On 22nd August 2013, Restless Development Zambia hosted a TIKAMBE youth-led policy engagement event at the Tsopano Civil Society Centre in Lusaka. In attendance were two members of the National Assembly (Parliament) and representatives from the National Youth Development Council and Ministry of Youth & Sports.
The TIKAMBE policy engagement events are organised as key civic participation platforms for young people and their communities to engage with their leaders and policy makers on the most pressing issues that affect them. During the event, young people presented position papers which have been developed through a youth-led accountability process by young individuals in consultation with their wider community on key development gaps that need to be addressed.
The papers provide key recommendations to be considered by policy makers and local civic and traditional leaders. Press coverage of the event was contained in Zambia’s leading commercial newspaper The Post and Muvi TV.
Over 2012 and 2013, ten communities in Central Province have been trained by Restless Development to undertake Community Self-Assessments to monitor the implementation of national development policies and strategies such as the Adolescent Health Strategic Plan and the HIV and AIDS Policy of the Ministry of Education in schools.
The communities have since formed position papers highlighting gaps existing in service provision in health, education and access to economic empowerment funds. Possible solutions also have been presented to policy makers and decision makers on the challenges and issues highlighted. The national policy engagement event last Thursday gave an opportunity to highlight and directly engage national decision makers on the key issues by presenting evidence-based position papers.
A key outcome of the TIKAMBE event is the agreement by present National Assembly members to carry forward the policy implementation issues in their current parliamentary duties. For example, the MP for Kabwe Central, James Kapyanga, will now take forward the identified issues to the Parliamentary Sub-Committee of Gender and Human Rights upon which he sits.
Meanwhile, Restless Development renews its longstanding national TIKAMBE Radio Show on Radio Phoenix over August-October 2013. This will ensure that the very same evidence-based position papers are aired and discussed by community members and decision makers on the weekly show to keep the dialogue and actions alive and implemented by all concerned.
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