Malawi Local Governance Performance Index, 2016-2018


Photo by Kristen Kao

In collaboration with the Governance and Local Development (GLD) team and a team of researchers from the University of Bergen, I spent a month in Malawi running a tablet-based survey (N=8,000+) and leading a Malawian team of researchers to collect data from local government institutions. The survey covers various aspects of national and local politics including parsing out the differential effects of patrimonial versus matrimonial tribal structures on popular views of the proper role of women in society, drivers of vote buying, and differential voting behavior across local and national elections.

Related Publications:

Kao, Kristen. With Ellen Lust, and Lise Rakner. In Press. “Vote-Buying, Anti-Corruption Campaigns, and Identity in African Elections?” World Development.

Kao Kristen, Rakner Lisa, and Lust Ellen. 2018. “Money Machine: Do the Poor Demand Clientelism?” APSA Comparative Democratization Newsletter, 16(1): 22-26.

Harris, A., Kristen Kao, and Ellen Lust. 2018. “The Determinants of Local and National Vote Choice: Evidence from a Conjoint Experiment,” APSA Comparative Democratization Newsletter, 16(1), pp. 22-26.

With Ellen Lust, and Lise Rakner. 2017. “Money Machine: Do the Poor Demand Clientelism?” The Program on Governance and Local Development Working Paper Series, University of Gothenburg.

With Ruth Carlitz, Pierre Landry, Ellen Lust, and Lise Rakner. 2017. “Beyond the State: Measuring Governance at the Community Level.” APSA Comparative Democratization Newsletter. 17(2): 26–29. Available here.


“Money Machine: Do the Poor Demand Clientelism?” Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town, November 7, 2018.

“Community-Driven or Self-Interested Voters? A Conjoint Experiment on Vote Buying and Identity in Malawi.” Quality of Government Annual Conference, Budapest, Hungary, 2017 & European Political Science Association, Milan, Italy, 2017.