Government Revenue and Development in Malawi

GCRF Funding Cycle

Principal Investigator
Bernadette O’Hare


ODA countries

Sustainable Development Goals
Goal 3, Goal 9

A global recession is highly likely, and overseas development aid budgets may decrease at a time when debt is expected to increase. Therefore, more than ever, low- and middle-income countries must be supported to stem leaks such as tax avoidance and debt repayment from their budgets. The essence of this project is to consider how countries might provide rights (which are critical for health) for all children using domestic resources by curtailing leaks. To do this, we use our previous work, which models the relationship between government revenue and fundamental rights (education, healthcare, water and sanitation) and child mortality.

We study Malawi and estimate the revenue requirement for every Malawian child to have access to their fundamental rights and to decrease child mortality by 2030. We analyse the main leaks from their government revenue basket: tax avoidance and debt service and predict the proportion of the revenue gap, which could be met by curtailing these leaks. We study policies which could reduce these leaks and carry out this work in partnership with the paediatric association, partners such as Oxfam and policymakers from the ministries of health and finance and the Revenue Authority. We will produce a peer-reviewed paper and policy briefs for Malawian policymakers and the international community, whose policies may facilitate leaks.

Project Website

Impact & Media Coverage

Associated SFC GCRF funded projects on the St Andrews research portal