Photo: Geof Wilson/


Malawi is a poor country struggling to overcome decades of underdevelopment. We research governance and gender equality.

Completed projects

Nov 2003 - Dec 2005

Bridging Research and Policy

Jan 2002 - Dec 2004


Inge Amundsen

Senior Researcher

Sosina Bezu

Associated Senior Researcher

Magnus Hatlebakk

Senior Researcher; Coordinator: Poverty Dynamics

Ivar Kolstad

Associated Research Professor

Ottar Mæstad

Research Professor / Special Adviser, Director Development Learning Lab

Lise Rakner

Professor at University of Bergen and Affiliated Research Professor

Arne Tostensen


Vibeke Wang

Research Director and Senior Researcher

Arne Wiig

Research Professor

Peaceful but still struggling

Despite its relatively stable post-colonial history, Malawi has yet to let peace and stability turn into economic and social well-being for the majority of the population. Since the transition to multiparty democracy in 1994, corruption and poverty have hampered development, and Malawi is still highly aid dependent.

CMI’s research aims to produce new knowledge on governance, power relations and gender equality in Malawi. Most of our research is carried out in close collaboration with Malawian colleagues and research institutions. Our work on women’s rights and gender relations focuses on the effects of interventions to increase gender parity in elected office, law reform to enhance women’s rights, and the consequences of women’s political representation.

Our research on governance adopts a political economy perspective within an institutional framework. It addresses power relations in the civil service at the central level, among traditional authorities at the local level, and the role of faith-based organizations in politics. The provision and dissemination of new knowledge about Malawi's political economy are expected to contribute to improving governance and enhancing democratic practice.