The Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD) was formed in the year 2000. The organisation is registered as a Trust in Harare. It was established to promote citizens’ economic literacy; facilitate research and policy advocacy on social and economic justice; and proffer people-centred alternatives to economic reforms. The geographical focus areas of ZIMCODD go beyond Zimbabwe to include the sub-regional level (West and East Africa). The Coalition seeks to meet its vision and mission, set by the whole organisation, through
- knowledge generation,
- policy analysis and advocacy,
- mobilisation/movement building, and
Internally, the organisation is guided by the following policies: Human Resources and Staff Development, Gender and Sexual Harassment, IT, and Conflict of Interest policies. ZIMCODD carries out annual external audits, IT systems audits, skills audits, and reviews of its programs.
ZIMCODD has a 20-member Board of Directors composed of representatives of specific sectors and regions. Regional Committees drive specific activities at local level, served by the Secretariat. At the secretariat level are the Executive Director; Finance Manager; Accountant; Programs Manager, Advocacy Manager; Communications Manager; and Program Officers and Assistants.
The strategy of ZIMCODD was developed by an internal team, working with an external consultant, and the management. The strategy spells out the areas of focus as Inequality, Human Rights, and Economic Justice/Governance.
Under the theme of ‘Inequality’ ZIMCODD does:
- Research and advocacy for improved access to economic and social goods and
- develops alternative policy options and models on poverty and income distribution, models of economic development, government effectiveness, welfare systems, drivers of inequality: trade regimes, drivers of inequality: illicit financial flows, drivers of inequality: tax regimes.
2. Human rights
Under the human rights theme, the work of ZIMCODD is focused on
- Research and advocacy for improved access, and
- education/training on economic rights.
3. Economic justice/governance
Under ‘economic justice/governance’, focus is on
- Research and advocacy for improved access, development of alternative policy options and models on public budget analysis; financial inclusion; natural governance (mining, wildlife, fisheries, forestry); informal sector and SMME development/support
Projects implemented in the past two years include Fiscal Transparency, Debt and Extractives, Monitoring Fulfilment of Social and Economic Rights, Public Finance Management- National Budget Processes, Civic Engagement on Economic Governance. Budgets for four of the projects are within the range of US$50,000 and US$100,000 and only one project has a budget that is above US$100,000. ZIMCODD is funded by Private International Philanthropy organisations as well as Bilateral development partners.
Knowledge Product Generation and Research
ZIMCODD’s research and knowledge products over the past three years have been on the theme of Economic Justice/Governance. These include more than 36 organisational newsletters and quarterly reports, more than 26 policy briefs/insights, and one 4 book chapters. Research is carried out by the internal team and consultants and it includes desktop research, field surveys, and policy research. To disseminate its research, ZIMCODD uses its website, official launches, circulation through email list servers. Other means have also been utilised, including, convenings, workshops and book launch events. All of these were with CSOs, NGOs, embassies, business sector, government, political parties, donor agencies, and general citizens. In addition, ZIMCODD made more than more than 20 presentations at public meetings, was quoted more than 20 time in the media (newspaper postings); they made more than 10 TV appearances on policy-related research, and more than 20 radio appearances. ZIMCODD also utilised over 20 targeted meetings with policy makers, NGOs, embassies, business sector, government, political parties. ZIMCODD carries out advocacy work, seeking to influence policy change at the local (community/municipality), national, sub-regional (e.g. SADC, COMESA), regional (e.g. AU), and global levels. Advocacy actions include the preparation of policy briefs to support policy positions, engagements with policy makers, mobilising network(s) seeking policy change. Within the Organisation, an Advocacy Unit and the Executive Director/CEO are responsible for advocacy.
Constituency and Movement Building and Collaborations
ZIMCODD’s work benefits several stakeholders, namely:
- local communities,
- government departments,
- multilateral agencies, for example UN agencies, and
- specific special interest communities such as farmers, SME’s, arts and culture, and the disabled.
These get training support, use of evidence generated by ZIMCODD for policy advocacy, leverage on the name of ZIMCODD to enhancing their interventions, approach ZIMCODD for the preparation of alternative policy positions, and use ZIMCODD’s online materials in developing their programs. The same beneficiaries have contributed to the work of ZIMCODD through helping in establishing the organisation, participating in the strategy making process, and suggesting areas of focus. ZIMCODD collaborates with CBOs, local NGOs, international NGOs, and think tanks with technical expertise in jointly implementing in similar projects, providing research-based evidence to advocacy focused partners, receiving research-based evidence from research organisations, receiving and providing technical assistance. ZIMCODD is part of an existing network of organisations engaged in similar work, engaging with like organisations at the national level, sub-regional level, regional level, and global levels. Such networking has increased the visibility of ZIMCODD’s work, enhanced its effectiveness, enabled access to vital platforms, offered training opportunities, and afforded ZIMCODD access to information.
Measure of Effectiveness
ZIMCODD measures its impact through an inhouse Monitoring and Evaluation Officer and Consultants. The effectiveness of its interventions is measured by the commissioning of regular evaluations, ongoing internal monitoring, promotion of feedback from partners, and adoption of proffered recommendations by government. Documented evidence of the impact of ZIMCODD’s interventions is in external reports citing its work and written/recorded affirmation by beneficiaries.Through its website, ZIMCODD reaches out to over 20 000 people. Disaggregated by geographical locations, 15 000 are from within Zimbabwe, 2000 from Southern Africa/SADC, and 1000 from are international visitors from across the globe. In terms of social media reach, ZIMCODD has over 2000 followers on each of two platforms: Twitter and Facebook. The organisation also has over 2000 YouTube subscribers. ZIMCODD engages the media through TV appearances, Radio features, Newspapers, and YouTube.
ZIMCODD’s annual budget is over USS100,000. Of that annual budget about 70% goes towards programs/projects while the remainder is earmarked for institutional support (administration costs). The organisation funds its work through fundraising and consultancy income. Fundraising accounts for 90% of the budget while consultancy income make up the remaining 10%. ZIMCODD has a finance/funding strategy but does not own any immovable assets/property such as residential, commercial, land. In case it runs out of funding, ZIMCODD could be sustained by building on consultancy work and it would capacitate its membership to carry out the work.
The top factors that affect ZIMCODD’s work include the current economic crisis, funding environment, expensive information technology, local government practices, and cultural practices. In responding to the changing environment, ZIMCODD has put a sustainability plan in place and engages in scenario mapping with mitigation strategies to respond to the different scenarios.