SIVIO Institute is an independent policy research organisation formed in 2018. It is registered in Zimbabwe as a Trust. SIVIO Institute (SI) has a clearly stated vision and mission set by the whole organisation. The mission of SI is “Promote a citizen focused democracy by catalysing citizens’ agency to enhance government performance and nurture the mobilization of community assets.” The vision for SI is for “an inclusive Zimbabwe that is effectively promoting civil, social, economic and political freedoms.” SIVIO Institute came into existence to address the following problems:
- Inadequate performance of existing political system
- Increasing poverty and inequality
- Limited coherence of policies across sectors
- Ineffectual participation in public processes by non-state actors
- Increased dependence on external resources and limited leveraging of local resources
In pursuit of the achievement of the objectives and mission, SI organises its work within three centres:
- Policy Analysis and Advocacy
- Philanthropy and Communities
- Entrepreneurship and Financial Inclusion
Across all the three centres of work, SI carries out the following activities:
- knowledge generation/research,
- policy analysis and advocacy,
- training/capacity building, as well as
SIVIO Institute also makes a concerted effort to make use of digital platforms and technologies across its conduct; especially with regards to its policy analysis and advocacy work (through the development of the www.zimcitizenswatch.org and #OpenBudgetZIM (https://openbudget.zimcitizenswatch.org/) as well as training/capacity building through the development of online training schools and resource labs.
SIVIO Institute has several policies in place to guide the work of the organisation. These policies include but are not limited to the following: the Human Resources Policies and Procedures, Financial Policies and Procedures, Gender Policy and Information and Technology Policies and Procedures. Annual external audits are carried out, as well as program reviews.
SIVIO Institute has a Board of Trustees comprised of experienced academics, gender, and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) management experts as well as individuals working in the private sector. The day-to-day operations are overseen by an Executive Director who is supported by a Programs Manager; Finance and Administration Officer, Coordinators who oversee the work across the three Centres of work as well as a Digital Strategy Officer.
SIVIO Institute has a strategy developed by the Executive Director and has been shared with staff and reviewed with an external consultant. The strategy for the organisation has also been reviewed and approved by the Board. Consistent with the strategy, SI focuses on Gender and Women’s Rights, Displacements and Governance, Youth, and Climate Change. SIVIO Institute has produced over 10 reports and opinion pieces on a wide variety of topics, some under its name and others in the name of its partner organisations.
Projects implemented by SI in the past two years include: Strengthening Prospects for Democratic Political Governance and Widely Shared Growth; Strengthening Citizen Engagement in Public; Policy Processes; Policy Analysis and Advocacy Training and Understanding and Promoting Philanthropy in Zimbabwe. Of these, three have budgets below US$100,000 and one has a budget of US$100,000.
Since its establishment, SI has produced over 10 policy related products inclusive of policy briefs, reports, journal articles, and books. Research is carried out by the internal team and involves desktop research, policy analysis and surveys. While face-to-face surveys are carried out by SI and contracted enumerators across the country, the organisation also collects data using online tools; primarily SurveyMonkey and Kobo. Through this process, SI has carried out annual Citizens’ Perceptions’ and Expectation Surveys which are the basis for the production of reports gauging citizens perceptions on how both central and local government is performing in converting the promises made in their Manifestos. In addition to this SI has also undertaken a survey on the ‘Perceptions on Giving’ by Zimbabweans based in Zimbabwe as well as those in the diaspora. SIVIO also uses the information generated from its online tracking platforms to develop an annual report assessing the progress of the Central government in implementing the promises outlined in the ruling party’s manifesto.
Research is disseminated through the SI website (www.sivioinstitute.org), official launches, and circulation through email list servers, as well as in hard copies. Since its formation, SI has been part of more than 20 workshops with CSOs, NGOs, embassies, business sector, government, political parties, donor agencies, general citizens. SIVIO Institute has also featured on several TV and radio interviews discussing policy-related research. SIVIO Institute carries out advocacy, seeking to influence policy change at the local (community/municipality) and national levels. SIVIO Institute’s policy advocacy involves preparation of policy briefs to support policy positions, analysis and communication of policy gaps, and suggestion of new models, engagements with policy makers, and mobilising networks seeking policy change.
Constituency and Movement Building and Collaborations
SI’s work benefits
- local community,
- local NGOs,
- international NGOs,
- social movements,
- government departments,
- think tanks with technical expertise,
- the diplomatic community,
- educational institutions,
- multilateral agency, for example UN agencies, and
- specific special interest communities that include MSMEs.
These get training support, use SI-generated evidence for policy advocacy, approach SI to develop tracking tools and alternative policy positions. SIVIO Institute also collaborates with local NGOs, international NGOs; government departments; educational institutions, think-tanks with technical expertise; multilateral agencies (e.g. UN agencies). Collaboration areas have included provision of research-based evidence to advocacy focused partners and receiving as well as providing technical assistance.
Measure of Effectiveness
In measuring its impact, SI has undertaken an external evaluation of its work with support from one of its funding partners, engages in ongoing internal monitoring, promotes feedback from beneficiaries of its work, considers government’s adoption of recommendations it proffers.
Through its website, SI has over 1500 active sessions per month people. In addition, it has over 630 Facebook followers, and 1 204 on Twitter. SI also engages with the media through TV appearances, radio features, newspapers, and YouTube.
|Digital Channels/Platforms||No. of People Reached||Effectiveness|
SIVIO Institute’s annual budget over the last two years has been approximately US$200 000, with 70% going towards programs/projects and 30% towards institutional support (administration costs). The organization has a mix of sources through which it funds its work. The sources of funds range from fundraising, consultancy income, and direct donations to the organisation. SIVIO Institute has a finance/funding strategy and has a clear Financial Policy in place.
The main factors affecting SI’s work include the funding situation, the availability of affordable and easily accessible information technology to the wider, the economic situation, and government policies.