University of Malawi
CENTRE FOR SOCIAL RESEARCH
Bwalo (A forum for social development)
Bwalo I, first published in 1997, is the Centre's attempt to address social and economic development issues within Malawi. The intention is to provide a medium through which all the stakeholders in Malawi's development can discuss and debate current development issues.
The inaugural issue, edited by assistant Director Dr Wycliffe Chilowa, tackled the issue of sustainable development in Malawi and was subdivided into a number of themes including;
Social and human development policy in Malawi;
The social costs of structural adjustment programmes;
National and international mobilization;
Social inclusion and integration: gender;
Social inclusion and integration: human rights;
Social inclusion and integration: sustainability, and
Measuring human development.
Contributors came from government, academia and NGOs. With financial support from UNDP for the, first three issues, issue 1 started a process that the CSR hopes to continue after funding support has ended. It is hoped that Bwalo can be a self-sustaining publication that will continue to provoke debate and discussion among all those interested in Malawi's development.
The second issue currently being produced deals with the issues of democracy and good governance. This is particularly pertinent given the forthcoming elections in 1999. Bwalo II deals with a number of issues including:
Has true democratic transformation been achieved or are the changes merely ones of regime transitions
A Malawian understanding of democracy and democratic principals based on -indigenous practices and folklore
The institutions and safeguards of a democratic nation
Local government and decision making in Malawi; in an historical context and critically examining the proposed changes government structures
How the new democratic dispensation has facilitated change in government policy, particularly education and language policy reform
Bawl II also returns to subject of measuring human development first addressed in Bawl I. In this issue the authors attempt to disaggregate human development data to the district level, data that could be used to prioritize development issues in individual districts.
It is hoped that Bwalo II will be published by November 2001.
Malawi Journal of Social Science (MJSS)
The Malawi Journal of Social Science (MJSS) an academic journal published under the auspices of the Faculty of Social Science, Chancellor College, is an annual publication, which addresses matters of interest to social scientists and the wider community.
The CSR acts, as managing editor for the MJSS and in this role is responsible for the logistical operations of the journal. The CSR is involved from the first call for papers for the journal and coordinates the meeting of editors and the identification and selection of reviewers. Once the papers have been reviewed the CSR is responsible for calling editorial meetings regarding the acceptability of articles for the journal and finally the CSR is responsible for the logistics of the publishing process; liaising with the publishing unit of Chancellor College and so on.
The MJSS was dormant for a number of years. For a number of years no issues were published due to the work committments of the lecturing staff involved in its publication, however, it is hoped that with the new logistical arrangements the journal will function properly once again.