems.

13 March 2021 / Policy Briefs

Creating wealth through agriculture has been a long-running development goal in Malawi. Within the country, irrigation is viewed as a valuable opportunity and has increased substantially for smallholder farmers, quadrupling from 15,988 ha in 2011 to 61,977 ha by 2019.. It has the potential to open up the dry season for cultivation on a grand scale, comparable to rainy season harvests, while also stabilizing wet season cultivation, insuring yields against variable rainfall patterns. The main takeaway from this cost-benefit analysis is that policymakers need to pay very close attention to costs of irrigation technologies and the choice of commodities promoted. Tomato, paprika and to a lesser extent cassava appear to fare well under irrigation, with gross margins large enough to cover the cost of irrigation investments studied in this report. 

The main takeaway from this cost-benefit analysis is that policy makers need to pay very close attention to costs of irrigation technologies and the choice of commodities promoted. Tomato, paprika and to a lesser extent cassava appear to fare well under irrigation, with gross margins large enough to cover the cost of irrigation investments studied in this report. The high returns to tomato in Malawi have been documented elsewhere in the literature, so it seems like this finding is relatively robust (Fandika, Kadyampakeni and Zingore, 2012; Kadyampakeni et al., 2015). Different irrigation technologies have different costs and cost profiles. Our findings show, unsurprisingly, that relatively inexpensive gravity irrigation generates larger BCRs than more expensive solar.

Infographics derived from the webinar series focusing on key themes such as data, use of evidence, gendered impacts and widening inequality, mitigation measures and partnerships.

This report gives practical expression to the Addis Ababa Declaration and resonates with the African Union’s theme of 2017: Harnessing the Demographic Dividend: The future we want for Africa. The objective of the 2017 theme was to highlight the pivotal role that population dynamics can play in the socio economic transformation of our continent, through investing in our youth in order to achieve a demographic dividend for the continent.

2 March 2021 / Policy Briefs

 The population of Malawi is expected to double from 2020 to 2050. Reducing population growth is imperative for Malawi to unlock the benefits of a demographic benefit. Access to and use of contraception in Malawi has increased substantially over the past two decades. In this report, we have assessed the costs and benefits of providing women with postpartum counselling services and free access to contraceptives and transportation.