- Programme Identification Details
|Short Title of Programme
|Enfranchising People With Disabilities to exercise their constitutional right to vote and facilitating their inclusion in governance systems.
|Name of Lead Institution
|National Association of Societies for the Care of the Handicapped (NASCOH)
|Amount of DFID Funding:
|GBP3 000 000 (Three Million pounds)
|Brief Summary of Programme:
|A five year programme seeking to secure the inclusion of people with disabilities (PWDs) in Zimbabwe’s governance systems through their participation in all elections, run for local and parliamentary elections in their respective constituencies, advocating for polling stations accessibility to PWDs and are able to vote secretly and independently. The programme aims at ensuring proportional representation of PWDs in parliament and other decision making bodies, a quota system in employment, lobby for the creation of a disability ministry, enactment and implementation of conducive disability legislation by the government. At the moment PWDs do not vote, and are apprehensive about the indignity of being assisted by a stranger.
|List all countries where activities have taken or will take place
|List all implementing partners in each country
|Disabled Women Support Organisation (DWSO)
Jairos Jiri Association (JJA)
Zimbabwe National Association of the Deaf (ZIMNAD)
Zimbabwe Association of Visually Impaired (ZAVH)
Zimbabwe National Association for Mental Health (ZINAMH)
Zimbabwe National League of the Blind (ZNLB)
Zimbabwe Parents of Handicapped children Association (ZPHCA)
|Target groups- wider beneficiaries
|People with Disabilities in Zimbabwe
|Mr Farai Gasa Mukuta
93 Greendale Avenue
Tel +263 4 2900041
Mobile + 263 712 862072
|Person who prepared this report
(if different from Lead Contact)
|Disability Technical Advisor, Innocent Fambaineni Magweva
2. List of Acronyms
DFID (UK) Department for International Development
DWSO Disabled Women Support Organisation
DPOs Disabled People’s Organizations
GTF Governance and Transparency Fund
GPA Global Political Agreement
ITC Information, Technology and Communication
JJA Jairos Jiri Association
M&E Monitoring and Evaluation
MOU Memorandum of Understanding
MOV Means of Verification
MP Member of Parliament
NASCOH National Association of Societies for Care of the Handicapped
NIEF National Indigenisation and Empowerment Fund
NYC National Youth Council
SSN Social Safety Nets
NGOs Non- Governmental Organizations
PWDs People with Disabilities
RAMs Rapid Appraisal Methods
SRC Sports and Recreation Commission
WGI Worldwide Governance Indicators
ZAVH Zimbabwe Association of Visually Impaired
ZEC Zimbabwe Electoral Commission
ZESN Zimbabwe Election Support Network
ZILGA Zimbabwe Local Government Association
ZIMNAD Zimbabwe National Association of the Deaf
ZINAMH Zimbabwe National Association for Mental Health
ZMC Zimbabwe Media Commission
ZNLB Zimbabwe National League of the Blind
ZPHCA Zimbabwe Parents of Handicapped children Association
3. Executive Summary
This annual report on the programme on ‘Enfranchising people with disabilities to exercise their constitutional right to vote and facilitating their inclusion in governance systems’ will cover the period from 1 April 2009 to 31March 2010.
After laying the foundation and preparatory work in February and March 2009, the major activities of the consortium during the period under review focused on the implementation of the programme. NASCOH realised that the success of the programme is grounded, among other factors, on implementing partners having a thorough understanding of the governance systems of the country; a disability-conscious media; the adequate capturing of disability in the constitution and in the country’s legislation; and that organisations are fairly resourced
It is against this background that activities during the period under review were organised. The major activities between April 2009 and March 2010 included, baseline survey, programme launch, training of trainers, media sensitisation workshop, training of election observers with disabilities, participation in the constitution making process, carrying out research on social protection, Introducing of Directors and Organisational Boards to good governance, production of a strategic plan for NASCOH, activating and updating of the NASCOH website, production of a quarterly magazine, reintroducing a radio programme on disability and governance and purchase of vehicles and equipment. After the official launch of the programme by the Minister of Labour and Social Services on 15 July 2009, NASCOH went on full scale to implement the programme. In recognition of the role and power of the media in society and its influence on public opinion, perception, and ability to compel people to action, a three day sensitisation workshop on disability was held in September. The workshop, which brought together over 20 journalists from different media houses, produced strategies of enhancing visibility of disability issues in Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe is in the process of drafting a new constitution and NASCOH and its sub-grantees participating in the constitution making process lobbied for disability issues to be included in the constitution. A press statement highlighting the need for inclusion of PWDs in the constitution-making process was placed in Zimbabwe’s major newspapers in May 2009. In the area of good governance, 28 trainers from six sub grantees received 10-day training on governance while Directors and Board members were introduced to good governance through a two-day training workshop which produced a strategic plan for NASCOH. In terms of information dissemination NASCOH was able to update its website, produce quarterly newsletters and reformulated its weekly radio programme on disability to focus on governance and inclusion. To resource the consortium, nine double cab vehicles and equipment such as computers were purchased.
While there are no major risks identified to date there are cross cutting issues of poverty and disability. The root causes of disability are inextricably associated with poverty and living with a disability without operational social safety nets (SSNs) in a country like Zimbabwe can lower the ability of PWDs to engage in meaningful governance and community development. As a mitigatory measure, the NASCOH consortium and the Ministry of Labour and Social Services, is working on a social protection scheme which would result in the Department of Social Services introducing disability grants.
Preparation of sustainability of the programme started with the strengthening, collaboration and networking efforts with other organisations working in the area of human rights and governance notably Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN), Crisis Coalition in Zimbabwe, Transparency International (Zimbabwe) and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission. This has been done through meetings and information sharing workshops. Relations have been established with other DFID grant recipients and more opportunities for collaboration and a sustainable working relationship are being pursued.
4. Programme Management
The Finance and Grants Manager went on maternity leave and NASCOH hired an equally competent accountant from September to December 2009.
- Working with implementing partners
During the period under review the 7 sub grantees implemented the programme in 7 districts, as indicated in the table below:
Table 2; Showing the Organisation and the District in which it is operating.
|Name of Organisation
|Name of District
|Disabled Women Support Organisation (DWSO)
|Jairos Jiri Association (JJA)
|Zimbabwe National Association of the Deaf (ZIMNAD)
|Zimbabwe National league of the Blind (ZNLB)
|Zimbabwe National Association for Mental Health (ZINAMH)
|Zimbabwe Parents of Handicapped children Association (ZPHCA)
|Zimbabwe Association of the Visually Handicapped (ZAVH)
ZAVH eventually joined the consortium in implementing the programme in January 2010. Major activities carried out by these organisations to date include community mobilisation; workshops and meetings with chiefs, headmen, village heads, councillors, PWDs and their families, local authorities, government departments, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), and other NGOs operating in the districts.
.5. 1 Official launch of the Programme
The programme was officially launched in July 2009 in Harare by the Minister of Labour and Social Services, the Honourable Paurina Mpariwa, (MP). She hailed the positive efforts made by NASCOH and PWDs in ensuring the inclusion of disability issues in the ongoing constitution-making process.
5.2 Training of Trainers
The success of the programme depends on implementing partners having a thorough understanding of the governance systems of the country. Against this background NASCOH trained 28 trainers on governance, twenty of whom are PWDs. The goals of the training were:
- To instil in participants a sound understanding of governance principles, and the governance systems and structures of Zimbabwe.
- To discuss cross cutting issues of disability and how they relate to governance.
- To train participants in governance issues so that they can train other disability activists and ensure a sound understanding of disability issues among programme beneficiaries.
- To discuss issues of reports, and the reporting systems and mechanisms pertaining to the programme.
Presenters were eminent persons drawn from relevant government and civil society organisations, such as the Clerk of Parliament, Judge President, Senior Superintendent of the Zimbabwe Republic Police, Assistant Commissioner of the Zimbabwe Prison Services, Government Auditor General, Chief Elections Officer from ZEC and Directors of civil society organisations, like the Zimbabwe Human Rights Forum, Transparency International (Zimbabwe) Non-State Actors Forum, and ZESN. The training covered topics such as the role of key state organs, civil society, democracy, human rights in Zimbabwe and many more relevant topics. Through fruitful interaction between presenters and participants, delegates gained a sound understanding of governance systems in Zimbabwe.
5.3 Governance training
This introductory workshop on good governance, facilitated by a well-known regional guru on governance, Dr Zibani Maundeni, looked at governance and transparency from the international, regional and country perspectives. Major topics covered were based on the theory and practice of Capability, Accountability and Responsiveness (CAR) concepts. Emphasis was on applying the CAR concept at organisational, consortium and membership levels. Participants of the two-day workshop were Directors and two Board members from each sub grantee. The workshop came up with a number of issues that needed to be addressed at organisational and NASCOH membership level, and highlighted the importance of networking, collaboration, information sharing and coordination.
5.4 Contribution to the Constitution Making Process
The current constitution making process provides a unique opportunity for disability issues to be adequately included in the constitution. To ensure representative input from the disability electorate, two consultative workshops and eight meetings were held with PWDs. The workshops and meetings came up with a number of important recommendations and a committee was set up to follow through on these recommendations and come up with a Disability Charter. This would be presented to the parliamentary select committee, government, political parties, civil society and other key players. NASCOH and its sub grantees participated in the National Constitution making convention and NASCOH’s Advocacy and Research Officer was nominated by the disability fraternity to present disability issues to be included in the constitution. Consequently, a thematic committee on disability was set up by the parliamentary select committee. In addition the Constitution parliamentary select committee (COPAC) allocated a budget for eventual consultation with PWDs and NASCOH was assigned to coordinate the consultation process. It is worth noting that among all vulnerable groups which lobbied COPAC for a separate budget, only disability managed to get any allocation. In addition 23 PWDs (See table below) were trained by COPAC on data collection on the constitution. These shall be part of a big national outreach team which shall go out for 65 days collecting information from communities on issues to be included in the desired constitution
Table 3 Showing Disaggregated Data On PWDs Included In The Constitution Making Outreach Teams
Type of Disability
Total No. of Persons included per Disability Category
Total No. of Persons included per Disability
|Grand total of PWDs who were included
|People living with disabling conditions (Albinism, Epilepsy, etc..)
|Total of PWDs included by sex
5.5 Sensitisation of Media personnel
The media in Zimbabwe has remained polarised along political lines although it would appear that things are now looking up following the formation of an inclusive government. This polarisation has impacted negatively on coverage of disability issues, as the media on both sides of the political divide, tended to focus on political stories, which are accorded high profile visibility. The result is neglect of the wider social issues, including disability issues. This is changing slowly however, as indications point towards the de-stressing of political and partisan issues in media coverage and reporting. In view of the important role played by the media to influence public opinion, perception, and ultimately move people to action, NASCOH organised a three-day disability-media sensitisation workshop, which brought together journalists from all media houses. The workshop was opened by the Minister of Health and Child Welfare, the Honourable Henry Madzorera.
The workshop came up with sound strategies for enhancing visibility of disability issues and individual media houses came up with action plans on coverage of disability issues which NASCOH will follow up on. The workshop was extensively covered on television and all radio stations as well as on the internet. As a result of this workshop NASCOH has been able to get publicity across the whole media divide, from both the public and independent media, and radio and television, proving that disability cuts across partisan and political considerations. During the period under review, disability stories, most of them in-depth stories, appeared in the media 28 times. Some of the media mentions are given on the NASCOH website. The organisation has been covered 9 times on television and has been featured 13 times on radio during the period under review.
NASCOH has redesigned its website www.nascoh.org.zw so that it reflects the current thrust of the DFID-funded programme. Updating of the website is done on a monthly basis. In addition, the website contains information on our ongoing radio programme ‘Seka urema wafa’ (everyone is potentially disabled). The website also features major events conducted by the consortium in implementing the governance and transparency programme. The weekly radio programme which profiles disability issues and concerns has run every week without fail since the inception of the programme. The live phone-in radio programme, which is aired on ‘National FM’ every Saturday from 6.30pm to 7.00pm, has been refocused so that it reflects the current focus of our programme on elections and disability inclusion in governance systems. The list of topics tackled in the programme is available on the website.
5.7 Institutional Support
The major challenge of lack of transport and equipment which NASCOH and sub grantees faced since the inception of the programme is now a thing of the past, since 9 Nissan double cabs, laptops and desk tops were purchased. A generator was purchased to offset frequent electricity switch-offs.
5.8 Training of Elections Observers
One hundred and twenty (120) PWDs recently completed training in election observation in three separate workshops conducted in Harare, Gweru and Bulawayo, bringing to 197 the total number of PWDs who have been trained in election observation in the country. The three workshops were conducted by a team from the ZEC, an independent election management body which oversees the conduct of elections in Zimbabwe.
Topics covered included the historical background and over view of ZEC, understanding the electoral Process, SADC Principles and guidelines Governing Democratic Elections, democracy and elections, regional and Continental Election benchmarks, Roles, Responsibilities and Code of Conduct for Observers, Handling Media, Cross-cutting issues:
5.9 Engaging Government in Advocating for the Participation of People with Disabilities in Governance System
5.9.1. Lobby by Disabled People’s Organizations (DPOs)
On 20 February 2010, one of our partners, the Zimbabwe National League of the Blind convened a meeting with Vice President (VP) John Nkomo in Bulawayo. In attendance were 117 PWDs from 21 Disabled Peoples Organizations and disability support groups. The meeting was called to engage the VP to enhance the disability agenda and suggest what mechanism could be put in place to address disability issues in the country. In his response to many presentations made by PWDs, the Vice President said the facilitation of PWDs mostly falls within the mandate of Government Departments such as Local Government, Health, Education, Housing, Transport, Labour and Social Welfare; as well as other departments where potential causes of disabilities proliferate. It is therefore necessary that these departments, along with related quasi-government bodies such as local authorities – complemented by Non- Governmental Organizations [NGOs] – initiate, promote and develop efficient coordinative and participatory mechanisms through which services for PWDs, as well as equal development opportunities are dispensed. The review and refinement of legislation as discussed would naturally take into account inputs from these related agencies. A full report of the meeting can be found on NASCOH website.
- Appointments of PWDs to positions of Authority
The period under review witnessed some positive appointments of PWDs to positions of authority by the government. The appointment of the NASCOH Board Chairperson, Mr Godfrey Majonga, as Chair of the newly constituted Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) was a major success not only for NASCOH and the disability fraternity but for the Zimbabwe media, the broad democratic agenda and the general populace. The independent Commission has already granted licences to five new publishers. This introduction of new voices will change the media landscape in Zimbabwe. Another notable appointment was of Mr Tsarayi Mungoni, NASCOH’s advocacy and research officer to the National Indigenisation and Empowerment Fund (NIEF) Board. Mr Abraham Mateta, a programme officer with one of our partners, ZNLB, was appointed to the National Youth Council (NYC) as a Board member. Mr Kudzai Shava, NASCOH projects officer in Manicaland, and Mr Obedia Moyo were appointed to the Information, Technology and Communication (ITC) Board and the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) Board respectively.
5.9.3 Specially nominated Councillors
Lobbying for specially nominated councillors has resulted in Mutare City Council and Mutoko Rural District Council passing resolutions to have specially elected councillors with disabilities. It is envisaged that the Minister of local government will approve the resolution and PWDs as councillors.
5.9.4. Participation in Electoral System
Our partners worked with ZEC in Masvingo and Mutoko districts to ensure the provision of voter education to PWDs and their families. A total number of 949 PWDs and family members were reached, comprising 412 males and 537 females. Disaggregated data on voter education will soon be available on the NASCOH website. Our partners also assisted PWDs with the acquisition of identity documents needed to register as voters. In addition PWDs are currently being assisted with assistive devices including wheelchairs, white canes and clutches. Disaggregated data will soon be available on the NASCOH website. With regards to election observing and comparative visits, ZESN trained NASCOH officers on election observation and monitoring, who observed elections in Botswana and Namibia in the month of October and November respectively.
5.9.5. Social protection
Despite the government allocating resources towards social services, there has been no meaningful social protection scheme or social safety net for PWDs. Gaps also exist in knowledge about the various groups of PWDs, types of SSNs available to them, and about their basic needs. It became imperative to gather the types of information that could close these knowledge gaps, in order to address the social protection gap. A baseline study by NASCOH had also indicated poverty as one of the contributing factors limiting the participation of PWDs in the electoral process in Zimbabwe and had outlined the need for social protection of PWDs in Zimbabwe. To this end, NASCOH engaged a team of lead evaluators, with the support of the Ministry of Labour and Social Services, to conduct this investigation. The major aim of the research was to examine the nexus of poverty and disability with the social protection mechanisms used to assist PWDs and drawing a Social Protection Framework in Zimbabwe. A full report is given on NASCOH website.
- Risk Assessment
a.The first major risk has to do with political uncertainty. In the worst case scenario, the Global Political Agreement (GPA) would unravel and the country would slide into anarchy and chaos, rendering developmental programmes very difficult to implement. The probability of this happening is low since all the parties to the agreement have shown a demonstrable will to compromise and are buoyed up by the prospects of prosperity and peace. The impact of this happening, however, would be high. The risk can be mitigated through proactive engagement of the concerned parties by civic society to adhere to the tenets of peace, reconciliation and nation building
b.Possibility of deregistration of NGOs and curtailing of their activities would be another risk to contend with. The probability of this happening is low since all parties are committed to the GPA. The impact of this risk is medium. The risk can be mitigated through neutrality and impartiality in dealing with political parties and issues.
c.One of the parties, especially MDC, could pull out of the GPA. The impact of this is high since NGOs in Zimbabwe are often accused of sympathising with the West and MDC. There would be a resultant crackdown on NGOS and this would have high impact but the probability of this happening is low. The risk can be mitigated through proactive engagement of the concerned parties by civic society to adhere to the tenets of neutrality, peace, reconciliation and nation building.
c.Weakening of the pound is another risk. The probability of this is low and the impact is medium. The risk can be mitigated by spreading the programme over a longer period, and engaging in cost-effective programme implementation.
However, generally, the formation of the inclusive government provides opportunities for PWDs to actively engage government on governance issues.
- M&E Arrangements
There have not been significant changes on the M&E arrangements. The Disability Technical Adviser and the Finance and Grants Manager made three trips to each sub grantee. After each visit, organisations are assisted with advice and training in order to improve their capacity. NASCOH has continued to assign resources proportionally to M&E activities during the period according to the specifications of the NASCOH Inception Report. NASCOH and sub-grantees held a peer monitoring exercise for its programme officers from 21-27 February 2010. The peer monitoring exercise enabled programme officers to get an insight of what other programme officers were doing on the ground, assess one another, share insights, come up with learning points and advise one another on the best way forward. Programme officers were assessed based on Programme Standards and Norms using the Advocacy Index Tool for scoring and focused on progress made in the following areas: ensuring accessibility for PWDs; ensuring access to communication and information for PWDs; networking and coordination; elections and voter education; visibility of the organisation in the programme area, and; cost effectiveness of the programme. This exercise was followed up by a similar exercise for directors, which also looked at the policy and governance issues of members of the consortium in addition to programmatic issues. Recommendations were made and a committee comprising various members of the board was put in place to resolve identified problems.
- Log frame Changes
In the first year, NASCOH and KPMG agreed that the outputs were too many and were reduced from 9 to 6, and rationalised around the areas of strengthening of NGOs to support PWDs and enhancing the participation of PWDs as attached in Annex 2 of this report. In addition, activities were aligned to the 6 outputs. There have not been any changes this year.
- Emerging impact on governance and transparency
Impact of the programme has been notable in the following areas:
- Four of the seven sub-grantees now have good financial systems
- A thematic committee on disability, co-chaired by a PWD, was set up by the parliamentary select committee on the constitution.
- Appointment of PWDs to positions of authority at the Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC), NIEF Board, Youth Council, ICT Board and SRC.
- DPOs holding the government to account for its action and demanding self-representation, inclusion and participation in national affairs.
- PWDs took the government and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to court and won the case on the need to amend the Electoral Act to enable blind and visually impaired persons to cast their votes secretly.
- The Zimbabwe Local Government Association (ZILGA) agreed to facilitate the appointment of PWDs as special nominated councillors in each local council and each of the sub grantees is expected to submit motion forms for appointments to be considered. To date two local authorities passed resolutions to have specially nominated councillors.
- There has been numerous positive coverage of disability issues by both electronic and print media.
Two case studies of progress achieved by the programme showing specific overall GTF programme indicator to which they contribute are shown below in the two tables:
Table 3 Showing Case Study 1 of Progress Achieved by the Programme
|GTF programme number
|GTF programme logframe indicator to which this case study is contributing
|Output 5. Increased PWDs who participate as election observers in the country’s local and national elections
Indicator 5.1 Increase from 77 to 400 by end of 2011 with proportional representation of major disabilities and 52.5% being women with disabilities
|What is the evidence for the example given?
|120 Election observers with disabilities were trained representing the four major disabilities with 52.5% being women with disabilities.
|What has changed? The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) now trains and certifies PWDs as election observers in preparation of future elections. In 2008, ZEC turned down our request to train PWDs as observers.
|Who has benefitted? PWDs who were trained; ZEC, whose capacity was enhanced to accommodate people with disabilities.
|How the change occurred? NASCOH lobbied for the inclusion and participation of PWDs in the electoral system as observers and ZEC responded to the call by training election observers.
|Why this change is useful? Such changes promote the participation of the poor and vulnerable (PWDs) in building democracy and the poor will be able to hold elections authority to accountability.
|Where has this change occurred? The operations of ZEC are now inclusive and accommodative to PWDs as elections observers.
Table 4 Showing Case Study 2 of Progress Achieved by the Programme
|GTF programme number
|GTF programme log frame indicator to which this case study is contributing
|Output 8 Increased PWDs appointed to positions of authority (at least head of department) in the country’s public and private sector.
Indicator 8.1 Increase from 0 to 10 with equal representation of major disabilities and 50% being women with disabilities by 2012 and increase to 20 by 2013
|What is the evidence for the example given?
|Five PWDs were appointed to positions of authority. A breakdown is given below
|Name of appointing Organization
|No of PWDs appointed
|Type of Disability
|What has changed? PWDs are being considered, on merit, and appointed to positions of authority. An example is the appointment of Mr Godfrey Majonga as the chairperson of the ZMC. Mr Majonga who is also NASCOH chairperson competed in the interviews with other 26 candidates for the post
|Who has benefitted? PWDs. The organisations involved and the nation at large have also benefitted from the hitherto untapped potential of PWDs.
|How the change occurred? NASCOH lobbied for the appointment of capable PWDs in positions of authority in the private and public sector. This was done through meetings, media statements and writing to specific bodies.
|Why this change is useful? Such change promotes self –representation of PWDs, thereby making government responsive to the needs of PWDs and further fostering the participation of PWDs in governance systems.
|Where has this change occurred? Major changes took place in bodies charged with national programmes such as the media, youth affairs, sports and ITC
- Cross-cutting issues
The root causes of disability are inextricably associated with poverty, malnutrition, war, political violence, stigma, lack of services, economic disparity, gender bias, class bias, and pollution—and these normally affect the poorest of people in the hardest of ways. Living with a disability and without operational social safety nets (SSNs) can lower the ability by PWDs to engage in meaningful governance and community development. The purpose of community development typically is to eradicate poverty and to improve the standard of living of the general populace. In Zimbabwe, most PWDs (98%) are poor. Disability does not just affect the individual, but has an impact on the whole community. NASCOH will continue to lobby for a social protection programme for PWDs.
- Progress towards sustainability (year 3 onwards)
Strengthening (the) collaboration and networking with other organisations has started through meetings and information sharing workshops with other organisations such as the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) Zimbabwe Election Support Network, Zimbabwe Local Government Association (ZILGA)
NASCOH has used ZILGA, the umbrella body for local government structures in the country, to facilitate entry by the consortium into rural areas through prior constructive engagement with traditional chiefs and councillors in the various provinces and districts. This has ensured a soft landing for our partners in carrying out activities in the rural areas. By establishing mutually-beneficial synergies through a media sensitisation workshop, NASCOH now has a dedicated pool of journalists countrywide who actively seek out news and topical issues on disability and highlight these issues to the public in their publications and broadcasting stations on a regular basis.
- Learning from GTF
The purpose of this section is to draw out key lessons from across the GTF portfolio, so that they can be summarised and disseminated for development partners and policy makers.
Part 1: How Tools and Methods Have Been Applied and How Useful These Have Been in Implementing the Programme.
Programme Standards and Norms are used to establish the desired and acceptable level of service delivery in each area of operation, while the Advocacy Index is used to measure the impact of such engagement. NASCOH engages policy makers and politicians at national level while sub grantees engage politicians at provincial and local levels since that is where the disability vote counts for either a councilor or an MP. The standards and norms are a checklist to monitor progress of the programme. This includes partnership in M&E through peer M&E. The consortium of the seven sub-grantees and NASCOH formed a monitoring committee, made up of a representative from each organization led by the M&E expert from NASCOH. The committee visits each of the 7 operational areas every 6 months to monitor progress using the advocacy index for scoring. The tool addresses the major problem of exclusion of PWDs in decision making forums and in the electoral process of the country and plays a crucial role in advocating for disability friendly legislation and ensuring proportional representation of PWDs in parliament and other decision making bodies, a quota system in employment. This puts politicians under pressure to act or risk losing the vote of PWDs who constitute over 10 % of eligible voters. In addition sub-grantees complete a monthly data collection tool providing quantitative data and case studies from each of the operation areas.
Lessons- from using the tools
a. There is need to be sensitive to the peculiarities of different partners. In the case of the NASCOH consortium, partners have varying levels of capacity, different expectations of the programme, and peculiar communication constraints. NASCOH has learnt the importance of ensuring the inclusion of all groups of PWDs in a way that is accommodating of their peculiar disabilities and putting them at the forefront of interventions.
b.There is a need to conduct constant assessment of partners in order to identify emerging weaknesses in the programme.
c.The combination of the Standards and Norms checklist and the Advocacy index in peer monitoring puts pressure on those participating to act.
d.The Advocacy Index is a planning, lobbying, M&E tool that compels politicians to implement changes in the governance systems and also measures the impact of our advocacy. Both the lead organization and the partners use the tool for planning, implementation, M&E purposes. The implementation partners have adopted the norms and standards and advocacy index to guide their operations. The use of non-violent methods including peer M&E which put pressure on politicians and policy makers is a peaceful and sustainable means for change. An ongoing process, advocacy requires constant lobbying starting from policy formulation to implementation.
d.NASCOH and its partners should decentralise in order to ensure speedy, hassle-free and effective implementation of activities in areas of operation.
Part 2: Governance and Transparency Themes
What are the key factors determining whether or not change in relation to governance and transparency is achieved in different contexts as a result of civil society interventions? – Successfully effecting changes or shifts in government positions and policies through intelligent engagement and advocacy, empowering the grassroots (PWDs) to be their own change agents through evidence-based interventions, galvanising support among civil society and winning the support of the media and society at large.
What evidence is there of innovative practice e.g. a new way of tackling a governance issue or an unusual alliance to bring about change?–
Engagement of the presidency and traditional leadership structures was undertaken in a bottom-up as opposed to the top-up approach to advocacy. The Vice President was engaged by the ZNLB in order to inter alia influence adoption and implementation of a disability inclusive governance practice. The DWSO, also one of the sub-grantees, used a Traditional Chief to promote disability awareness to other traditional leaders at community level to break traditional attitudinal barriers to the full participation of PWDs in political and public life at community level. An inclusive programme coordination committee composed of a representative from each partner organisation ensures participation, commitment and sustainable ownership of intervention strategies by partners.
Which intervention strategies are most influential in bringing about meaningful social change at the local, national and regional levels? – Seeking buy-in of central and local government leadership by involving them right at programme inception and at all stages of the programme life cycle; use of PWDs as role models in advocacy and training; peer monitoring; formation of strategic partnerships with CSOs, ZEC, ZILGA etc, information sharing with other recipients, conducting of needs assessment studies.
Can you attribute significant social change(s) to the work funded through the GTF? (See Sec 9 – Emerging impact on governance and transparency)
Have your interventions led to the creation or strengthening of ‘change agents’ for example? – Through training of PWDs as trainers, the trained PWDs will be very effective “change agents” whose work will have a big multiplier effect as they empower the downstream PWDs to demand and assert their right to participate in political and public life at all levels. Disenfranchised PWDs were also able to successfully demand their right to vote secretly by taking government to court. The rising numbers of journalists writing on issues of inaccessibility, marginalisation and need for inclusion of PWDs are also powerful change agents.
Where governance and transparency are understood in different ways, describe how your programme is translating these concepts and managing local definitions and different social norms in implementing the work? –
Governance and transparency training targeted at the directors of benefiting organisations and NASCOH’s board members was undertaken in order to ultimately promote a shared understanding of these concepts. Pre-cost delivery assessment of participants’ understanding of governance and transparency and different social norms was undertaken. A common understanding of the concepts that is in line with the CAR concept was inculcated. Through shared understanding and commonly agreed social norms a peer monitoring tool by the directors was developed as a way of checking compliance with and encouraging continual improvement on governance and transparency. All organisations conform to this tool.
- Governance in fragile states
GTF support for civil society in Zimbabwe, in its quest to deepen government accountability, and enhance government’s responsiveness and capability, is legendary. It is civil society, and its relentless fight against human rights abuses, which has given genesis to the current accommodative dispensation, underpinned by the rule of law, known as the Global Political Agreement (GPA) in Zimbabwe. The GPA’s overriding commitment to attaining the ideals of peace, economic growth and stability clearly indicate that Zimbabwe as a nation now fully understands the futility of conflict, violence and fragility. The GPA has acted as a power regulator, limiting government arbitrariness and power abuse, ensuring that law and order prevails, that the law is applied equally, that there are predictable and efficient rulings, and that human rights are observed. The acquittal of Roy Bennett and Jestina Mukoko on treason charges despite the vast government resources that had been deployed to ensure their incarceration provides ample evidence of the power regulatory effect of the GPA. On this basis, GTF has strengthened civil society to demand accountability from the government and is improving governance.
- Access to justice and human rights
The issue of access to justice and human rights can best be illustrated by a constitutional case which is still fresh in the minds of PWDs and the generality of the public in Zimbabwe. Rule of law should protect the inherent dignity and humanity of the individual. With the inception of the GTF programme and the heightening of the rights based approach to disability, the issue of assisted voting for people with visual impairments, acquired centre stage. Irked by this miscarriage of justice, a visually impaired lawyer, Mr Masimba Kuchera and five other visually impaired people, made a constitutional application for the nullification of the section. They argued that the section was in contravention of their constitutional right to vote in secrecy. As a result, on 28 January 2010, the Supreme Court nullified the section of the Electoral Act that allowed presiding officers at polling stations to assist the blind to cast their votes in the presence of police officers and employees from the electoral commission. The full bench unanimously agreed that the section violated the rights of the visually impaired to vote in secrecy and declared it unconstitutional. This clearly shows that PWDs are becoming increasingly more combative in demanding access to justice. Access to justice through formal and traditional courts is being opened up, and governance and transparency is being strengthened at the local and national level.
- Access to public services
An enduring feature of PWDs is their lack of access to the fundamental freedoms and rights that other people take for granted, including access to public services. Increasingly, PWDs have used fora where they meet government ministers and public officials to register their demands for access to public service. (See 5.9.1 Lobby by Disabled People’s Organisations)
- Media and governance
The major newspapers in Zimbabwe now actively seek out disability issues and write comprehensive and in-depth stories on these issues, an indication that the rights-based approach has taken root among the media. Journalists across the divide are literally falling over themselves to write analytical, research-based stories on cross cutting disability issues. This has helped to put disability increasingly on the national agenda. Even newspapers with serious business outlook are joining the bandwagon. The ascension of Godfrey Majonga to the post of Chairperson of the ZMC has forced the journalism fraternity in Zimbabwe to view disability with a new lens, a lens that breaks away the age-old barriers of stereotyping and discrimination and focuses on the mutual benefits of disability inclusion. In this vein, the media has been an active and conscientious partner in DFID programmes; it has put disability on the national agenda and has been a magic multiplier of disability knowledge and attendant issues of governance and transparency.