On 3rd October 2013, Restless Development was invited by the Zambia Civil Society Center to share its shaping policy and practice work in Zambia. The presentation was made during an advocacy capacity building training to over 20 Civil Society Organisations (CSO) leaders operating in various provinces of Zambia.
The CSOs were inspired by the youth-led accountability model Restless Development has been implementing. Particularly on how evidence from the ground, if well documented and communicated upwards, can have significant impact in shaping national level policy processes. Various participants expressed interest in having such a model scaled up and replicated national wide.
Mulyata Kalunga, a participant at the event, commented:
“Your presentation was impressive. You are a wonderful youth organisation and we appreciate the work you are doing. We wish you could roll out across the nation. I personally have not encountered a youth organisation that is so practical and fruitful.”
Elsewhere, we were invited by the National Youth Development Council (NYDC) to attend their national quarterly meeting which was held on 25th October 2013. Alongside over 30 youth organisations, we shared our thoughts on effective monitoring of the national youth policy.
The key focus of the presentation was to share results of the youth-led accountability model in monitoring service delivery at community level in line with various youth related policies.
We also shared our joint policy on monitoring work in the education sector through the Zambia National Education Coalition (ZANEC). Joint policy monitoring has been identified as a weak area in the youth sector among youth organisations, and so a focus on improving this is essential.
A proposal was made for Restless Development to train at least one youth organisation from each province on the youth-led accountability model. This will ensure evidence is generated from across the country and can be fed into a joint shaping policy and practice platform such as the Joint Technical Working Group (TWG) on monitoring national youth policy which was constituted by Restless Development in September 2013.
We were also pleased to take part in the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) youth dialogue meeting on 29th October with the visiting Crown Prince of Norway at the University of Zambia.
The meeting was aimed at engaging the prince who is the UNDP’s ‘Good Will Ambassador’ and so is in discussion with students and youth leaders on the post2015 development agenda. During this meeting, our staff shared their thoughts on the ‘Big Idea’ concept and emphasised the significance of ensuring that young people are not only targeted with development policies but engaged as partners in formulation, implementation and monitoring of policies that concern them.