THE NGO NETWORK ALLIANCE PROJECT - an online community for Zimbabwean activists  
 View archive by sector


Back to Index

Extent of youth participation in policy formulation: A case study of Epworth and Mhondoro Marirangwe communities
Now Zimbabwe Trust
August 31, 2011

Download this document
- Word 97 version (63.5KB)
- Acrobat PDF version (113KB
If you do not have the free Acrobat reader on your computer, download it from the Adobe website by clicking here.


Major changes in the political landscape of Zimbabwe have impacted on the socio- economic conditions. The Government of National Unity has brought fresh hope for recovery. Uncertainty though, still remains the biggest Achilles-heel with major cries such as political violence and a lack of rule of law still clinging on to our bag of challenges.

For the youth who are living in poverty and on the margins of society, the difference between normal life and what outsiders define as a crisis might be marginal. Poverty and exclusion are themselves a kind of chronic emergency. This is to such an extent that even modest changes in their situation may enable the youth to either increase their toehold on survival, or plunge them into deeper crisis. At present participation by the youth in issues that affect their own development is minimal or to be more accurate next to zero.

Poverty has seen the youth become more and more vulnerable. Sources of livelihood now include humanitarian food assistance, vending and remittances from families in urban areas which are also limited as even those in towns and cities are living below the poverty datum line of USD$ 509-00. The Zimbabwe Central Statistics Office approximates that about 85% are in informal employment and 83% live on less than USD$ 2 a day. HIV and AIDS continue to cause havoc amongst the youth threatening the country's human productive assets and thus affecting household food security and income. Estimates suggest that HIV prevalence is around 13.63% (Zimbabwe national HIV and AIDS estimates, 2009, Ministry of Health and Child welfare). Despite their vulnerability, very little external support manages to reach the youth. Based on experience, poverty tends not only to be characterized by material insufficiency but also by the denial of rights. According to the report on the world conference by the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the fact that 1/5 of the world's population is affected by poverty, hunger, diseases, mortality and insecurity is sufficient ground for concluding that the economic, social and cultural rights of those persons are being denied on a massive scale.

For Now Zimbabwe Trust, our work has evolved into a twin track campaign for community organization and pressure for improved public policies. To achieve the implementation of basic rights, subsistence, security and liberty, development and the rights of indigenous and rural people. This entails expanding the possibilities of redress of violation of human rights. It would certainly be salutary, in these circumstances for NZIT and other development agencies to drop pretension of being neutral. Our mandate is a more overly political stance on which we try to encourage and support social movements by the youth to enable them to demand their rights, to ensure that it is indeed their voice which is being heard. The gradual increase in our membership has also seen the scaling up on scope of our work to a mutual understanding, led by the youth that now is the time to demand a stake in the developmental process of our own society.


An Analysis of youth participation in community development that develops a responsive framework to foster their participation in contributing towards their own development.


  • To measure the extend of youth participation in community development by engaging at least 25 youths from Mhondoro Marirangwe community by conducting focus group discussions and interviews on the indigenization and empowerment bill .
  • To determine the role of the youth in community development in Zimbabwe by conducting interviews and focus group discussions with at least 25 youths from Epworth community on the indigenization and empowerment bill.
  • To foster youth participation towards policy formulation in Zimbabwe by capturing youth initiatives from at least 50 youth from Mhondoro Marirangwe and Epworth communities and circulating 25 copies of the research findings to relevant stakeholders.

Download full document

Please credit if you make use of material from this website. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.