IPOR gives Zomba communities MK6.6m worth tree seedlings

Institute of Public Opinion and Research (IPOR)—specialists in surveys and social science research, advisory and consulting services—Friday made a donation of tree seedlings worth MK6,630,000 to communities around the Zomba and Malosa Forest Reserves.

According to a press release from IPOR, the tree seedlings will be donated to villages in Traditional Authorities (TAs) Malemia, Mlumbe, Nkula and Sub TA Nkapita in Zomba and Machinga Districts.

The press release said the donation followed a study that IPOR, together with Ohio State University, Vanderbilt University and the International Food Research Institute (IFPRI) conducted in the communities around the Zomba and Malosa forest reserves in July and August 2022.

It further said the project titled “Gender, Deliberation, and Natural Resource Governance: Experimental Evidence from Malawi” aimed to study the effects of women groups on deliberations around environmental governance.

“As part of the study design, study respondents were offered a cash sum of K2,000 and invited to make a donation towards a community tree seedling fund from this amount if they so wished. IPOR promised to match all contributions donated from this exercise.

“From a total number of 3,872 study respondents, 76% donated to the seedlings fund with an average contribution of MK175 per person. A total of K658,820 was donated from the communities, demonstrating people’s commitment to contribute towards finding a solution to the problem of deforestation.

“As part of our Corporate Social Responsibility, IPOR decided to contribute a further K6,000,000 towards the tree seedling fund. In consultation with the Zomba and Machinga District Forestry offices, the funds have been used to purchase a variety of indigenous and fruit trees that are being donated to the study communities”.

The press release added the tree seedling donation continues a “long tradition by IPOR as a Corporate Citizen of Zomba” to donate to worthwhile courses.

Previous donations, according to the press release, have included a skip bin loader truck and skip bins to Zomba City Assembly to assist with garbage collection and disposal in the city, donation of computer and printers to Zomba Eastern Region Headquarters and Zomba Police Station.

IPOR also runs the Edward Chiwayula Trust Fund which supports underprivileged students at the University of Malawi with upkeep expenses.

In his remarks, TA Malemia appealed to community members to take part in planting and looking after the tree seedlings donated by IPOR, adding this will encourage more organizations to assist communities in efforts to restore forests.

IPOR is a leading firm in conducting and presenting high quality and trusted data in opinion surveys, marketing research, advisory and consulting services.

The organization’s gender governance study, according to the press release, further sought to examine the causal effect of women’s presence in climate-related deliberations using the case of communally managed forests in rural Malawi.

The press release added the study design took the form of a lab-in-the-field experiment that randomly varied the gender composition of six-member groups that were then asked to deliberate and then vote on solutions to combat deforestation.

“The study worked with community leaders to assemble groups with every possible combination of women and men, allowing us to estimate the full distribution of possible group types. The study’s initial results suggest that women’s relative influence in group deliberations increase when there are more women in the group.

“In other words, including more women does more than just increase women’s aggregate influence, but also increases the likelihood that any given women will influence group deliberations.

“When women make up the majority of a group’s membership, they are more likely to have their pre-treatment policy preferences win in a group vote,” the press release concludes.

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