Current Research Projects

Impact Evaluation on Protecting Early Childhood Development (PECD) in Malawi: Child Assessment and Mother/Guardian Survey
Ephraim W. Chirwa and Peter Mvula
Commissioned by World Bank, Washington DC
January 2015 – April 2014

The study is conducted for the Ministry of Gender, Children and Community Development in collaboration with the World Bank. It us an an Impact Evaluation on Protecting Early Childhood Development (PECD) in Malawi. The study is conducted 199 Community Based Child Care Centres (CBCCs)in Nkhata Bay, Dedza, Balaka and Thyolo districts. The main objective of the impact evaluation is to enhance knowledge about early childhood development issues and their relations to the quality of education in Malawi. This is an endline survey of CBCCs and it is a follow-up survey of the baseline survey conducted by Wadonda Consult Limited in 2011 and midline survey conducted in 2013, and endline CBCC survey and class observations conducted in 2014.

Wadonda Consult Limited is responsible for data collection and management. The data collection involves administration of questionnaires to Mothers/Guardians and conducting child assessments.

Baseline Survey of Sustainable Agricultural Production Programme (SAPP) in Malawi
Ephraim W. Chirwa, Peter Mvula, Wezi Mhango and Mirriam Matita
Commissioned by SAPP, Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development
November 2014 – March 2015

The main objective of the baseline survey is to establish the current status of the main indicators relevant to the project interventions. Some of these indicators include prevalence of poverty, food insecurity, child malnutrition rates, maize yields, area planted to high value crops, access to inputs through commercial channels, development and adoption rates for various improved agronomic packages, access to extension services and levels of satisfaction with extension services, improved agro-dealer services, improved grain storage facilities, reduction in post-harvest loss, access to financial and credit markets. In order to make better judgement of whether the project has significantly affected the various programme indicators and hence has achieved its development objective, control or comparison groups need to be identified and studied along with the programme group.

Wadonda Consult is responsible for design of data collection tools, sample design, collection data from households using questionnaire, focus group discussions and key informants, anthropometric measurements for under-5 year olds, data entry and database management, data analysis and report writing.

Data Entry for Malawi's Secondary School Bursary and Cash Transfer Program Applications Forms from Academic Years 2013-14 and 2014-15
Ephraim W. Chirwa and Peter Mvula
Commissioned by World Bank
October 2014 – February 2015

A secondary school bursary scheme (waiving of school fees) targeting the most vulnerable students is currently being implemented in all Malawi public secondary schools. Implementation of the bursary scheme is based on the hypothesis that supporting vulnerable students would lead to an increase in their school completion, attendance and performance as well as, in the long run, their capacities for self development and income earning opportunities.

This work involves collection and data entry of self-administered by eligible Form 1 students with additional comments from their head teachers and village headman. This involves no less than 15,500 questionnaires for each school year (2013-14 and 2014-15) and 775 self-administered by Head Teachers at all eligible secondary schools in Malawi.

Wadonda Consult Limited is responsible for collection of forms from 6 Education Division Offices; Data entry and database management.

Impact Evaluation of WFP-Implemented Nutrition Programs in Malawi
Ephraim W. Chirwa and Peter Mvula
Commissioned by the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health, USA
November 2013 – December 2017

This study is an independent impact evaluation of a nutrition program implemented by the World Food Programme (WFP) and funded by the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) in collaboration with the Government of Malawi. The WFP program is to be implemented in Ntchisi district. The impact evaluation research will be conducted in Ntchisi (intervention district) and a neighboring comparison/control district (Dowa). The overall objective of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of a 3.5 year, WFP supplemental child feeding and nutrition services program in improving linear growth and reducing stunting in children 6-23 months of age in the District of Ntchisi in Malawi. Given the basic goals of the nutrition program to be evaluated, and the planned interventions [daily supplementation with 20 g Nutributter in children 6-23 months of age, infant and young child feeding (IYCF) behavior promotion and broader nutrition education messaging to mothers, along with iron-folic acid and selected corn-soy-blend (CSB+) supplement distribution to pregnant and lactating women].

Wadonda Consult Limited is responsible for data collection and database management. The data collection involves household listing, questionnaire administration, anthropometric measurements and conducting anemia tests. The survey components include baseline, midline and endline cross-sectional surveys and longitudinal follow-up surveys of 6 months old children.

Evaluation of the 2012/13 - 2014/15 Farm Input Subsidy Programme in Malawi
Andrew Dorward, Ephraim Chirwa, Peter Mvula, Mirriam Matita and Wezi Mhango
School of Oriental & African Studies - University of London and Wadonda Consult Limited
Commissioned by Department for International Development on behalf of Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security
September 2012 - September 2015

The Government of Malawi through the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (MoAFS) with funding from the Department for International Development (DFID) has been evaluation the impacts of the Farm Input Subsidy Programme (FISP) since its inception in 2005/6. DFID has provided further funding for an independent evaluation of the FISP for the period 2012/13 – 2014/15. The main objective of the evaluation is to independently assess the implementation and impacts of the subsidy programme in Malawi. The evaluation covers assessment of the quality of implementation of the programme; the estimation of incremental maize and legume production due to the programme; the economic analysis of the programme (cost-benefit analysis); analysis of uptake of fertilizers and improved seed varieties; and assessment of broader economic and welfare impact of the programme (including food security, nutrition, poverty reduction, education, health and welfare, economic growth and private sector development). The purpose of the evaluation is to support evidence-based policy making and inform policy makers and other stakeholders on issues arising from implementation and impacts of the programme.

The 2012/12 – 2014/15 evaluations are being undertaken by a team led by the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London and Wadonda Consult Limited (WACO) in Zomba. The SOAS/WACO team has been evaluating the FISP from 2006/7 and the results have been used in various ways to inform changes in the design and implementation of the programme in Malawi and have generated lessons for other countries in Africa.

Read a wide range of papers on the Malawi Farm Input Subsidy at