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Zimbabwe is currently experiencing socio-economic and political instability due to internal and external factors as outlined in the contextual analysis. A potential risk arising from the external environment is that of banning of operations of NGOs as happened in 2008. Usually when this happens the most affected are international NGOs. Our mitigation strategy for this potential risk is the rooting of the organisation through the establishment of, initially an Advisory Committee and later a substantive National Board. Working through partners at local and national level will also help sustain programme activities managed by partners, especially those that are community based, during periods of operational difficulties.
The country has also experienced incidences of individual NGOs being hounded by the state in the past. This usually happens when the state is suspicious of the activities of an NGO. Our mitigation strategy is that of being transparent about our activities and programmes leaving no room for ambiguity on our role and mandate.
The merger between AAI-Z and MS-Z will involve bringing together personnel that have worked under different cultures, values, approaches, policies, systems and procedures. In view of that the merger will be within the framework of AAI, we are planning on facilitated bonding and team building exercises based on values, policies, systems and procedures of AAI. Our approach will be that of trying to get the best from both AAI-Z and MS-Z for a stronger organisation. One of the major roles of the planned Advisory Board is to steer the merger process.
Financial risks include possibilities of fraud, misappropriation and non-reporting as per contractual obligations. As part of our strategy for accountability, we plan to build strong financial systems and build the capacities of our staff and those of our partners to be accountable. AAI already has financial systems and procedures to guide this process. However, systems and procedures can only hold up to certain points beyond which everything depends on the people manning the systems and procedures. For this reason, we plan to ensure that our values are internalised and lived by all staff members. An organisational culture will be built around our set of values.
There are also potential human resource risks that speak to issues of staff selection and recruitment, development, motivation, retention and separation. AAI guidelines provide direction but these will be tailored to our local context. Challenges of brain drain for example, have to be managed, as too those of institutional memory building. Team building around shared values and convergence of organisational and individual goals with available opportunities also present areas for action. Another plan is to ensure that remuneration is competitive to check staff exodus.
In keeping with sound programme management practice, ICSP shall be monitored and evaluated in a participatory way. The ALPS and the Global Monitoring Framework shall guide all M&E work for the new strategy. The GMF will assist the Country Office to track progress against the global strategy, RTEP. The global guidelines on M&E will spell out the nature and content of reports (annual reports, periodic reviews, community reports, programme reports, donor reports, financial and technical audits, and Joint Annual Reviews with partners that will be produced). Our M&E approach shall be participatory and actively utilise REFLECT circles, STAR circles, CREST, PRRPS, and documentation of most significant stories of change.
This strategy recognises the need for documentation for effective learning and sharing of best practices. We propose to use the Most Significant Stories (MSS) approach to demonstrate impact and disseminate information. During the strategy period the CP will have a standalone impact assessment unit that is being funded through DFID. The impact assessment unit will lead the organisation in:
1 The Human Development Index provides a composite measure of three dimensions of human development: living a long and healthy life (measured by life expectancy), being educated (measured by adult literacy and enrolment at the primary, secondary and tertiary level) and having a decent standard of living (measured by purchasing power parity, PPP, income). It does not however include important indicators such as gender or income inequality and more difficult to measure indicators like respect for human rights and political freedoms. What it does provide is a broadened prism for viewing human progress and the complex relationship between income and well-being.
3 The Zimbabwe Business Forecast Report, Q1, 2007
4 Hawkins T, 2006, “The Economic, Political and Security Situation in Zimbabwe 2006 and Implications for the SADC Region”,
5 Rights to End Poverty - ActionAid International Strategy 2005-10
6 Another Africa is Imperative - ActionAid International Africa strategy 2005-10
8 The country is signatory to various instruments including the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) (1989), Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (1995), SADC Declaration on Gender and Development (1997) and its Addendum on Violence Against Women and Children (1998), the Millennium Development Goals (2000), the African Union Protocol to the Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (2004
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