Evaluation Of Threshold Program In Malawi Economics Essay

In this research the author evaluated the Threshold Program funded by the U.S. and operated in Malawi. The author employed the interrupted time-series theoretical account to measure the plan. The research found that the plan had a positive impact on the Corruption Perception Index and contributed to the decrease of corruptness in Malawi.


President George W. Bush announced a creative activity of new compact for development with answerability for both rich and hapless states in 2002. Under his program, The Millennium Challenge Corporation was established in 2004 as a U.S. authorities corporation. The MCC operates the Millennium Challenge Account ( MCA ) .

Harmonizing to a study for Congress, “ The history is intended to concentrate significantly higher sum of U.S. resources in a few low- and low-middle income states that have demonstrated a strong committedness to political, economic, and societal reforms. ” ( Tarnoff & A ; Lawson, 2009, p.25 ) The end of this plan is to cut down the planetary poorness by advancing the sustainable economic growing.

An applicant state has to run into some standards to have the assistance from this plan, so called, MCC eligibility indexs. If the county meets the full demand to have the assistance, the state receives “ compacts ” . If the state does non run into all of the demands but most of the demands, the state is still eligible for “ threshold plan ” which helps the state to be eligible for the compacts. A state of Malawi, which is located sub-Sahara country in Africa, was one of those states which were qualified for the threshold plan. The U.S. injected a support into Malawi to advance civil autonomy and fight the corruptness. The understanding was signed on September 23, 2005, and the plan was implemented from September 2006 to September 2008. The M.C.C. funded $ 20.92 billion to implement this plan during the period.

In this research, the author employed an interrupted time-series theoretical account to measure the threshold plan operated in Malawi between 2006 and 2008 to contend the corruptness using The Corruption Perceptions Index ( CPI ) created by the Transparency International.

State of Malawi

Harmonizing to Central Intelligence Agency ( CIA ) of the U.S. ( 2009 ) , political and economical backgrounds of Malawi are:

Political Background

Established in 1891, the British associated state of Nyasaland became the independent state of Malawi in 1964. After three decennaries of one-party regulation under President Hastings Kamuzu BANDA the state held multiparty elections in 1994, under a probationary fundamental law that came into full consequence the undermentioned twelvemonth. Current President Bingu Washington MUTHARIKA, elected in May 2004 after a failed effort by the old president to amend the fundamental law to allow another term, struggled to asseverate his authorization against his predecessor and later started his ain party, the Democratic Progressive Party ( DPP ) in 2005. As president, MUTHARIKA has overseen economic betterment but because of political dead end in the legislative assembly, his minority party has been unable to go through important statute law, and anti-corruption steps have stalled. Population growing, increasing force per unit area on agricultural lands, corruptness, and the spread of HIV/AIDS pose major jobs for Malawi. Mutharika was reelected to a 2nd term in May 2009.

( CIA, The World Factbook, 2009 )

Economic Background:

Landlocked Malawi ranks among the universe ‘s most dumbly populated and least developed states. The economic system is predominately agricultural with approximately 85 % of the population life in rural countries. Agribusiness accounts for more than tierce of GDP and 90 % of export grosss. The public presentation of the baccy sector is cardinal to short-run growing as baccy histories for more than half of exports. The economic system depends on significant influxs of economic aid from the IMF, the World Bank, and single giver states. In 2006, Malawi was approved for alleviation under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries ( HIPC ) plan. In December 2007, the US granted Malawi eligibility position to have fiscal support within the Millennium Challenge Corporation ( MCC ) enterprise. The authorities faces many challenges including developing a market economic system, bettering educational installations, confronting up to environmental jobs, covering with the quickly turning job of HIV/AIDS, and fulfilling foreign givers that financial subject is being tightened. Since 2005 President MUTHARIKA ‘S authorities has exhibited improved fiscal subject under the counsel of Finance Minister Goodall GONDWE and signed a three twelvemonth Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility worth $ 56 million with the IMF. Improved dealingss with the IMF lead other international givers to restart assistance as good. In 2009, nevertheless, Malawi has experienced some reverses, including a general deficit of foreign exchange, which has damaged its ability to pay for imports. Investment fell 23 % in 2009. The authorities has failed to turn to barriers to investing such as undependable power, H2O deficits, hapless telecommunications substructure, and the high costs of services.

( CIA, The World Factbook, 2009 )

Ihonvbere ( 1997 ) depict the autocratic province of Malawi under Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda. He argues that Banda created “ the most inhibitory, corrupt, predatory and violent political system ” in Africa. ( p.225 ) Using graft, bullying, election malpractices, and so on, Banda created solid absolutism in Malawi. Under his government, Malawi had economic crisis in early 1990 ‘s. Rising rising prices rate, unemployment rate and offense rate suffocated people in Malawi. The debut of a plan supervised by the International Monetary Fund ( IMF ) and the World Bank in 1980 ‘s worked positively for the publicity of multi-party democracy alternatively of one-party domination in Malawi. He concludes that “ economic crisis and exposure to external force per unit areas made it easy for loaners, givers and investors to set force per unit area on Malawi to run into political conditionalities ” and the force per unit areas from givers who withheld new foreign assistance played major function to alter the system in Malawi. “ In 1993, givers froze $ 74 million in assistance to Malawi. The UK and the World Bank played a major function in this respect by declining farther economic aid until human rights were respected and a political liberalisation docket was announced. ” ( Ibid )

The Millennium Challenge Corporation ( MCC )

Under the U.S. president, George W. Bush, The Millennium Challenge Corporation ( MCC ) was created to run the Millennium Challenge Account enterprise ( MCA ) in 2004. The MCA was created to shoot comparatively higher volume of U.S. foreign assistance into a few low- and low-middle income states that have demonstrated a strong committedness to political, economic, and societal reforms to contend the poorness in the universe. In runing the MCA plan, recipient states formulate, propose and implement mutually-agreed multi-year U.S.-funded undertakings known as Compacts. The MCC is headed by a Chief Executive Officer who reports to a board of Directors chaired by the Secretary of State.


The alone characteristic of the MCC is the choice procedure of the states to which the U.S. gives the assistance. Harmonizing to The Millennium Challenge Corporation: An Opportunity for the Next President ( 2008 ) , there are 4 stairss to take the state that are eligible for the compacts. First, one-year per capita income standards are set for a low income group of states and a lower-middle-income group. Second, a set of 16-17 indexs, which was made by independent outside establishments, is used to mensurate the public presentation of the states. Third, the MCC created a benchmark to mensurate the public presentations. They rank the above the median on at least half of the indexs in each of the three classs and ranking above the median on the corruptness index. Forth, the MCC Board chooses the states that are eligible for the compact.

Threshold Program

Besides the Compacts, MCC besides administrates “ threshold plans ” . Threshold plans help the states, which falls short in some eligibility indexs, to mount up in the rankings in the indexs where they are ranked low and, finally, the states could run into the demands to be eligible for the Compacts.

Threshold Program Description in Malawi

Threshold Country Program was signed by Malawi and the U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation for $ 20.92 million to battle the corruptness and advance the ranking in the index class, governing rightly, to be eligible for the Compact assistance on September 23, 2005. The plan was implemented from September 2006 to September 2008.

Harmonizing to The Millennium Challenge Corporation ( 2005 ) , the intent of the plan was “ an aid to originate a multi-sectional and cross-institutional onslaught on corruptness and to better financial direction ” . This biennial plan was intended to enable Malawi to beef up the legislative and judicial subdivisions of authorities, supply support for lead anti-corruption bureaus, strengthen independent media coverage, and expand and escalate the work of civil society organisations.

Upon subscribing the understanding, Malawi authorities proposed 14 specific intercessions over biennial period of the Threshold Plan intended to forestall corruptness, heightening oversight maps, and edifice enforcement and disincentive capacity.


Procure and to the full deploy an Integrated Financial Management Information System

Build professionalism and accomplishments in the Department of Public Procurement

Improve financial direction by go throughing and implementing Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Financing of Terrorism statute law that conforms to international criterions, and set uping an effectual Financial Intelligence Unit

Develop and go through a Declaration of Assets Law to guarantee transparence among public functionaries

( The Millennium Challenge Corporation, 2005 )


Strengthen the Government of Malawi ‘s audit capacities by enrolling, preparation, and fiting the staff of the National Audit Office

Build monitoring and rating ( M & A ; E ) capacity for GOM-implemented undertakings at the Ministry of EcoA­nomic Planning and Development

Build capacity for improved/prudent financial direction by beef uping capablenesss in the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Economic Planning and Development, and the Malawi Revenue Authority

Strengthen National Assembly inadvertence by authorising the commission system

Train journalists and media professionals to describe and analyse corruptness

Make a Media Council to better imperativeness freedom, promote journalistic ethical and professional criterions, address ailments on imperativeness behavior, and accredit journalists

Integrate civil society into an anti-corruption run

( Ibid )

Enforcement and Disincentive

Build Malawi ‘s prosecutorial abilities in the Department of Public Prosecutions, the Anti-Corruption Bureau, and the Malawi Police

Increase the effectivity of the Malawi Police Service to turn to corruption-related offenses by developing officers in financial and fraud probe, put ining a Management Information System, and developing and presenting an incorporate moralss developing course of study

Build legal accomplishments capacity among Judgess, police prosecuting officers, media and others

In each of these countries, the Government of Malawi has identified specific steps of success, including:

Training about 300 people across all plan constituents, including constabularies, hearers, procurement aˆ? specializers, prosecuting officers, parliamentary staff, and journalists

Decreasing the figure of audits that the National Audit Office can non manage by about 50 per centum

Reducing by 75 per centum the clip it takes to treat corruptness instances, and

Tripling the figure of civic groups attesting before parliament

( Ibid )


Data and Measurement

The intent of this research is to find whether or non the Threshold Program in Malawi was successful, in other words, the combat against the corruptness succeeded. Therefore, the author use the Corruption Perceptions Index ( CPI ) published by Transparency International to measure the plan. Transparency International has been printing the CPI since 1995. The CPI measures the sensed degree of public-sector corruptness, viz. , by public functionaries and politicians, in 180 states and districts around the universe based on 13 different expert and concern studies. Some of the entities are Columbia University, Economist Intelligence Unit, Freedom House, Information International, International Institute for direction Development, Merchant International Group, Political Economic Risk Consultancy, United Nations Economic Commissions for Africa, World Economic Forum and World Markets Research Centre. Harmonizing to the establishment, the corruptness is defined as “ the maltreatment of entrusted power for private addition. ” ( Transparency International, 2009 ) The figure autumn between 0 to 10 and the larger figure indicates less corruptness.

As for the independent variables, the author used 3 clip variables and 3 control variables. The 3 clip variables are Time, Intervention, and Time after Intervention. The 3 control variables are GDP per Capita, Democracy, and Economic Freedom.

Time measures the tendency during the survey period and denotes old ages from the beginning to the terminal of the survey period, 2001 to 2010. Time after Intervention measures the short clip impact of the plan intercession, and coded 0 before the intercession, and 1 after the intercession. Time after Intervention measures the tendency of post-intervention period, and denotes the old ages after the intercession, 2006 to 2010.

The three control variables are identified to be a important factor for corruptness by old surveies. This survey relied on two old surveies, You & amp ; Khagram ( 2005 ) and Sandholtz & A ; Koetzle ( 2000 ) , to place the control variables. Both surveies introduce several control variables. You & amp ; Khagram ( 2005 ) included indexs of economic development, trade openness, democracy, federalism, faith, and ethnolinguistic fractionalization. Sandholtz & A ; Koetzle ( 2000 ) included indicators income, economic freedom, democracy, volume of trade, former British settlement or non, per centum of Protestant. These old surveies were based on cross-sectional analysis, whereas this survey looks at merely one state, Malawi. Therefore, as following old anticipations ; nevertheless, this survey excluded time-invariant variables and chose the 3 control variables: economic development/income, democracy, and economic freedom.

Democracy is measured by a political rights evaluation and civil autonomy evaluation provided by Freedom House. The author combined these two evaluation. The political rights and civil autonomy evaluation come in numerical tonss that fall between 1 and 7, with 1 bespeaking the most free and 7 the least free.

Economic development/income is measured by gross domestic merchandise ( GDP per Capita ) which is obtained from International Monetary Fund ( IMF ) . IMF provides GDP per a individual and this survey converted the original informations into natural log of GDP per Capita.

Economic Freedom is measured by Index of Economic Freedom provided by The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal. The evaluation semen in numerical tonss that fall between 0 and 100, with 0 bespeaking the least free and 100 the most free.


The author uses interrupted time-series theoretical account to measure the plan. The author ‘s primary focal point is how the CPI changed before and after the plan intercession. From the position point, author expressions at the tendency of the CPI before the intercession, right after the intercession and long term tendency of the post-intervention period. The author uses the CPI from the twelvemonth of 2001 to 2010 and divide them into two: from 2001 to 2005 and from 2006 to 2010 to see the consequence of plan intercession. Besides, due to a presence of auto-correlation, the author used autoregressive procedure of order one ( AR1 ) to hold better appraisal.

The plan was implemented in the center of 2006 ; hence, the author chose 2006 as an intercession twelvemonth of the plan and a break point of pre and station plan execution.

Time series informations are frequently autocorrelated, and, in this analysis, the presence of the autocorrelation was detected every bit good. In other words, the remainders of each twelvemonth are non independent, which violates the premise of arrested development. The presence of autocorrelation could do over or underestimate of statistical significance of the appraisals. Therefore, the author used a correlativity coefficient of remainders between the old ages and lagged variable of remainders to command for the autocorrelation.


The author uses the CPI as a dependant variable and creates three independent variables: Time, Intervention, and Time after intercession variables, to see the tendency before the plan intercession, short term consequence of the plan and long term consequence of the plan on the CPI.

In regression term:

Y ( CPI ) T = I?0 + I?1 ( Time ) T + I?2 ( Intervention ) t + I?3 ( Time after Intervention ) t + I?4 ( Democracy ) T + I?5 ( GDP per Capita ) T + I?6 ( Economic Freedom ) T + P*e ( t-1 ) + Vt

Where CPI is the Corruption Perceptions Index for Malawi in 2001-2010, I?0 is the intercept, Time is the tendency variable to see the tendency before the plan intercession, Intervention is the short term consequence variable to see the short term consequence of the plan intercession, Time after Intervention is the long term consequence variable to see the long term consequence of the plan intercession, Democracy is the combination of the political and civil autonomy tonss, GDP per Capita is the natural log of gross domestic merchandise per capita, and Economic Freedom is the Index of Economic Freedom. Finally, the author converted original mistake term, et into P*e ( t-1 ) + Vt, where P is the correlativity coefficient between et and vitamin E ( t-1 ) , Vt is the present random mistake.

Empirical Analysis

The Figure 1 below shows the CPI between 2001 and 2010 in Malawi.

Figure 1: Tendency of CPI for Malawi between 2001 and 2010

Note: From “ Corruption Perceptions Index ” by Transparency Internationl

Mean of the CPI is 2.94 ( N=10 ) . Highest CPI mark is observed in 2010 with 3.40 and the lowest CPI mark is observed in 2006 and 2007 with 2.70. Standard Deviation is 0.26 which indicates that the information is comparatively narrowly dispersed. The graph indicates that the line starts comparatively high and drops a small and, after the intercession, goes up once more. Yet, it is non clear if there are before-trend, short clip consequence, and long term consequence. The author, so, run the arrested development to see those effects.

Table 1 below shows the end product of the arrested development on the interrupted clip series theoretical account.

Table 1

Estimated Corruption Prevention Policy Effect on CPI










Time after Intervention






GDP per Capita ( ln )



Economic Freedom



Note. Wald Chi-Squere 366.16 ( 7 ) , p= & lt ; 0.000. ***p & lt ; 0.01, **p & lt ; 0.05

Autoregression was computed on CPI ( Dependent variable ) against Time, Intervention, Time after Intervention, Democracy, GDP per Capita, Economic Freedom ( Independent variables ) . A important arrested development equation was found ( Wald Chi-Square 366.16 ( 7 ) , p = 0.000 & lt ; 0.01 at 99 % assurance degree ) . Predicted CPI mark is equal to 3.180 + 0.058 ( Time ) – 0.569 ( Intervention ) + 0.300 ( Time after Intervention ) + 0.071 ( Democracy ) – 1.243 ( GDP per Capita ) + 0.102 ( Economic Freedom ) . Time indicates the tendency through the survey period that the CPI mark was bettering by 0.058 each twelvemonth before the plan execution when others held changeless ; nevertheless, this incline is n’t statistically important. Intervention indicates that the CPI mark dropped by 0.569 instantly after the plan execution when others held changeless, and this intercept alteration is statistically important. Time after Intervention indicates that, after the plan execution, the CPI mark improves each twelvemonth by 0.300 when others held changeless, and this incline is statistically important. The CPI mark improves by 0.071 when Democracy index additions by 1 and others held changeless, but this forecaster is n’t statistically important. The CPI mark beads by 0.012 when GDP per Capita additions by 1 % and others held changeless, but this forecaster is n’t statistically important. The CPI mark improves by 0.102 when Economic Freedom index additions by 1 and others held changeless, and this forecaster is statistically important.

Summary and Conclusion

The quantitative analysis in the old subdivision reveals that there was a negative short term plan consequence and a positive long term on the CPI after the plan execution in Malawi. Immediately after the plan intercession in 2006, there was a lessening of the CPI mark ; nevertheless, there, besides, was an addition of the CPI mark in a long term after the intercession. This determination indicates that the Threshold Program funded by U.S. successfully contributed to the battle against the corruptness bit by bit after the plan execution in Malawi. As a consequence, Malawi was named as eligible for MCC compact plan assistance.

At the terminal, the restriction of this research is a deficiency of other forecasters for corruptness in the arrested development theoretical account. There should be other variable that explain the addition or lessening of the CPI mark. In farther research, farther probe of the cause of corruptness will be needed. In add-on, the survey period is n’t long plenty to see the tendencies. More observation will be needed for farther research.