CSOs are faced with various legislative restrictions that affect their day-to-day operations. These include Police procedures, executive action and other laws including Unlawful organisation Act, that undermine the civil liberties and collective rights of CSOs and citizens to access to information and enjoyment of fundamental freedoms. The action shall invest time to reach out to policy makers through leveraging on the connections of the consortium members with persons of influence who are prepared to champion the cause at hand. The establishment of a CSO self-regulatory mechanism not only boost the public opinions due to increased internal and external transparency but also present a credible alternative to the current status quo characterized by state over regulation of CSOs.
A friendly operating environment will facilitate the effective implementation of CSOs actions, which will have positive downstream multiplier effects to communities that these entities serve. Many CSOs are currently failing to execute their mandates due to restrictions emanating from the operating space, which once opened, will present a plethora of opportunities. The action builds upon the work that CSOs have been undertaking countrywide, at both national, provincial and district levels to engage with policy makers, legislators, local and national government, development partners, and communities. This shall bridge the gap between grassroots communities and policy makers in Zimbabwe.
Through this action, well-coordinated CSOs will be able to speak with a collective voice around policy issues and is able to hold government accountable to the citizenry whilst ensuring that government makes evidence based policies and positions. The actions adopt a participatory approach with a strong bottom up approach to influence policy direction and ultimately improve the livelihood of the general Zimbabwean citizenry. The strengthened role of CSOs to lobby for the participation of communities and the strengthening of such platforms through this action will present policy makers with a clear platform for interacting with citizens at any level. Government Officials and Policy makers need to have knowledge of the needs of grassroots communities and they will benefit from evidence-based information gathered through a bottom up approach and has the voice of the communities that they seek to serve.
The Cluster is led by National Association of Youth Organizations (NAYO-Africa); Zimbabwe National Council for the Welfare of Children (ZNCWC) and the Zimbabwe National Chamber for Commerce (ZNCC)”