THE LAUNCH OF THE MALAWI KNOWLEDGE NETWORK FOR RESEARCH, POLICY AND DEVELOPMENT (MAKNET)

MALGA attended the launch of MAKNET in Blantyre on 24th August 2009 by the guest of honour, Honourable Abbie Shawa, Minister for Development Planning and Cooperation, MP.

With support from the Africa Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF), the University of Malawi,(the Malawi Polytechnic) is implementing the MAKNET which aims at leveraging knowledge of Malawian professionals in the country and in the diaspora through electronic discussions and similar platforms to harness knowledge that could be made available to policymakers as an input into the planning,  designing,  development and implementation of public policies.

 The overall objective of the MAKNET is to cultivate a culture of consultation through broadening access to and utilisation of information in the formulation and implementation of development policies and programmes through a knowledge network.

The specific objectives of the project include the following:

  1. To mobilise policy experts, academics, professional associations,  public and private sectors, civil society and policy advocates to share and debate developmental issues
  2. To provide a knowledge base for development policies through the establishment of a website and data base of experts in Malawi, the region and the world
  3. To provide a platform for debate in the formulation ,implementation ,monitoring and evaluation of development policies  and programmes, and
  4. To promote utilisation of knowledge for development through knowledge dissemination and advocacy.

In order to achieve these objectives, MAKNET has lined up a number of activities that include:

    1. Development of a website and database
    2. Online and physical discussions fora on topical issues from which policy briefs will be prepared
    3. Stakeholder meetings
    4. Commissioned studies and research which will be debated upon
    5. Training workshops and
    6. Linking the project with other national, regional and international knowledge and information systems.

MALGA is one of the steering Committee members of this project. Others include the Ministry of Development Planning and Cooperation, the Malawi National Assembly, the Reserve Bank, the National Bank of Malawi, the National Statistics Office, the Council for Non Governmental Organisations in Malawi, (CONGOMA), the Centre for Social Research, the National Association of Business Women (NABW), the Malawi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Economics Association of Malawi (ECAMA) and the Polytechnic as the Secretariat and Project Coordinator.