June 28, 2019






The Malawi Vision 2020, which is the national long-term development plan for the country, was developed and launched in 1998 to provide a guide towards sustainable national development. With less than 1 year remaining to the expiry of the Malawi Vision 2020, the country needs to take stock of the extent to which the Vision has been met, the challenges encountered, and develop a successor vision that will define inclusive and sustainable development pathways based on solid evidence of what works for Malawi. In light of this, the National Planning Commission (NPC) which has the mandate to craft the medium and long term plans for the country including overseeing their implementation, is collaborating with the Economics Association of Malawi (ECAMA), the International Food Policy Research Institute(IFPRI) and University of Malawi (UNIMA) in organizing a research symposium that will provide a platform for sharing well researched evidence of inclusive and sustainable development pathways for the country with the aim of creating wealth for all and by all in the successor Vision.


Objective of this call for papers

The objective of this call is to seek empirical and/or policy oriented research papers that will directly inform the country’s task of developing an evidence-based successor to the Vision 2020.

The theme should be considered along any one of the following sub-thematic areas:

1.      Sustainable economic development

  • Economic governance
  • Knowledge-based economy
  • Doing business and competitiveness
  • Infrastructure development
  • Informal sector and the micro and small enterprises
  • Mineral sector development
  • Manufacturing sector development
  • Tourism sector development
  • Services sector development
  • Information and communications technology (ICT) development
  • Financial and business services development
  • Transport and logistics services development
  • Creative  industries and sports development


2.      Human capital and social development

  • Resilience, Vulnerability and Social Protection.
  • Fertility, youth and population growth
  • Human capital
  • Mind-set  change and spiritual well being
  • Culture  and strong family institutions
  • Health  and wellness
  • Economic  empowerment, social inclusion and gender equality
  • Youth  economic empowerment
  • Children’s well being
  • Education  and skills development


3.      Sustainable environment

  • Ecosystem functions and services
  • Sustainable utilization of natural resources
  • Water and energy security
  • Sustainable land use and management
  • Sustainable human settlements
  • Climate Change and Adaptation
  • Climate resilience and disaster risk reduction
  • Pollution and waste management

4.      Governance, peace and security

  • Constitution and human rights
  • Institutional framework
  • Separation of powers and effective oversight
  • Decentralization and grassroots and civil society participation in development
  • Religion and society
  • Transparency, accountability and implementation
  • Electoral system and political representation
  • Crime, peace and security
  • Freedom of expression and association


5.     Sustainable Agriculture

  • Agricultural sector development
  • Nutrition and food security
  • Value addition
  • Use of certified seeds and fertilizers
  • Irrigation farming
  • Structured markets

Proposed Structure of papers

It is expected that each paper will have the following structure:

Title of the study: topical issues drawing from the sub-thematic areas in the context of inclusive and sustainable development pathways for the country with the aim of creating wealth for all and by all in the successor Vision;

Background: the context of the research underlining the issues that necessitate investigation,existing gaps of knowledge that the research paper attempts to fill, stating clearly the problem/issue being investigated;

Objective(s): a clear statement of the specific research objective/s, the issues addressed or to be addressed. The Research questions or hypothesis that the paper attempts to answer;

Existing knowledge: a review of the relevant literature, and previous research on the issue under study including data, methodological approach, scope, parameters, and results among others. Also highlighting the existing policies on the research topic;

Methodology: a description of the research methodology including econometric and/or survey tools where applicable, a discussion of data requirements, sources,availability and data analysis tools and methods used and, where necessary,data collection strategy;

Results/Findings:a succinct discussion of the research findings and how they compare to findings of similar studies; and

Policy Implications: a detailed discussion of the value added to existing knowledge, and the policy relevance, including emerging issues/areas for future research and policy debate.

The Call

Extended abstracts and full papers are now invited under the above different thematic areas. The successful authors will be invited to make presentations at the Third Joint Research Symposium proposed to be held on 18th and 19th September 2019 in Lilongwe, Malawi. Selected papers will be peer reviewed and considered for publication in the flagship publication of the collaborating institutions.


Important Deadlines

Submit draft full papers or extended abstracts by 20 July 2019. Notification for acceptance of papers or extended abstracts will be sent by 31 July 2019, and submission of final papers to be done by 20 August 2019



Please submit in electronic form by email the extended abstracts and papers in Word to: and


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