Mwananchi Zambia - Atwaambe
The Mwananchi programme in Zambia seeks to engage civil society, media, and elected representatives in how evidence-based approaches can be used to shape government policies and practices around women, youth and children. Policy implementation at national and local levels as well as citizen awareness of and engagement with labour laws, especially the protection of workers’ rights, are the key issues to be addressed. More >
New in Mwananchi Zambia
Radio Kasempa, a Mwananchi partner in Zambia, received a letter of thanks from the Permanent Secretary to the North Western Province, commending them for candid news reporting and coverage on local development issues.
Pryd Chitah, Mwananchi Coordinator for Zambia, has a regular column with the Zambia Daily Mail. His latest article discusses ways to engage youth for accountability and participation.
Increased youth participation in governance and development processes is greatly influenced by access to information and the availability and provision of platforms for dialogue.
Based on the UN General Assembly mandate, there is general consensus that a key indicator of any youth policy includes youth participation in democratic reform and governance vis-a-viz decision making processes and institutions, advisory bodies and promotion of responsible citizenship for young people.
The Atwaambe project held a learning event to mark the end of the Mwananchi Programme and celebrate the achievements and learning from the projects implemented in Zambia.
The event took place on 12 April 2013 in Lusaka.
This report presents the discussions at the event, including the presentations of ahcievements and the questions and learning extracted. These included ongoing project ideas and partnerships, understanding of 'what works' when working with specific groups such as MPs and people with disabilities.
A partner in the Atwaambe project has convinced the Zambian government to re-introduce sign language translations during the main television news at the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC).
On 23 October, ZDYW Executive Director Frank Musukwa wrote an open letter to the Minister of Information and Broadcasting complaining about the government’s decision to discontinue the provision of sign language insert or sub-titles in all newscasts and educational programmes, and in all programmes covering events of national significance.
In the letter, Musukwa said the Minister of Information had “an obligation to ensure that Deaf people rights are safeguard, respected and promoted”.
“We strongly urge you to fulfil your responsibly as Minister in charge of information and broadcasting and help preserve deaf culture, dignity, equality and human rights. Today most of us deaf persons are frustrated because upon coming into power the government through ZNBC decided to discontinue sign language interpretation during news hour,” wrote Musukwa.
In response, the Ministry has now re-introduced sign language during the ZNBC main news hour. This represents a notable milestone for the deaf community in Zambia and falls within PSAf’s mandate around increasing citizens participation and empowerment to foster transparency and accountability in governance processes.
The ZDYW has been collaborating with PSAf as part of a multi-stakeholder team addressing issues affecting the hearing impaired through its alliance with the Christian Information Network, a grantee under the Atwaambe project. The Atwaambe project focuses on building the capacity of Zambian citizens to effectively express their views and interests and hold the government to account for its actions on women, youth, children, and the physically challenged.
In the last two years, the Atwaambe project has been piloting governance innovations that promote effective evidence based engagement and participation for policy influence. The interventions have also included capacity development efforts aimed at enhancing the use of evidence in policy engagements, effective lobby and advocacy skills, coalition building and promoting participatory engagement platforms that involve civil society, media, traditional authorities, elected representatives, communities and the state in advancing rights and raising policy awareness around women, youth, children and the physically challenged.
Zambia Deaf Youth and Women have been beneficiaries of the capacity development support and have used it effectively to shape change around issues affecting the hearing impaired.
Good news: the Media Network on Child Rights and Development to run course with University of Zambia
The Media Network on Child Rights and Development works to increase opportunities for children to express their views and wishes through the media, and to access media information that is useful and relevant to their lives. Their Mwananchi project has established two Children's News Agencies, training children to produce original media content then distributing it to national news outlets. The project also engages with community radio to produce more content on issues relevant to children's rights.
The MNCRD has recently established a working agreement with the University of Zambia, to run an accredited course based on their initiative of reporting children's rights. The course will reach more media professionals and students on children's rights and views in the media.