MwAPATA Institute


Michigan State University (MSU) has a long history of research and engagement in Malawi to improve the country’s agricultural and public health outcomes.   MSU reinforced this legacy of collaboration by supporting the establishment of the MwAPATA Institute. The MwAPATA Institute is a Malawian-led agricultural policy research institute that engages the government of Malawi, the private sector, and civil society in applied research, policy outreach, capacity building, and policy coordination.

The idea for the institute came out of discussions in 2018 between the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World’s Agricultural Transformation Initiative (ATI) and researchers at Michigan State University, including MSU University Foundation Professor Emeritus Thom Jayne and Milu Muyanga, Associate Professor, both in the Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics (AFRE), as well as members of its Food Security Group (FSG). Muyanga now serves as the principal investigator of the ATI grant with fellow FSG member and Associate Professor William Burke, who serves as principal investigator on the USAID grant and co-PI on the ATI grant, as well as Acting Research Director. Ayala Wineman and Joey Goeb are Senior Research Fellows with MwAPATA, and Thom Jayne serves as a Senior Technical Advisor.  


  1. Policy research: Generate cutting-edge empirical research to inform policy debates and policy making processes in agriculture, natural resources, and rural development.
  2. Data quality improvements: Provide technical support to public data agencies to improve agricultural data quality and ensure effective tracking of agricultural transformation indicators.
  3. Capacity building: Improve local experts and policymakersʼ capacity to conduct policy analysis and use of evidence to make better-informed decisions in the agricultural sector.
  4. Policy coordination: Build a coalition of the most important public and private stakeholders in the agricultural sector to generate consensus on needed actions (e.g. policies, programs, bills, acts, investments, etc.) for agricultural transformation and to drive these actions forward into implementation.

Start Date

January 1, 2019

Anticipated End Date

May 14, 2024


Partnering Institutions


Working Papers

Policy Briefs

Policy Perspectives


Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Bill Burke

Bill Burke

Principal Investigator for MwAPATA Institute

MwAPATA Publications