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The Open Budget Survey (OBS) is an initiative undertaken by the International Budget Partnership (IBP). The survey is aimed at promoting public access to budget information and the adoption of accountable and transparent budget systems. The OBS is an objective, comprehensive, independent, comparative and global survey that evaluates whether governments give the public adequate access to budget information and opportunities to participate in the budget process at national level. The OBS is a biannual measure of budget transparency and accountability around the world and is produced by independent budget experts. OBS evaluates public access to eight key national budget information, opportunities for public participation in budget processes and the role of formal oversight institutions.

The OBS gives an assessment of the core institutions and practices that make representative democracy function. This includes assessing oversight institutions of representative democracy by assessing novel approaches to formal public participation in budgeting processes. Open and accountable public budgeting is at the centre of democratic practice and equity, it is therefore the basis for formulating strategies to strengthen the interaction between governments and citizens. Ensuring that the budgeting process is characterized by high levels of transparency, appropriate checks and balances, and opportunities for public participation is key to stemming confidence deficit in government and representative democracy.

We proudly present our third publication, Volume 3, Issue 3 of Development Watch, with the theme “Strengthening the Voice of NGOs”. We are slowly uncovering the year 2021 with what it has in store for us. This issue illustrates both the diversity and our capacity to address pressing issues in a timely way.

For us, we realised the importance of continuing to strengthen the work of NGOs during this difficult period and the need to share our work with different stakeholders.

CSOs in Zimbabwe have been actively involved in monitoring the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals before and after its adoption on 25 September 2015 by the United Nations. The CSOs work is based on the realization that the 2030 Agenda is a progressive global development framework. The establishment of the Sectorial - CSOs Sustainable Development Goals Monitoring Framework by the National Association of Non-Governmental Organizations (NANGO) and the formation of the Zimbabwe CSOs Reference Group on SDGs coordinated by Poverty Reduction Forum Trust (PRFT) is commendable. This assist in CSOs contribution towards the achievement of SDGs. These mechanisms and structures have enhanced CSOs representation and engagement with grassroots communities, government and other development actors on the Agenda 2030. CSOs in Zimbabwe have lobbied for the advancement of inclusive, just, equitable and sustainable development since the Millennium Development Goals era and continue in the times of the SDGs.

AMID a growing drug problem that has been described as a silent epidemic sweeping across Zimbabwe’s townships, organisations helping youths have called upon the government to invest in rehabilitation centres to stem substance abuse.

With 10 youths reportedly dying in Harare’s Mbare suburb from the use of crystal meth, popularly known as mutoriro in street lingo, the country risks losing a generation to drug abuse.

Zimbabwe does not have public rehabilitation centres where drug users can be treated and reintegrated into society, while the available private institutions are beyond the reach of many poor families.

The Southern African Development Community Council of NGOs (SADC-CNGO), an umbrella of civil society coordinating bodies in the SADC region noted the disturbing new developments in the Kingdom of Eswatini and deeply concerned about the riots and security brutality to the civilians including the loss of life and destruction of property.

We note that the people of the Eswatini demand for democratic dispensation in the Kingdom whose poverty rates as high as 70% and high level of unemployment (World Bank 2020). It is our conviction that denying the nation the democratic freedoms while at the same time creating policies that exacerbate inequality, poverty and unemployment including the usage of the security agencies in suppressing and suffocating any peaceful protest is tantamount to crime against humanity by the government of the Kingdom of Eswatini and is condemned in the strongest terms.

The National Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (NANGO), an umbrella coordination and representative body of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) operating in Zimbabwe, is a membership-based organisation with one thousand two hundred members across the whole country. Our members are clustered into ten sectors (Women, Children, Disabilities, Economic, Youth, Land and Environment, Human Rights and Governance, Humanitarian, Health, and Media, Arts, and Culture.

Civil Society work has been key in complementing government on several programmes and actions that include response to natural disasters such as cyclones, droughts and famine, social protection support in the health, education and vulnerable groups, civic education. Furthermore, contribution to the development and implementation of national development processes such as the National Development Strategy 1, Sustainable Development Goals, and Vision 2030 amongst others.

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Best Practices Paper on Combating the Abuse of NonProfit Organisations was first written in 2002 at a time when the FATF had just introduced standards to address specific terrorist financing (TF) vulnerabilities and threats in the wake of the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks. Since then, the threat environment has evolved, government experience implementing Recommendation 8 has advanced, and the non-profit organisation (NPO) sector and self-regulatory mechanisms have also continued to evolve. A limited update of the best practices paper was conducted in 2013 with specific input from the NPO sector to reflect the revised FATF Recommendations and the need to protect the legitimate activities of NPOs. The FATF published a typologies report on the Risk of Terrorist Abuse in Non-Profit Organisations (the typologies report) in June 2014, and the best practices paper has now been further revised to reflect some of the findings of that report along with additional input and examples of good practice from governments and the private sector.

Despite the existence of national and local legislations seeking to intensify the collective efforts of local authorities in the provision of solid waste management projects in the country, Zimbabwe remains less privileged on employing advanced technology on waste management.

Observations around many urban centres or municipalities dotted around the country paints a gloomy picture of the status quo with regards to municipal practices in solid waste management.

Population increase, urbanization and irregular expansions in municipal areas are some of the major factors exacerbating the negative environmental development, resulting in increases in the quantity of solid waste generated over the years. More so, the development is turning grave in all Urban dwellings and surrounding communities due to ever-growing levels of pollution.

Land is central to the livelihoods of the majority of people in Zimbabwe who are resident in the countryside. Not only is the land important for food production and self-sustenance, but it also provides a sense of belonging to people while also providing raw materials for use in the manufacturing and industrial sectors.

This State of Transparency and Accountability Barometer is a results of a Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) exercise carried out by NANGO and partners on the impact of COVID-19 on citizens’ access to justice in justice sector institutions supported through the 11th European Development Fund (

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