Government in Zambia has devolved governance for programmes including those that address health and environmental challenges to a local level, however disparities in resources and capacity to influence mean rural areas benefit less from state funds than urban areas.
How we are helping
The project will support journalists and members of the Children’s News Agency to use creative art to highlight health and environmental challenges and will develop a platform for engagement with decision-makers to advocate for improved resource allocation to rural areas.
About the project
Zambia elected a new government in 2021. The new administration has increased the Constituency Development Fund as a measure to address the challenged faced by rural communities and to devolve governance for planning and implementation of programmes to a local level. However, constituencies in rural areas have greater challenges and cover larger areas compared to smaller, better equipped urban areas. Constituencies in rural areas lack competent staff and funds to cater for health care needs; they are poorly serviced with health infrastructure, including the provision of pit latrines for use by medical staff.
Project partner Media Network on Child Rights and Development (MNCRD) will equip children, young people and journalists with skills to conduct creative and evidence-based advocacy; to raise awareness of the health and environmental challenged faced in rural areas and to engage with decision makers to advocate for improved resource allocation.
This will be achieved by:
- Building the capacity of networks of journalists and members of the Children’s News Agency (CNA) to create and disseminate pictures, videos and documentaries that highlight health and environmental challenges in rural areas and contrasting urban-rural inequalities.
- Creating a platform for CNA members to engage with relevant duty bearers from the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Environment and Green Economy.
- Facilitating call-in radio programmes on community radio stations in the targeted districts to respond to the issues identified, featuring government, civil society and traditional leadership officials.
- Brokering opportunities for national radio and television to share responses captured during the community radio programmes and to encourage responses to the issues from the relevant ministries at the national level.
- Producing a music video featuring a former Children’s News Agency (CNA) member, Mwizaq Zulu, a popular musician and social activist, who will work with a group of musicians from rural areas to produce a song to raise awareness of the issues for sharing on social media.
It is anticipated that services and infrastructure in rural areas of Zambia will be improved as a result of this project; communities will feel empowered to influence leaders and hold duty bearers accountable; children will have a strong base for democratic interactions where their views are heard; and progress will be made towards Sustainable Development Goal 10 (reduce inequality within and among countries).
Image: Martin Bekerman via unsplash
Media Network on Child Rights and Development (MNCRD) is a vibrant, membership-driven media association dedicated to sensitising and equipping the media and children to cover child rights and development issues. It works with government, civil society, cooperating partners, children and journalists to ensure that the voices of children and their issues are captured in the media to achieve policy change and implementation.
We support people's participation in democracy and development by providing grants, platforms, and expertise.