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Malawi Progress Report 2016-2018

The commitments in Malawi’s first action plan mostly included vaguely worded indicators rather than measurable activities, making implementation difficult to determine and limiting potential impact. While a National Steering Committee existed during action plan development, it did not meet during implementation.

Process

Development of Malawi’s first action plan occurred primarily during an October 2014 meeting that involved a limited number of government and civil society stakeholders. A National Steering Committee, consisting of government and civil society representatives, submitted the final action plan for approval, but has not met during implementation.

Civil Society Involvement
Beyond “governance” civil society
Mostly “governance” civil society X
No/little civil society
Narrow / little government consultation Primarily agencies that serve other agencies Significant involvement of line ministries and agencies
Government Involvement
Representatives of 10 civil society organizations and 14 government agencies proposed commitments and jointly prepared the action plan at a plenary meeting in October 2014. However, the role of civil society in shaping the final commitments and monitoring implementation is unclear.

Commitment Performance

Most commitments in Malawi’s first action plan contained vague implementation activities, which lowered their potential impact and made their implementation levels difficult to assess. Future action plans could build on priority areas from the first plan, like access to information and extractives sector transparency, by including measurable and verifiable implementation activities.

IRM Recommendations

  1. Reinvigorate the National OGP Steering Committee
  2. Include activities that offer additional value to already planned activities
  3. Ensure capacity to implement ATI
  4. Improve commitment design
  5. Use OGP to advance priorities in Malawi

Commitments Overview

COMMITMENT TITLE WELL-DESIGNED (YEAR 1)* STARRED (YEAR 1)** OVERVIEW
1. Freedom of Information No No While the President signed the Access to Information (ATI) Bill into law in February 2017, various obstacles remain to ensuring that citizens can easily exercise their rights.
2. Citizen Participation No No This commitment seeks to improve citizen awareness of consultation opportunities in the decision-making processes. The lack of measurable and verifiable activities makes implementation difficult to assess.
3. National Integrity System and Fight Against Corruption No No Corruption remains widespread in Malawi. While the Anti-Corruption Bureau is expected to receive increased funding in the 2017-2018 budget, reducing corruption will require a more holistic approach beyond this commitment’s activities.
4. Public Sector Reforms and Public Service Delivery No No Public sector reform is important in Malawi. The Public Service Sector Reform Commission’s mandate expired in January 2017, and it is unclear if the Commission’s recommended reforms are being carried out.
5. Extractives Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) No No Malawi plans to improve transparency in the extractive sector by joining EITI. Malawi submitted its EITI candidacy application and established an EITI multi-stakeholder group and secretariat.

*Commitment is evaluated by the IRM as specific, relevant, and has a transformative potential impact.
** Commitment meets the criteria (above) for well-designed commitment and is substantially or fully complete.

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