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on operations on non-governmental organisations in humanitarian
and development assistance in Zimbabwe
Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare
1.1 The current humanitarian situation has resulted in the increased
participation of NGOs and Trusts in food and developmental assistance.
While some NGOs have been operating in Zimbabwe for quite some time,
others came into Zimbabwe in response to the current humanitarian
situation. In addition, several other NGOs who were not in the business
of food assistance have also diversified their portfolios into food
NGOs involved in food relief are giving free handout to all beneficiaries,
regardless of age, mental or physical capacity. While NGOs give
free food handouts to all their beneficiaries, it is Government
policy that all households with able-bodied adults who receive food
assistance must participate in the community public works projects.
1.3 In this
regard there is need for harmonised policy interventions that will
ensure maximum benefit flows to the communities without disrupting
the harmony of community structures. This operational policy mainly
draws from the lessons learnt during the 2002-2003 humanitarian
and developmental assistance operations.
2.1 The purpose of this operational and monitoring policy for NGOs
in humanitarian and development assistance is to ensure effective
harmonisation of existing Governmental structures and NGO operations
at all levels in line with Governmental policy. This will ensure
that NGO play a significant role in complementing Government and
local authority efforts as well as empower communities to manage
the distribution of humanitarian assistance.
3.1 The specific objectives are to:
the registration process for NGOs involved in humanitarian assistance;
how NGOs should interact with local Governmental structures and
the communities they serve with humanitarian assistance;
the public works approach that should be adopted by NGOs involved
in food assistance; and
the reporting structures to be used by the NGOs to facilitate
the monitoring of their activities by central, provincial and
4.1 In order to create a harmonious working relationship with central,
provincial and local Government, the operations of NGOs dealing
with humanitarian and developmental assistance will be guided by
the following principles.
Every NGO that would like to operate at any level in the provision
of humanitarian and developmental assistance in the country should
be duly registered with the Ministry of Public Service, Labour
and Social Welfare.
to mandate as per registration: Such NGOs will adhere to the conditions
and scope of operation as agreed upon on registration.
to Government efforts: The participation of NGOs in humanitarian
assistance should be regarded as complementary to Government efforts,
hence the need to follow the approaches and strategies adopted
by government in the delivery of humanitarian assistance.
of existing Government and traditional structures for service
delivery: This principle requires that the entry point as well
as the conduit for delivery of humanitarian Government structures.
These include central Government ministries and agencies, provincial
district, ward and village/neighbourhood development committees,
ward and villages assemblies or any other structures that have
been established by any of the above. NGOs shall not set-up new
community structures for the purposes of delivering their services.
Where new structures are needed the NGO shall seek a resolution
of Council and/or the concurrence of the registering authority.
assistance: This principle requires that all NGOs involved in
humanitarian assistance observe the emergency nature of their
operations. No organisation or individual should take advantage
of this emergency to advance their own interests. NGOs should
seek to save lives by distributing emergency assistance without
conditionalities for beneficiaries.
for Registration and Commencement of Humanitarian Assistance Operations
An NGO can operate at any level - national, provincial or district.
In order for it to register and begin operations at any of these
levels the following need to be in place. This policy subsumes that
issues of formation of the Board, NGO Constitution, etc. are provided
for in the PVO Act.
i. For operations
to be implemented at national level: The NGO intending to provide
humanitarian and developmental assistance should seek the support
of the Government agency that has the mandate to oversee activities
in the intended field of operation. The Government ministry/agency
should submit a Memorandum of Understanding, duly signed by its
Accounting Officer, which has to be attached to the letter of
application to the Registrar of NGOs in the Ministry of Public
Service, Labour and Social Welfare.
ii. For operations
at provincial level: The support of the Provincial Development
Committee (PDC) should be sought. A letter of support duly signed
by the Provincial Administrator, confirming the PDC resolution
by the Provincial Governor should be attached to the letter of
application for registration.
iii. For operations
at local authority level: The applicant NGO should secure a resolution
of Council that supports the need for its intended operations
in the district/municipal area. The Council Resolution should
be attached to the letter of application to the Registrar.
In order to commence operations at any level, an NGO should sign
a Memorandum of Understanding with the respective Government ministry/agency.
The Memorandum of Understanding will clearly outline the following:
- Scope of
operations: This explains width and coverage of the NGO's operations.
For example, an NGO could be in any one, some or all of these
operations - food assistance, agricultural input distribution,
child supplementary feeding, etc. in a given number of provinces,
districts, wards or villages.
- Target beneficiaries:
The target beneficiaries, method of selection and the size of
benefit need to be outlined.
- Agreed measurable
targets overtime: The activities of the NGO will be monitored
by the respective Government authority, hence the need to agree
on monitoring targets. The Agreement should also state the regularity
- Period of
operation: The timeframe of operation should be stipulated, where
of Food Handouts: The Public Works Programme Approach
6.1 All the NGOs that distribute food assistance are required to
adopt the public works approach, thus, households headed by able-bodied
persons should participate in public works in order for them to
receive assistance. The aged, chronically ill, disabled and child-headed
households will be given free food assistance. All NGOs have to
ensure that their operatives are conversant with the Operational
Manual of the Public Works Programme as outlined in the "National
Strategy for Income Transfer to Vulnerable Groups through Rural
and Urban Public Works".
of the public works: The public works are identified by the communities,
assistance by their local authorities and Governmental structures.
of beneficiaries: The beneficiaries of the NGO's food distribution
programme will be selected from the ward/village assembly and
neighbourhood committee registers of people who require food assistance.
The NGO can verify the conformity to their selection criteria
through sampling of beneficiaries as stated in the Memorandum
of public works: All the public works for food assistance will
be supervised by the existing community supervisory structures
i.e. ward and village development committees, assisted by the
local Government structures. Therefore, capacity for the supervision
of the public works already exists in these structures.
of food handouts: At the distribution point where the food is
delivered by the NGO, the ward and village food distribution committees,
with the assistance of local Government structures, will be responsible
for the physical distribution of food while NGOs assumes a greater
monitoring role to ensure that the distribution is done in a fair
and transparent manner.
of Agricultural Inputs and other Non-Food Handouts
7.1 Government and NGOs will continue to give agricultural inputs.
Just as with food assistance, such agricultural inputs will be distributed
by the ward/village development committees to beneficiaries selected
through these community structures.
8. NGO Communication
with Lower Level Structures of Government
8.1 Registered NGOs shall not communicate directly with lower level
structures except through the higher level Government authority.
This means that no meeting shall be organised at:
- Ward or village
level without the knowledge of the District Administrator or local
authority. At these levels all meetings will be called by the
Councillor with the concurrence of the District Administrator
or local authority;
level by a provincial or national NGO without the knowledge of
the Provincial Administrator; and
level by a national level NGO without the knowledge of the NGO's
central Government partner ministry or agency.
this implies that no Government structure at any level will accept
instructions from, or entertain an NGO without the notification
or instruction by the NGO Government partner agency at its respective
level of operation.
of NGO Performance
9.1 In order for Government at all levels to keep track of NGO activities,
the NGOs will be required to submit quarterly reports to their Government
- All NGOs
will submit audited financial statements and work plans to the
Registrar of NGOs.
- A national
level NGO shall submit quarterly progress reports to the responsible
central Government sector agency.
- A provincial
level NGO shall submit quarterly progress reports to the Office
of the Provincial Administrator.
- A district/municipality
level NGO shall submit quarterly reports to the District Administrator/local
10.1 In the event of disputes between parties at village/ward level,
the parties should take the dispute to the District Administrator,
who should attend to it within (14) days of notification.
10.2 If the
District Administrator cannot resolve the dispute, he/she should
refer it to the Registrar for determination.
policy will be read in conjunction with the PVO Act.
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