Malawi Threshold Program

The Malawi threshold program targeted the policy areas measured by two MCC eligibility indicators, Control of Corruption and Fiscal Policy.

When Malawi was selected as eligible for the Threshold Program in 2004, it did not meet MCC’s Compact eligibility criteria in the Ruling Justly category, failing the Control of Corruption indicator. While Malawi did meet MCC’s Compact eligibility criteria in the Economic Freedom category, it did not pass two indicators – Credit Rating and Fiscal Policy.  The Government of Malawi (GOM) proposed a threshold program focusing on reducing public corruption with an emphasis on improving fiscal management to address both areas of deficiency. 
 
The Malawi threshold program was comprised of four components, or projects. The program was designed to fight corruption using a multi-pronged approach of reducing opportunities for corruption and strengthening the governments’s ability to manage and monitor its finances. 

Malawi Threshold Program Implementation

The Malawi threshold program agreement was signed in September 2005; the program officially concluded in September 2008. As the program administer, USAID managed day-to-day program operations and oversaw the program implementers: Casals & Associates, State University of New York, the United States Treasury Office of Technical Assistance (OTA), the United States Department of Justice International Investigative Training Assistance Program (ICITAP) and the Department of Justice Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development Assistance and Training (OPDAT). 

The Threshold Program worked with more than 12 separate government entities, the Malawi National Assembly, and a wide range of civil society organizations, universities, and local media. 

Program Achievements

The Malawi threshold program was largely implemented as planned, and the majority of outputs were met. The threshold program established a large number of institutions or institutional arrangements that have proved sustainable. The threshold program was also instrumental in passage of two pieces of legislation: the Anti-Money-Laundering law and the plea bargaining provisions under the recently-enacted Criminal Procedure and Evidence Code. 

Malawi is now Compact eligible and has partnered with MCC on a five-year Compact.

  • Grant Total
    $20,920,000
  • Signed:
    September 24, 2005
  • Closed:
    October 1, 2008
Corruption Prevention

Objective

Reduce corruption by establishing and strengthening systems for preventing corruption

Activities

  1. Deployed an Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) in several government agencies to strengthen resource management and financial reporting and to improve government accountability. 
  2. Built professionalism and skills in the Department of Public Procurement. 
  3. Supported the development, passage, and implementation of legislation that conforms to international standards, including Anti-Money Laundering, Combating Financing of Terrorism, and Declaration of Assets legislation. 
  4. Established an effective Financial Intelligence Unit. 
Enforcement and Deterrence

Objective

Reduce corruption and improve fiscal management by creating and supporting effective and independent oversight institutions

Activities

  1. Built Malawi’s prosecutorial abilities in the Department of Public Prosecutions, the Anti-Corruption Bureau, and the Malawi Police Service.
  2. Increased the effectiveness of the Malawi Police Service to address corruption-related crimes by training officers in fiscal and fraud investigation, installing a Management Information System, and developing and delivering an ethics training curriculum.
  3. Built legal skills capacity among judges, police prosecutors, media and others.
Government Oversight

Objective

Reduce corruption and improve fiscal management by creating and supporting effective and independent oversight institutions

Activities

  1. Strengthened the government’s audit capacities by recruiting, training, and equipping the staff of the National Audit Office.
  2. Built monitoring and evaluation (M&E) capacity for government-implemented projects at the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development. 
  3. Improved fiscal management by strengthening capabilities in the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Economic Planning and Development, and the Malawi Revenue Authority.
  4. Strengthened National Assembly oversight by empowering committees to carry out their constitutional mandate of oversight to curb corruption and enhance fiscal discipline in the public sector.
  5. Trained journalists and media professionals to report and analyze corruption, and integrate civil society into an anti-corruption campaign.
  6. Re-established a Media Council to improve press freedom, promote journalistic ethical and professional standards, address complaints on press conduct, and accredit journalists.
Improved Credit Rating

Objective

Improve Malawi’s credit rating

Activities

  1. Funded and assisted Malawi in preparing for a sovereign credit rating.