Social justice advocacy group ActionAid Zimbabwe (AAZ) has launched a second Strategic Partnership Agreement focusing on strengthening youth participation in civil, democratic and governance processes for improved state accountability redistribution of resources and improved youth responsive public services.
Speaking at the launch in Harare recently ActionAid country director, Joy Mabenge said the project was aimed at capacitating youth to claim their rights in decision making.
“The project’s theory of change was anchored on the belief that, when youth are capacitated, they are able to form a critical mass of coordinated youth activists to collectively engage with duty bearers, claim their rights to be included in decision making, demand for youth responsive public services and to influence local and national government policy and practices to address their needs.
“The project thus made significant headways along these lines which included creation of an enabling environment for youth participation, some notable improvements in ensuring the provision of gender responsive public services, and improved government responsiveness to the demands of citizens,” Mabenge said.
He said the first project had through conventional and online media reached more than six million young people.
“Under SPA 1, AAZ reached 6146590 youths through mainstream and online media. The project has reached a total of 450585 through various face to face engagements. From these and others reached indirectly, 31468 have experienced improvements on public service delivery.
“Nonetheless, despite SPA 1 having realized some worthwhile achievements, it is important to note that youth apathy remained on the increase as youth are increasingly becoming more passive in participating in civic and development processes as they seek to satisfy their fundamental needs by fending for themselves,” he said.
Mabenge said the project will be implemented in 28 countries, where ActionAid countries operate in and considered fragile or crisis contexts including Zimbabwe.