The UN Migration Agency Facilitates National Dialogue Workshop on Harmonization of Community Based Planning (CBP) Approaches in Zimbabwe
Harare - IOM, the UN Migration agency, with funding assistance from the European Commission, on 30/05 supported the Government of Zimbabwe to conduct a National Dialogue Workshop on harmonization of Community Based Planning (CBP) approaches in Zimbabwe. The purpose of the workshop was to create a common understanding among development planning actors on the progress made in the implementation of the approach in Zimbabwe and explore ways of harmonizing and standardizing the planning approaches. Thirty-two participants from government line ministries, local authorities, UN agencies, Non-Governmental Organisations and community leaders attended the workshop The CBP national dialogue workshop was a follow-up to the CBP symposium jointly hosted by IOM, WFP and Government of Zimbabwe in May 2015 in Kadoma with funding support from the European Commission.
During the workshop participants discussed on five CBP case studies focussing on the inclusion of vulnerable groups in community development planning, link between CBP and the concept of inclusion and social accountability, the application of the CBP process in the existing planning structures in Zimbabwe and key lessons learnt from the implementation of five different CBP approaches at local and national level. Testimonies were provided on the advantages of CBP approaches which include community participation and ownership of the community development processes.
The workshop outcome was the adoption of a roadmap for the harmonization of CBP processes which will includes drafting of a CBP policy brief “Towards Harmonization and Incorporation of Community Based Planning Approaches in Human Centred Development Planning Processes in Zimbabwe”.
Mrs Mandizha, Principal Officer in the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing reiterated that CBP is in line with the ministry’s planning processes as promulgated in the Prime Minister’s Directive of 1994 which gave birth to the Rural District Councils as development planning authorities. “Going forward the harmonization of the different CBP approaches will be of importance in order to have a standard planning process in Zimbabwe that is coordinated by local authorities,” she added.
CBP is a participatory planning approach, that is coordinated local authorities, to ensure that the needs, vulnerabilities, priorities and aspirations of the whole community are considered in community development plans. The methodology’s consideration of different socio-economic groups in a community facilitates the involvement and participation of even vulnerable groups such as women, the youths, the Internally Displaced Populations (IDPs) and so on. More importantly CBP enhances marginalized people’s collective capabilities to organize local action and demand services from holders of public offices and other relevant stakeholders.
Community Based Planning started in 2001 as a research study in four countries; Ghana, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe. Since 2009 IOM Zimbabwe has been supporting the Government of Zimbabwe to implement CBP through capacity building of national and sub-national authorities and rolling out the process in migration affected communities to achieve sustainable community recovery and stabilization. The concept was adopted by other partners to ensure that their interventions addressed community priorities. This resulted in different CBP approaches emerging until the government decided to bring partners and local authorities together to look at ways of harmonizing the approaches for better implementation and coordination.
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