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How does change happen? Lessons from Malawi

July 1, 2020
Nic Cheeseman and Golden Matonga explore the factors behind a remarkable political breakthrough in Malawi In June 2019, Malawi’s democracy appeared to be in decline. President Peter Mutharika had just been declared the official winner of controversial presidential polls that were denounced by opposition parties and civil society groups. Mass protests regularly brought urban areas to a standstill but failed

The Year in Africa

January 7, 2020
If you don’t receive ‘This Week in Africa’, check it out – it’s an amazing and wide-ranging round up of links put together by Jeff (American) and Phil (Zimbabwean) and hosted by the University of San Francisco. And their annual version is even better. Their 2019 summary is way too long for a blog, so I’ve cut it down by

Which Citizens? Which Services? Unpacking Demand for Improved Health, Education, Roads, Water etc

March 16, 2018
Next up in the Twaweza series is this post from Ruth Carlitz of the University of Gothenburg. Please read and comment on the draft paper she summarizes here. Clean water. Paved roads. Quality education. Election campaigns in poor countries typically promise such things, yet the reality on the ground often falls short. So, what do people do? Wait for five

What’s at stake in the South African and Malawi elections this month?

May 6, 2014
Max Lawson, Oxfam’s Head of Advocacy and Public Policy, reflects on impending elections in South Africa and Malawi Malawi and South Africa’s election cycle is identical.  Both had their first democratic multi-party elections 20 years ago this month.  Who can forget the incredible photos of black people queuing from before dawn across South Africa to exercise their right to vote

Poverty reduction v well-being: a cash transfer experiment from Malawi

June 29, 2011

How fertiliser subsidies have transformed Malawi

December 21, 2010
Max Lawson is Head of Development Finance and Public Services for Oxfam GB When I lived in Malawi in 2002, the outlook was bleak. The received wisdom was that Malawi had a structural food deficit and for the foreseeable future would face periodic famines and chronic food insecurity. Our humanitarian department was thinking of setting up a permanent office. But

Seizing the Moment: A Successful Campaign on Domestic Violence in Malawi

June 23, 2009
Here’s an example of successful advocacy at national level, which is becoming an increasingly important part of Oxfam’s work. In 2005, Oxfam’s Malawi programme along with its partners mounted a campaign to eliminate gender based violence which led to the passing of the Prevention of Domestic Violence Bill in Parliament in April 2006.  How did it happen? In 2002, the Malawian

Some killer facts (and some life savers) on Health in Malawi

December 18, 2008