The IMF Country Reports Series covers economic and financial developments and trends in member countries. Each report, prepared by a staff team after discussions with officials of the country, is published at the option of the member.
This Selected Issues paper benchmarks Malawi's public spending and identifies areas in which there is scope to improve expenditure efficiency. Malawi performs poorly in health and education spending efficiency. Spending in these areas will need to be stepped up to achieve better living standards and higher, more inclusive growth. A rebalancing of the composition of education and health spending-including greater prioritization of low-cost, high-impact spending and balancing maintenance against capital spending-would yield immediate results in both health and education. Strengthening the public expenditure management chain, especially procurement and supply management, will be important. These reforms would go hand in hand with greater fiscal transparency and accountability in these sectors.