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Political Economy, Governance and Accountability

Through our work in Malawi over the last 30 years, Imani has developed a deep understanding and strong working knowledge of the complexities of the political system in the country at all levels (governmental, district, local). As such, we have become intimately familiar with the social, political and economic environment in Malawi, including the challenges involved with working within such a landscape. This appreciation allows us to draw from best international practices, contemporary thinking, and other past experiences to address these most effectively in all our work, to maximise the socio-economic impact of our work.


This experience motivates our efforts towards facilitating and promoting policy / public sector reform in Malawi, with a focus on agriculture and in particular trade, where Imani has provided ministerial level advice for local, regional and international forums, namely: (1) the Malawi Trade Policy National Working Group; (2) SADC regional trade meetings; and (3) WTO Ministerial meetings in Seattle, Doha, Cancun, Hong Kong, Geneva and Kenya.


Our extensive programme work with Development Partners (including: DFID, EU, USAID, Norad, Irish Aid, Scottish Government, World Bank) adheres to, and promotes, principles of ‘good governance’ including transparency and accountability with and from all stakeholders. In addition, Imani also has considerable experience of deploying political economy analysis (PEA), as part of an adaptive management approach on a number of projects across sectors, and is currently looking to Issues Based Programming (IBP) as an effective means of addressing barriers, blockages and limitations within the political system in Malawi.



Featured projects:


The Political Economy Determinants of Economic Growth (2017)

This project focused on Malawi as a case study to review the political determinants of economic growth. The objective was to help understand the political drivers of within-country growth through a qualitative assessment of the political factors that explain past and current growth processes in Malawi. It analyses the role played by the product space, the structure of rents around the product space and the incentives of political and business elite in Malawi’s growth regimes and structural transformation process since 1954.

See the paper here


Scotland-Malawi Governance Forum (2014-2016)

Imani’s Managing Consultant set up and chaired (for 3 years) the Scotland-Malawi Governance Forum. The forum exists to bring together all the key actors from government, parliament, civil society and business, who have leading roles in previous and existing partnership working between Scotland and Malawi relating to governance, for example the development of parliamentary links for knowledge sharing and capacity building. The Governance forum continues to contribute towards good governance principles and practice in Malawi at all levels, prioritising accountability, transparency and facilitation of meaningful civil society participation and representation.






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