ongoing Projects

Rapid Mortality Mobile Phone Survey (RaMMPS)-Cyclone Freddy Follow-up Study (August – October 2023)

August - October 2023

IPOR is working on the Rapid Mortality Mobile Phone Survey (RaMMPS)- Cyclone Freddy Follow-up study, in collaboration with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), New York University- Abu Dhabi (NYU-AD), Malawi Epidemiology Intervention Research Unit (MEIRU), and University of Malawi (UNIMA).  IPOR calls again RaMMPS respondents who were interviewed about the impact of COVID-19, to see if they were also affected by the impacts of Cyclone Freddy. A Hurricane named Cyclone Freddy occurred in the southern part of Malawi in March 2023. So, IPOR is not calling the southern region RaMMPS respondents only, it also calls the central region RaMMPs respondents as a control. IPOR is using the Computer Assisted Telephone Interviews (CATI) method (a telephone survey) to follow up with the 9,055 RaMMPs initial respondents. Apart from data collection, IPOR helped to develop study tools, manage fieldwork, provide bi-weekly reports, programming the study tool, data cleaning, quality assurance, and support data analysis. IPOR is hopeful that it will exceed a 50% success rate in following up on those individuals who were interviewed by phone between January 2022 and February 2023. The project started in August 2023 and is expected to end in October 2023. 

Online Survey on the Contribution of the Cultural and Creative Industries (CCIs) to the National Development


IPOR was contracted to carry out a study on behalf of the Commission for UNESCO in Malawi. The project aimed to find the contributions of artistic industries to national development. Phone interviews were conducted in addition to a desk review. Artistic groups were invited to participate in the study, and some union/association presidents were part of the key informants.The role of IPOR was to facilitate the entire study, including developing questionnaires, data collection tools, and conducting desk reviews, data cleaning, and data analysis. IPOR provided the findings in a report and blog, which were submitted to the Commission for UNESCO in Malawi for review and necessary actions. The study found that for artistic industries to be as effective as possible, certain things need to be done, namely: the government should establish the National Arts and Heritage Council, the Copyright Society of Malawi should work with unions/associations to hasten the protection of copyright material, the government must review and fully implement the Malawi Cultural Policy, and the government must ensure public awareness campaigns for policies.

Livelihood of Women Program in Malawi

2020 - 2023

The Institute of Public Opinion and Research (IPOR) in collaboration with the College of William and Mary in Virginia, USA, Brigham Young University in Utah, USA, the University of Michigan, Michigan, USA is implementing Livelihood of Women Program (LWP) in Malawi titled Catalyzing Cooperative Intra-Household Mobile Technology Use. The project is funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and targets 1500 married women in Blantyre rural and urban. The core purpose of the project is to test whether women’s ownership of a smartphone would improve their livelihood through access to market information, health information and mobile money transactions. A similar study was conducted in Tanzania and it was discovered that smartphones have a potential to improve women’s socio-economic status. In Malawi, IPOR and its research partners launched the LWP in 2020  and the program is expected to phase out in 2023. In this project IPOR was tasked to conduct baseline, midline and endline evaluations. So far IPOR has successfully done baseline and midline evaluation of the project. Baseline evaluation involved physical recruitment of participants followed by phone surveys to screen the participants in order get eligible beneficiaries for the project. Beneficiaries were supposed to be married women without a smartphone or access to it at the time of recruitment. At baseline IPOR distributed smartphones and  trained 400 couples and 400 individual women  on how to use a  smartphone and its advantages.  Another group of 400 women were given cash equivalent to the smartphone (K56 000)  to see if they could acquire a phone and prosper like their counterparts. Again about 300 married women were put on control group and were contacted once  during baseline and did not receive cash, phone or training. For the midline evaluation, IPOR conducted face to face interviews with the treatment group and similar exercise is expected to be carried to both control and treatment at endline evaluation. In addition, IPOR worked with Girls Empowerment Network (GENET) to recruit and train facilitators for the project. 

Metaketa V: Pathways to Women’s Substantive Representation in Malawi


Metaketa is a project of field experiments taking place in five countries and is organized by Evidence in Governance and Politics (EGAP). This particular study focuses on women's collective efficacy and political engagement in Malawi. During the experiment randomized trainings will be conducted for women's village savings and loan associations, with those in the treatment group attending facilitated sessions aimed at fostering a sense of gender-based collective efficacy. At the individual level, new members will be randomly incentivized to join existing VSLAs. The goal of the study is to determine whether participating in a women's VSLA alone increases political engagement among women, and whether participating in training designed to promote collective efficacy offers an additional benefit.The study is being carried out in two districts of Malawi, Mzimba and Zomba, where 100 existing VSLAs were randomly selected in each district. These VSLAs are comprised of 14 existing members who were randomly selected, and 6 new members who were nominated to join the VSLAs, with 3 of them being given seeds. A baseline survey was conducted by IPOR with 200 Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs), which were randomly selected during the identification process in Mzimba and Zomba. Additionally, an elite survey was conducted on all Village Development Committee (VDC) chairpersons where the VSLAs are allocated.Top of Form The intervention aspect consists of four sessions, with the first session being an informative session on local government structure and development processes targeting both control and treatment groups. Sessions two through four have been  designed to promote a sense of gender-based collective efficacy and will only be administered to 100 treatment groups. After attaining the training sessions, VSLAs are expected to compete in proposal writing and 10 VSLAs will have a chance to win 1 Million Kwacha each as community grant for their area. For far, IPOR has conducted baseline and session one intervention and currently anticipating the commencement of session two.

Endline evaluation of Strengthening Higher Education Access in Malawi Activity (SHEAMA)


Strengthening Higher Education Access in Malawi Activity (SHEAMA) is one of the activities that has been implemented by the Arizona State University as part of the Higher Education (HE) portfolio that sits within the Education Office at USAID/Malawi. The objective of SHEAMA was to increase Malawi’s skilled and employable workforce. The Endline Evaluation of SHEAMA had two objectives namely: to measure SHEAMA’s influence on HE access by disadvantaged groups, HE linkages to industry, quality of HE programming, and sustainability and scalability of HE programs; and to enhance understanding of how different modes of instruction for HE affect accessibility, perceived value/sense of satisfaction, cost, and post-graduation opportunities.Data for the SHEAMA Endline Evaluation was collected from 5 public universities with SHEAMA-supported programs namely: Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR), Mzuzu University (MZUNI), Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST), University of Malawi (UNIMA), and Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences (MUBAS). Both quantitative and qualitative data collection methods were employed for the Evaluation and comprised phone surveys, focus group discussions and key informant interviews. Four stakeholder groups were engaged for purposes of data collection:  Open, Distance and e-Learning (ODeL) and Face-to-Face students and alumni drawn from degree, diploma and short course programs; university staff and faculty; representatives of private sector stakeholders; and Malawi Government officials from the Ministry of Education and the National Council for Higher Education. Evaluation tasks commenced in February 2022 and are expected to be concluded later in 2023. The SHEAMA Endline Evaluation is a partnership between the University of Notre Dame (UND) and IPOR under Supporting Holistic and Actionable Research in Education (SHARE), a five-year cooperative agreement between USAID and UND being implemented alongside partners in HE with funding from USAID. UND and IPOR jointly designed the Endline Evaluation. UND led on tool design while IPOR led on adapting tools for the Malawi context. IPOR led on obtaining local ethical clearance, recruitment and training of Research Assistants, and data collection and cleaning with UND mentorship and support. UND and IPOR jointly analyzed the data, co-authored the Evaluation Report and jointly presented its key findings to USAID. As the Evaluation is winding down, outstanding activities include incorporation of feedback on the Evaluation Report and presentation of the Report’s key findings to other stakeholders. 

Rapid Mortality Mobile Phone Surveys (RAMMPS)


IPOR is working on the Rapid Mortality Mobile Phone Survey (RaMMPS) research project in collaboration with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), New York University- Abu Dhabi (NYU-AD), Malawi Epidemiology Intervention Research Unit (MEIRU), and University of Malawi (UNIMA). For this project, IPOR collects excess mortality data during COVID-19 pandemic period. RaMMPS aims at measuring the impact of COVID-19 in terms of mortality in countries where Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) are weak. It is a national across-section study carried out in Malawi, Mozambique, Burkina Faso, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Bangladesh. RaMMPS collects quantitative data using the Computer Assisted Telephone Interviews (CATI) method (a telephone survey). Apart from data collection, IPOR helped to develop study tools, manage fieldwork, provide bi-weekly reports, programming the study tool, data cleaning, quality assurance, and support data analysis. The study aims at collecting data from 20,000 random mobile subscribers in Malawi. But as of early May 2023, IPOR conducted 12,000 completed interviews. The mobile subscribers are randomly selected with the help of The Sample Solution B.V. of the Netherlands ( Participants for the study include men and women between the ages of 18 and 64 across all regions of Malawi. The project started in January 2022 and is expected to end in June 2023. The challenges IPOR encountered during the course of implementation of the project included difficulties reaching out to women in rural areas through mobile phones and participants would mistake RaMMPS calls as fraudulent calls. But with the help of LSHTM, IPOR is using Interactive Voice Response (IVR) survey for screening rural women and thorough consent is sort to build trust between interviewers and participants.

Malawi Education Sector Improvement Programme II


Against the backdrop of the government's overall aim to provide equitable access to safe and adequate learning spaces to all students, the underlying objective of this midline survey is to provide information for an effective and efficient implementation of the Malawi Education Sector Improvement Project (MESIP). This midline survey is part of the independent school survey, the Malawi Public Schools Survey (MPSS) initiated by the Government of Malawi, conducted in three rounds. This will inform the relevant stakeholders on the progress towards achieving the project's expected outcomes and the results can be utilized to formulate policies and improvement in the quality of education in Malawi.The baseline and an initial round of midline data have already been collected. After successfully collecting the Midline data in 136 schools in 2019, IPOR has again been contracted to collect the Endline evaluation data from 700 primary schools in Malawi. The first phase f the project has been completed after our 11 teams visited and collected the data from 345 primary schools. The next phase will commence in September 2021.The survey is being implemented in a total of twelve districts in Malawi namely: Chikwawa , Thyolo, Mulanje, Machinga, Mangochi, Dedza, Dowa, Kasungu, Lilongwe, Nkhotakota, Mzimba and Rumphi.