Samarbetsland: Zimbabwe

Let’s get together and make change: Towards a Child-Focused Cities Analytical Framework

Children live in cities and local communities, implying that they have proximity to the local government rather than the national government. The interaction of children with their governments happens at the local level. And, children experience the realisation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the local sphere of government. Yet, children are relegated to the margins of local governance and implementation of SDGs and are not given the space and voice to shape how their cities should be or look like. In this project, we investigated through literature review and case studies in ICLD partnering municipalities (Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe and Livingstone, Zambia) to gain critical insights and a context-based understanding to local governments to enhance informed and child-focused decision-making around local governance and SDGs implementation.

Note: This publication is the result of a Local Democracy Lab and the Local Democracy Academy, both held in 2022. The study was conducted with an Impact research grant: small-scale, action-oriented projects conducted in close collaboration with local governments.

Typ av publikation
Working Papers
Culture, leisure, sport and/or tourismEducationUrban planning
Globala mål
17 - Genomförande och globalt partnerskap
Child rights and youth participation
Agenda2023, child rights, child-friendly cities, transdisciplinary, Urban planning, youth inclusion,

Increasing Transparency in Local Governments: Implementation and Evaluation of Citizen Budgets in Uganda, Kenya, and Zimbabwe

Regional focus: Eastern Africa

Time: October 2023 – June 2024

This action research project follows up on previous ICLD research by supporting local governments to implement a citizens budget and adapt the associated Toolbox to African experiences.


This research project investigates the implementation and impact of Citizen’s Budgets at the local level in selected countries. It aims to understand the elements that compose these budgets, the impact they have on the transparency of local government budget processes, and the degree of empowerment they confer, especially to marginalized groups. The study also assesses whether the level of budget literacy in these countries acts as a limiting factor to the effective use of Citizen’s Budgets and explores the most effective digital technology practices for implementing this tool. The methodologies include desk analysis, surveys, interviews, and capacity-building workshops with local government administrations and local communities. The outcomes of this research promise to enhance transparency, accountability, citizen engagement, and trust in local government, thereby strengthening local democracy. This project underscores the significance of Citizen’s Budgets as crucial instruments for fostering participative governance and enhancing fiscal literacy.


Viktor Mitevski, Executive Director, ZMAI (Association of Research and Analysis)

Dragan Tevdovski, Professor, University St Cyril and Methodious University Skopje

Elena Trpkovska, Economist, The Social Services Improvement Project in the Republic of North Macedonia (SSIP)

Related publications:

Inclusive leadership and governance
Globala mål
17 - Genomförande och globalt partnerskap5 - Jämställdhet
Digitalisation and e-governance

Child-Focused Cities Analytical Framework

This research project, aiming to develop an analytical tool to address the Sustainable Development Goals from a child rights perspective, is divided into multiple steps. Phase two, conducted in 2023-2024 is described first while phase 1, which served to build the conceptual groundwork for the analytical framework, is described after.

Phase 2 – Child-Focused Cities [CFC] for the Sustainable Futures Network

Regional focus: Eastern Africa / Southern Africa / Europe / Latin America The Sustainable Futures Network

Time: July 2023 – July 2024


Child-Focused Cities (CFC) brings together a group of engaged researchers epistemologically curious about the inclusion of children and youth in local democracy. The group revolves around questions of why, how, where, and under what circumstances children and young people are recognised as political subjects and crucial role-players in shaping sustainable futures.

The project will facilitate cross-sectoral exchange between local decision-makers, researchers, and practitioners by embracing the format of Research Circles. Through local partnerships with reputable professional organizations specializing in working with children and young individuals, the research will enable creative interpretation of the CFC initial concept, thus illuminating multiple geographical and cultural registers around childhood, and providing the indispensable link between local politics and research. The ultimate goal of this research is to develop a toolbox as a collection of practical instruments and protocols that will be essential for advancing the CFC agenda within the Sustainable Futures Network.

Research team

  1. Jua Cilliers [Australia], School of Built Environment, University of Technology Sydney
  2. Paula Barros [Brazil], Escola de Arquitetura Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais
  3. Lynne Cairns [Scotland], Centre for Research into Violence and Abuse (CRiVA), University of Durham
  4. Caroline Brown [Scotland],The Urban Institute, School of Energy, Geosciences, Infrastructure and Society, Heriot-Watt University
  5. Predrag Milic [Serbia/Austria], Interdisciplinary Centre for Urban Culture and Public Space, TU Wien / Faculty of Architecture and Planning Austria
  6. Rongedzayi Fambasayi [South Africa], Play Africa Group NPC, Children’s Museum / Law and Development Research, North-West University
  7. Rejoice Katsidzira, [Zimbabwe] Center for Human Rights, University of Pretoria

Phase 1 – Let’s get together and make change: Towards The Child-Focused Cities Analytical Framework

Regional focus: East Africa, global

Time: October-December 2022

This study is conducted with an Impact Research Grant – stipends for projects designed to facilitate solutions to a local government’s expressed needs. The projects build on Local Democracy Labs, where local governments discuss a current issue with expert researchers.


This research ultimately aims to create a new toolkit –a relational object – that reframes the current Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) from children’s perspectives in their respective everyday-life environments. Such a tool aims at the paradigmatic shift of the child-friendly city approaches by claiming that “friendly is not enough”! Conceptualised as the Child-Focused City Analytical Framework, the toolkit should offer guidance for analysis andaction to local governments, municipalities, and professionals within and beyond the ICLD network. In short, this project will enable a team of international scholars to revisit, contextualise, and stress-test the concept of the CFCAF, developed during the LDA2022. In this “stage zero” phase, contextualising the CFCAF to the needs of partnering local governments and professionals serves to stress-test the toolkit, jointly draw conclusions and prepare for its further development.

With a participatory approach and co-creation of results, the project encounters municipalities in their respective realities and engage in a constructive dialogue around child and youth inclusion. As a group of international scholars, the researchers will not do “research”, but “praxis: reflection and action upon the world in order to transform it” (Freire 2005: 51).

Municipal partners for this project are Livingstone and Victoria Falls, Zambia, while multiple municipalities participate as observers.

Inclusive leadership and governance
Globala mål
11 - Hållbara städer och samhällen17 - Genomförande och globalt partnerskap
Child rights and youth participationHuman RightsParticipatory democracy, citizen dialogues and budgeting

Inclusion and participation of marginalised groups in local democracy in rural Zimbabwe 

This study on the extent of marginalised groups’ participation in local democracy in rural Zimbabwe adopts a mixed research approach: data were gathered through self-administered questionnaires, focus group discussions, key informant interviews and document review. Results show that varied mechanisms exist – including the national Constitution, policies, and institutional frameworks – that allow for the inclusion and participation of all citizens. However, few marginalised groups participated in electoral processes, community development, law and policy formulation. Most respondents had low awareness about the available mechanisms for civic engagement with locally elected leaders and the local authority. Poverty, negative attitudes, cultural barriers and low self-esteem and levels of education among the marginalised groups exacerbate this situation. Such exclusion produces limited democratic processes. Marginalised groups’ representation and meaningful participation in making decisions that are appropriate to their needs remain peripheral. Therefore, the doctrine of democratic governance and human rights that is premised on the notion of equal participation by all citizens in the study area has not been achieved. The study advocates policy interventions to improve the inclusion and participation of marginalised groups in local democracy. 

Policy Brief: Chazovachii et al. (2022) Overcoming Barriers to Participate in Local Democracy for People with Disabilities: The Case of Zimbabwe

Typ av publikation
Research Reports
Inclusive leadership and governance
Globala mål
1 - Ingen fattigdom16 - Fredliga och inkluderande samhällen

Overcoming Barriers to Participate in Local Democracy for People with Disabilities: The Case of Zimbabwe

This policy brief discusses barriers to the inclusion and participation of people with disabilities in local democracy in rural Zimbabwe and provides recommendations for enhanced participation. The analysis is part of a broader mixed research study on the inclusion and participation of vulnerable groups in Zimbabwe’s local democracy. Results of the study show how people with disabilities face multiple barriers to participate in local democracy. These include widespread poverty, stigmatisation, limited social support, limited knowledge of human rights and duties, among others. To ensure the inclusion and participation of people with disabilities, we recommend amending the Constitution and aligning laws to create a quota for people with disabilities in local authorities. There also needs to be strengthening for the capacity of people with disabilities and local government institutions and structures by establishing and revamping disability desks within local authorities. Continuous and regular awareness programmes on the human rights of people with disabilities in general, as well as their right to participate in local democracy is also encouraged.

Typ av publikation
Policy Briefs
Globala mål
16 - Fredliga och inkluderande samhällen

Håbo, Livingstone and Victoria Falls – Zambia/Zimbabwe

Youth Rights Connect

Håbo, Livingstone and Victoria Falls municipalities are carrying out an Inception to have the opportunity to jointly develop a project plan closely linked to human right topics youth rights to participation, education and well being and Agenda 2030, Goals:
1 No Poverty,
3 Good health and Well-being,
4 Quality Education and
5 Gender Equality.

The partners have established a mutual challenge regarding empowerment of young people in accessing civil, political, social, economic and cultural rights in their municipalities and would like to explore further together what their organisations, as duty bearers, can to ensure that the rights of youths are better protected, respected and promoted within their municipality.

Inclusive leadership and governance
Globala mål
3 - God hälsa och välbefinnande4 - God utbildning för alla5 - Jämställdhet
Child rights and youth participationHuman Rights
Svensk partner
Håbo kommun
Internationell partner
LivingstoneVictoria Falls

Admission requirements

Invited countries

All countries on the OECD-DAC listed ODA-eligible countries, are eligible for the programme, but if a local election is held during the year when the training takes place, the country is temporarily taken off the list. See this list:

Target group

Only elected women politicians (currently in office) in a local/regional government will be considered. ICLD will prioritize applicants holding a position of Mayor or Deputy Mayor but will also exceptionally accept applicants who are Councilors. We at ICLD aim to create a group that includes both majority and opposition politicians, as well as a diversity of ages and experience. ICLD trainings are open to all that are eligible, irrespective of physical ability.

Candidates who have previously participated in an ICLD training programme financed by Sida cannot apply for this programme.

Language requirements

The training programme will be organised and conducted in English. Proficiency in English shall be indicated in the Application form.

Health requirements

Considering the training programme consists of international travels and work away from home in a new environment, good health and ability to work without health restrictions is required. You need to be enjoying full working capacity and to be able to engage in an active programme with long days of seminars, study visits and interactive networking. It is therefore recommended that candidates undergo a medical examination before filling in the Medical Statement in the Application form.

Other requirements

The outline of the problem to be addressed by the change process will be of crucial importance in the selection of participants. Once selected, the participant is required to attend all scheduled parts of the 12-months programme and must have approval to participate in all aspects of the program from her local authority. She is required to actively participate in the workshops and complete assignments between workshops (journals, reports).

Due to the nature of the programme, family members are NOT allowed to accompany participants to the programme.


All training costs pertaining to lectures, literature, documentation, study tours and certain social activities as well as accommodation and food will also be covered by the organiser. All international travel costs related to the programme will be covered by the programme organiser. Costs for personal expenses are not included and are the responsibility of the participant or her organisation.


Participants are responsible for obtaining all relevant visas during all scheduled parts of the programme. The costs for obtaining visas are to be borne by the participant.


All participants are covered under a group insurance while on scheduled parts of the programme. Medical and dental checkups are not included.


Participants who successfully complete all scheduled parts will be awarded a Certificate of completion of training.

Application process

Closing date for applications is 8 September 2023. Application shall be made electronically, via link here below and include a recent photograph and all required information and documents. An outline of the problem to be addressed by the change process shall be submitted as part of the application and plays a key role in the selection of participants.

The change process must be described in the application and you will be asked to describe:

  • The challenge/problem for change you want to address
  • In which way this work will anticipate citizens’ needs

The application page contains details of what to include with your application. After an initial selection, a few chosen candidates will be invited for the interview, after which the final round of selection will take place.

ICLD operates anti-discrimination policy and all training courses are open to anyone despite the physical ability. If you have some physical disability, please let us know so we can solve all the practical issues that may arise.

The activities in the programme will be carried out on-site or digitally. If the situation occurs that we are forced to postpone workshops due to unforeseen situations, we at the ICLD will suggest new dates when the majority of participants can participate. If no dates are possible, ICLD will consider carrying out the workshop digitally.

Inclusive leadership and governance

Programme structure

The training consists of three compulsory workshops, of which all three are full time scheduled trainings. Periods between workshops are homebased. The total duration of the programme is 12 months.

The Inception workshop will be held in February 2024
The Sweden Phase workshop will take place in May-June 2024
The Final workshop will take place in February 2025

All workshops except the Swedish Phase workshop will be held in the participating countries. The Swedish Phase workshop will be carried out in Sweden.

Phase 1
Inception workshop

(5-6 days including travels)

More exact location to be decided

After confirmed selection, the participants will be contacted by a programme manager at ICLD and invited to the Inception workshop.

The participants and the programme management develop a shared understanding of the content, structure, methodology and management of the programme. Topics addressed in this workshop, among others: teambuilding and networking, developing the change process, and introduction to the Sustainable Development Goals. The tuition during the inception workshop consists of group discussions and lectures with a combination of Swedish and/or international experts from the region.

The Inception workshop will be held over the course of three days in one of the participating countries.

Work with the Change Process (3-4 months, in home country)

Back in their respective local communities the participants will continue to develop their Change Process. Participants will actively use web-based tools for interaction with facilitators and other participants.

Phase 2
Swedish Phase workshop

(2 weeks in Sweden including travels)

Participants will meet in Sweden for a cultural exchange, advanced leadership training, introduction to Swedish women politicians/mentors and a two-day study visit to a Swedish municipality or region. Topics of study will include, among others: the Swedish model of governance, suppression techniques and countermeasures, communication skills and how to be a good role model among other things. Tuition consists of interactive lectures and group discussions with Swedish and international experts combined with study excursions, group work and discussions.

Phase 3
Final workshop

(5 days including travels)

More exact location to be decided

The participants and the Swedish mentors meet in one of the participating countries. The goal of this workshop is to summarize and share the challenges, opportunities and
lessons learned throughout the programme. The participants will present their Change Process results. The programme also includes study visits and lectures provided by the ICLD and relevant lecturers. This workshop marks the formal end of the programme.

Learning processes

The programme employs a mixture of pedagogical methods such as lectures, group work, forum discussions, study visits and facilitated support by the assigned mentors. Support for planning, implementation and evaluation of the Change Project is mainstreamed throughout the whole programme. The number of participants is limited to 25 in order to ensure a close working relationship between participants, ICLD-staff, mentors and lecturers.

Management and staff

All the three phases of the International Training Programme are carried out under the support and management of the ICLD. In addition, the programme is supported by Swedish mentors being selected by the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR).

Inclusive leadership and governance

Programme objectives

The programme aims to provide the following changes in the participant: 

  • Empower the participant with improved leadership skills  
  • Help the participant to fully utilize the power and influence of her position  
  • Strengthen her as a role model to encourage political participation among marginalized groups  
  • Give her access to a network of women in similar positions

During the training, the participant will work on her change process and implement a strategy to make the local authority equitable, participatory, transparent and accountable. 


  • Valuable exchange of knowledge and experiences
  • Extended regional and international networks
  • Improved skills as a “change agent” in initiating and implementing instituational change
  • Skills and abilities to communicate and advocate on issues of inclusive governance
  • Two-day study-visit in a Swedish municipality or region
  • Support to improve participation, equality, transparency and accountability in the local governance

What we will offer:

  • Advanced training in communication, strategic planning and leadership
  • Swedish mentorship including an individual two-day study visit in a Swedish municipality or region
  • International exposure to different political experiences
  • An opportunity for your municipality to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)


  • Through skills training workshops on site or digitally
  • Identification of challenges and finding solutions to issues faced by women politicians
  • By offering strategic support and coaching from ICLD staff and mentors
  • In sharing of professional obstacles and successes in an inclusive environment

Change process

The participant is expected to develop and work with a change process of her choice during the training. The change process should address a real problem of concern to the politician, thus contribute to translating the theoretical content of the training programme into capacity development and institutional change within her municipality. The change process aims to increase political accountability, helping leading politicians to better respond to the needs of the citizens. An outline of the problem to be addressed by the change process shall be submitted as part of the application, and plays a key role in the selection of participants. The change process requires strong commitment and involvement of the politician and should lead to the proposal of a solution. Keep in mind that there is NO funding available from ICLD for project implementation.

Inclusive leadership and governance