Zimbabwe—Accountability and Citizen Engagement (ZIMACE)

Client: Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office

Duration: 2023-2027

Region: Sub-Saharan Africa

Country: Zimbabwe

Solutions: Governance

Zimbabwe has limited opportunities for citizens to participate and engage with the government and little government accountability to citizens. The increasingly authoritarian and restrictive political context inhibits democratic processes and effective, inclusive delivery of basic services.

This lack of inclusion, empowerment, and participation of citizens, especially women and girls, further undermines fundamental rights. Civil society and media are increasingly constrained and weak democratic processes, a lack of basic documentation for citizens to participate, and electoral processes that lack credibility exacerbate the situation in Zimbabwe further. In addition, climate change continues to impact the largely agriculturally-based economy severely.

This lack of accountable, inclusive, and transparent policy and resource management processes, and a general culture of mistrust, fear, and factionalism across all levels of politics and private spheres, hinders the realization of rights and delivery of public services.

The Zimbabwe Accountability and Citizen Engagement (ZIMACE) program protects human rights and promotes transparent and accountable governance across Zimbabwe by empowering citizens to hold the state accountable for its use of resources and its respect for human rights and democratic principles. ZIMACE is the follow-on project to TRACE, also implemented by DAI, which ran from 2014 to 2022.

ZIMACE builds upon the work of TRACE to strengthen effective civic action through citizen rights, climate change, democratic processes, and gender inclusion. ZIMACE provides grants and capacity support to Zimbabwean civil society organizations and extends technical assistance to targeted government agencies and independent commissions across the four focus areas.

Sample Activities

  • Help people lacking basic documentation (notably birth certificates and national IDs) to obtain them.
  • Encourage Zimbabweans to build more evidence-based coalitions and actively hold authorities to account for the use of resources, including on climate change and nature commitments.
  • Prioritise interventions that enhance media freedom, deliver credible elections, and ensure the quality of democratic processes.
  • Ensure women’s rights organizations, movements, and institutions are more robust, sustainable, and active in influencing laws, policies, and organizational practices to enhance gender equality and the rights of women and girls.
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