Data

General Issues
Human Rights & Civil Rights
Social Welfare
Housing
Location
Nsanje
Southern Region
Malawi
Links
https://cdd.stanford.edu/2017/deliberative-polling-in-nsanje-district-southern-malawi/
Start Date
Ongoing
No
Total Number of Participants
480
Recruitment Method for Limited Subset of Population
Stratified Random Sample
General Types of Methods
Deliberative and dialogic process
Primary Organizer/Manager
The Center for Deliberative Democracy at Stanford University
Evaluation Report Links
https://cdd.stanford.edu/2017/gauging-citizens-voice-strengthening-resilience-in-nsanje-district-southern-malawi/

CASE

Deliberative Polling® in Nsanje District, Southern Malawi

July 25, 2022 andrea03
July 5, 2022 Nina Sartor
June 23, 2022 andrea03
General Issues
Human Rights & Civil Rights
Social Welfare
Housing
Location
Nsanje
Southern Region
Malawi
Links
https://cdd.stanford.edu/2017/deliberative-polling-in-nsanje-district-southern-malawi/
Start Date
Ongoing
No
Total Number of Participants
480
Recruitment Method for Limited Subset of Population
Stratified Random Sample
General Types of Methods
Deliberative and dialogic process
Primary Organizer/Manager
The Center for Deliberative Democracy at Stanford University
Evaluation Report Links
https://cdd.stanford.edu/2017/gauging-citizens-voice-strengthening-resilience-in-nsanje-district-southern-malawi/

The Nsanje District in Malawi is home to 2 regions that face severe challenges from recurrent flooding. Residents met to discuss policy options on the topics of relocation and resettlement, reducing vulnerabilities, and population pressure, gender and access to social services.

Problems and Purpose

The Nsanje District in Malawi is home to two regions (Traditional Authorities) that face severe challenges from recurrent flooding: TA Nyachikadza and TA Ndamera. When flooding occurs in TA Nyachikadza the residents of this lowland community seek refuge in the upland, where TA Ndamera is located. In 1997, the Malawi government declared TA Nyachikadza a flood-prone area and prohibited the population from residing there. However, the community has refused to relocate for a variety of reasons, including issues relating to livelihood and population pressure.

The problems facing these two communities have only worsened over the years and it has become ever more dangerous for its residents. Government policies have been ineffective and unenforced and therefore, the government leaders have opted to implement a Deliberative Poll(DP), to have both communities provide more informed input about the issues at stake. 

Background History and Context

Organizing, Supporting, and Funding Entities

Participant Recruitment and Selection

This first Deliberative Poll in Malawi was led by the South Africa Resilience Innovation Lab (SA RILab) working with Dr. Donald Makoka of the Centre for Agricultural Research and Development (CARD) of the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources1 in Lilongwe. The Deliberative Poll drew a random, representative sample of the populations of both TAs, with a total of 480 participants completing the two days of deliberations. All 254 participants drawn in the initial sample of TA Nyachikadza, as well as 226 of 230 participants drawn in the initial sample of TA Ndamera, attended the Deliberative Poll. This is a 99% recruitment rate, the highest of any Deliberative Poll conducted anywhere in the world.

Since the sample was recruited via stratified random sampling of households with random selection of participants within the households, and because virtually everyone agreed to participate, we have a strong basis for concluding that the sample is representative.

Methods and Tools Used

What Went On: Process, Interaction, and Participation

Over the weekend of June 3-4, 2017, the entire sample of 480 participants was gathered to a single place to discuss thirty-two policy options. The discussions covered three main areas: relocation and resettlement, reducing vulnerabilities in the existing communities, and issues of population pressure, gender and access to social services. Upon arrival at the DP, the sample was shown a briefing video that explained the problems and policy options to be discussed. The DP agenda was carefully vetted by an advisory committee and checked for balance and accuracy. The Advisory Committee is listed in the Appendix at the end of this report. The video presented both the pros and cons of each of the thirty-two policy options. Over the two days of deliberation, the participants alternated between moderated small group discussions and plenary sessions where their questions were answered by a panel of experts. This was done for each of the three main topics. After the deliberations, the views of the participants were captured in an orally administered confidential questionnaire, the same that was used at the time of recruitment

Influence, Outcomes, and Effects

The results show many statistically significant changes after deliberation. In examining the two communities together, seventeen of the thirty-two proposals experienced significant changes (below 0.05 significance level). The topic relating population pressure, gender, and access to social services had the most changes, eleven out of fourteen policy proposals changed significantly. Five of nine policy proposals changed significantly for proposals relating to reducing vulnerabilities in the existing communities. And only two of nine policy proposals relating to relocation and resettlement changed significantly for the sample as a whole. 

Analysis and Lessons Learned

While it is obvious from the results on the resettlement proposals that the TA Nyachikadza residents are not prepared to engage in permanent community resettlement, there are many practical areas of agreement on what should be done. Hence, we think the proposals that really stand out are the proposals that garnered strong support from both communities after they considered all the arguments on either side. The proposals prioritized by the communities that should be given detailed consideration by the policymakers as well as other key stakeholders are the following six key policies;

1. Government should not prohibit provision of social services in TA Nyachikadza

2. Government should allow TA Nyachikadza communities to “access” land upland to temporarily relocate during floods and return afterwards

3. Government should promote increased temporary shelters for evacuation instead of classroom.

4. Government should provide wide access to free family planning services

5. Community by-laws should be used to restrict child marriages.

6. A woman should not lose the family land if her husband dies.

See Also

References

Taken directly from https://cdd.stanford.edu/2017/gauging-citizens-voice-strengthening-resilience-in-nsanje-district-southern-malawi/

External Links

https://cdd.stanford.edu/2017/gauging-citizens-voice-strengthening-resilience-in-nsanje-district-southern-malawi/

Notes