The overall development objective is to provide more and better statistical information which would in turn contribute to improved development outcomes, accountability and governance in Malawi. The project will enable : (i) the government access reliable and timely data for policy and decision making, development planning and monitoring; (ii) private sector, civil society, and academia obtain better quality and more timely data for sound business decision making, monitoring, and research, and (iii) international organizations and other development partners access improved data to enable them to design more effective and evidence based support for development and poverty reduction. The specific project objectives are to improve further the availability, coverage and quality of statistics on Malawi's economic situation in line with international and regional standards including supporting their use to promote development and poverty reduction
The proposed project will have two components: (i) Development of a comprehensive Statistical Business Register and (ii) capacity building assistance to NSO to conduct an economic census regularly..Component I - Capacity Building: The project will support NSO to enhance the skills of NSO and NSS staff in in-depth analysis through hands on and on- the-job training in the conduct of the economic census including the analysis of the results and supporting statistics. It will also support the production of Malawi's revised national accounts statistics with a new and up to date benchmark. Special efforts would be made to ensure all analysis are gender sensitive where applicable. Component II: Economic Census: The project will support the NSO to undertake an economic census survey. The specific project objectives are to improve further the availability, coverage, and quality of statistics on Malawi's economic situation in line with international and regional standards including supporting their use to promote sound economic management and planning to achieve development and poverty reduction. The survey will result in improved availability of high quality economic statistics in Malawi and facilitate measurement of changes over time as part of the monitoring of the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy and other Government policies, as well as the SDGs. The collected survey data will also play an important role in national accounts compilation and updating the Producer Price Index (PPI) and other economic indicators. The full results of the economic census will be available by August 2018. In the final analysis, the economic census will provide updated indicators for monitoring economic performance of the economy, employment, and living conditions of the Malawian population.The indicators will be needed for the preparation and monitoring of the new MGDS including the progress made towards attainment of the SDGs. With the support of ECST the NSO has completed the key preparatory phases for the economic census - formation of steering and technical committees, work plan and road map for the economic census, Memorandum of understanding with Malawian Revenue authority for access of administrative data on taxes.
National Development Strategy. The Government through the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy 2011-2016 (MGDS 2011-2016) has identified six broad thematic areas namely: (a) Sustainable Economic Growth; (b) Social Development; (c) Social Support and Disaster Risk Management; (d) Infrastructure Development; (e) Improved Governance; and (f) Gender and Capacity Development. The objective of MGDS II is "to create wealth through sustainable economic growth and infrastructure development as a means of achieving poverty reduction". The MGDS II had additionally identified key sectors in the economy to serve as engines of growth of the economy as well as for poverty reduction. These key sectors include: Agriculture, industry (manufacturing), Tourism and Infrastructure Development.). A successor strategy to MGDS II is currently under preparation, which is expected to continue to focus on inclusive growth and transformation. Improvement in economic governance has been one of the priorities of the MGDS II and would remain as such in the successor strategy. Building capacity of the NSO in data collection, analysis and dissemination will be essential for the enhancement of monitoring and evaluation of the new strategy. Specifically the statistics from the Economic Census will show which sectors are responding positively to policy actions and contributing to poverty reduction and the value added created by each sector as a proportion of the total value added. The statistics will be used to measure the performance of the economy as well as serve as an input into evidence based macro-economic policy making and the design of future policies for enhanced economic growth. The proposed project is firmly linked to the objectives and priorities of the country's National Strategy for the Development of Statistics (NSDS), which include (i) informing and monitoring the formulation, effectiveness and poverty impact of development policies and programs of the GoM; and (ii) Strengthening sustainable capacity of NSO and NSS to meet immediate and future data needs. The NSDS provides the framework for Malawi's statistical development in its development agenda which is being implemented with the financial and technical support of Development Partners. Link with CSP: The Malawi CSP (2013-2017) aims at addressing infrastructure bottlenecks to competitiveness and supporting actions to expand private sector investment and trade. The proposed Statistical Capacity Building to conduct an economic census is aligned with the second pillar of the CSP, which emphasizes private sector investment and trade for enhanced economic growth through the economic governance sub-pillar. Sound economic management, a key aspect of economic governance, requires quality and timely economic data. The CSP had envisaged support for statistical capacity building during the cycle. The project is also fully aligned with the ADF-13 priorities and the Bank's Ten-Year Strategy (2013 -2022) objectives of inclusive growth and green growth and the High 5s Agenda, in particular improving the quality of life for people in Africa. The project will facilitate the provision of data required for measuring development results in general, and in particular, trends on poverty and inclusive growth. It also complements the Bank's ongoing multinational statistical capacity building program: Managing for development results phase IV. Furthermore, the project is o in line with) (i) the ADF policy guidelines and (ii) the Bank's 2015-2020 Knowledge Development and Management Strategy all of which emphasize the central role of statistics in the implementation of the results agenda. 1.2The project responds also to a number of important regional and international initiatives, including: the Reference Regional Strategic Framework (RRSF) for the development of statistics in Africa which lays the foundation for the NSDS; the Strategy for the Harmonization of Statistics in Africa (SHaSA); and the Africa Symposium on Statistical Development; the Marrakesh Plan of Action for Statistics (MAPS) and, BAPS endorsed at the High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan, Korea in 2011 Rationale for the Bank's involvement and Value Added The project responds to Bank Group's operational orientation and the directives of the Bank's Governing Bodies and ADF Deputies which emphasize managing for results across all its projects and programs. Success in results measurement can only be achieved by strong national statistical systems in RMCs with the necessary capacity for data generation, management, analysis, and dissemination to facilitate effective design, monitoring, and evaluation of operations. The statistics sector in Malawi has a robust sector-wide approach framework that brings together information management practitioners in the public and private sector. Therefore, by supporting statistical capacity development, the Bank will be contributing to Malawi's economic development and increase its collaboration with other partners that are supporting the statistical sector. The Bank enjoys substantial comparative advantage in statistical capacity development derived from the implementation of Phases I-II and III and ongoing Phase IV of the Statistical Capacity Building program in RMCs as part of its mandate. Recognizing this comparative advantage, the GoM officially requested the Bank to consider supporting the NSO in their Statistical Capacity building effort. The GoM has identified statistical capacity building for conducting economic censuses as an area where Bank support will be required to complement the support of other Development partners involved in statistical capacity building in Malawi like the IMF and World Bank