Planning for the project on Strengthening Disability Rights Accountability, Governance, and Coordination in Zimbabwe begins

The United Nations Partnership on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNPRPD) Round 4 Project Team for Zimbabwe consisting of UNESCO, UNFPA, UNDP and technical partners  - UNICEF and UN Women, as well as the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office Gender and Disability Advisor, held their first introductory and planning meeting on 27  January 2022. 

Following the successful implementation of the UNPRPD Round 3 project on “Advancing the Rights of Women and Girls with Disabilities in Zimbabwe” and the extension phase on “Strengthening disability inclusion in the COVID-19 response” implemented from 2018-2021,  Zimbabwe has again been awarded funding  for a  new UNPRPD Round 4 project titled  “Strengthening Disability Rights Accountability, Governance, and Coordination in Zimbabwe”. Zimbabwe is among 27 countries globally selected by the UNPRPD Secretariat to continue accelerating its implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in Zimbabwe.  

During the introductory and planning meeting, the project team dialogued on the project objectives and work plan the UNPRPD Round 4 project. The project’s four priority areas include:  

  1. Supporting the Government to set up a comprehensive and operational coordination mechanism that promotes accountability and engagement of Organisations of Persons with Disabilities (OPDs) in the implementation of the National Disability Policy;
  2. Addressing intersectional stigma and discrimination against women and girls with disabilities and most vulnerable groups, as well as promoting their participation in governance structures;
  3. Influencing the national Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) coordination mechanism to ensure disability-inclusion;
  4. Supporting the United Nations Country Team (UNCT) to ensure strengthened disability inclusion and monitoring in the Zimbabwe United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF, 2022-2026).

Speaking during the meeting, the UN RCO Gender and Disability Advisor, Magdeline Madibela, applauded the UNPRPD Team for their joint efforts in developing the UNPRPD Round 4 Proposal and stressed the need the for UN Team to continue to “Deliver as One” in advancing disability inclusion in Zimbabwe. She highlighted that the new UNPRPD Round 4 project will play a major role in accelerating the implementation of the CRPD and the UN Disability Inclusion (UNDIS) Strategy, which seek to strengthen the UN’s system’s disability inclusion efforts. Madibela further pointed out that the UNRCO remains committed to supporting the UNPRPD project Team, Government and civil society in successfully implementing the UNPRPD Round 4 project.

Phinith Chanthalangsy, UNPRPD Team leader and UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa (ROSA) Social and Human Sciences Programme Specialist stressed the need for the UNPRPD Project Team to continue using the UNPRPD project funds to play a catalytic role in advancing disability inclusion. Additionally, he urged the UNPRPD Project Team to continue strengthening its partnership with the Government of Zimbabwe, in particular, the Ministry of Public Service, Labour, and Social Welfare’s Department of Disability Affairs and Organizations of Persons with Disabilities. 

The two-year UNPRPD Round 4 project will be implemented from 2022 to 2023. It is expected to benefit persons with disabilities across 10 of Zimbabwe’s Provinces which include: Bulawayo and Harare Metropolitan provinces, Manicaland, Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland East, Mashonaland West, Masvingo, Midlands, Matabeleland North, and Matebeland South Provinces.