Zimbabwe’s civil society discuss progress on the Sustainable Development Goals

Civil society organisations of Zimbabwe and government representatives got together on 8 September 2017 to discuss national progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs SDGs The Sustainable Development Goals were one of the outcomes of the Rio+20 Conference. The members States launched a new set of future international development goals, which will build upon the Millennium Development Goals and converge with the post-2015 development agenda. ). Following Zimbabwe’s Voluntary National Review (VNR) on the SDGs SDGs The Sustainable Development Goals were one of the outcomes of the Rio+20 Conference. The members States launched a new set of future international development goals, which will build upon the Millennium Development Goals and converge with the post-2015 development agenda. at this year’s High Level Political Forum (HLPF), CSOs were keen to share experiences and lessons learned and map out engagement mechanisms. The Labour and Economic Development Research Institute of Zimbabwe (LEDRIZ), a member of the African Trade Union Development Network, represented trade unions. Representatives of the United Nations Development Programme were also present.

By Naome Chakanya (Senior Researcher, LEDRIZ)

In their exchanges, participants identified certain priorities going forward:

  • Engagement should be long-term, regular, structured and systematic;
  • Government engagement with CSO should go beyond just informing, consultation and involvement, but should embrace collaboration;
  • Trade unions and youth participation in SDG implementation, review and reporting processes should be strengthened.

The government acknowledged the importance of working with CSOs and trade unions to the achievement of the SDGs SDGs The Sustainable Development Goals were one of the outcomes of the Rio+20 Conference. The members States launched a new set of future international development goals, which will build upon the Millennium Development Goals and converge with the post-2015 development agenda. . It also committed to undertaking SDG education and sensitisation programmes at provincial level to ensure no one is left behind. CSOs and trade unions were urged to mobilise their constituencies to participate in this process. In the context of a national SDG Communication Strategy, a website would be created for information dissemination on key dates of events and meetings.


From left to right: Rita Nyamupinga (FEMPRIST Director), Naome Chakanya (LEDRIZ Snr Researcher), Judith Kaulem (Poverty Reduction Forum Trust Director) and Dr. Judith Kateera (Permanent Secretary-Ministry of Macroeconomic Planning and Investment Promotion)

Monitoring progress

The government’s SDG Strategy adopts a cluster approach comprises of six clusters along the lines current National Development Plan called the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZimAsset). Selected SDGs SDGs The Sustainable Development Goals were one of the outcomes of the Rio+20 Conference. The members States launched a new set of future international development goals, which will build upon the Millennium Development Goals and converge with the post-2015 development agenda. and targets were identified under each cluster. All the CSOs, trade unions, private sector and development partners were invited by the government to identify one or more clusters in which they wish to participate and submit their names to the Ministry for follow-up. A Monitoring and Evaluation framework checking on the progress of the different stakeholders in their respective clusters will form of the implementation strategy. The government informed participants of their plan to develop an ICT database for SDGs SDGs The Sustainable Development Goals were one of the outcomes of the Rio+20 Conference. The members States launched a new set of future international development goals, which will build upon the Millennium Development Goals and converge with the post-2015 development agenda. for the compilation of relevant data.

Resource mobilisation

Government representatives welcomed the dialogue on the country’s options on how to enhance funding for SDGs. CSOs identified the need for transparent and equitable funding to support SDGs implementation efforts. The need for the government to put in place transparent and accountable mechanisms that link the exploitation of the country’s rich natural resources directly to the funding of SDGs implementation was stressed.

Amarakoon Bandara (UNDP UNDP The United Nations Development Programme is the UN’s global development network. It helps the countries to find solutions to development challenges and to achieve human development and the MDGs. ) informed the meeting of the UNDP UNDP The United Nations Development Programme is the UN’s global development network. It helps the countries to find solutions to development challenges and to achieve human development and the MDGs. ’s support to SDGs implementation parameters for the remainder of the year going into 2018 as well as producing yearly SDGs progress reports starting at the end of 2018. He also underscored the need for robust institutional reforms to curb illicit financial flows and safeguard resources that can be used in the implementation of the SDGs rather than only depending on resources from donor partners.

What does this all mean for trade unions?

The meeting brought into sharp focus the various entry points for effective trade union action such as:

  • Engagement and collaboration opportunities with the responsible Ministry through representation and participation in the clusters relevant for trade unions;
  • Inclusion of SDG 16 on Peace, Justice and Strong Institution onto the national SDG priority goals provides trade unions space to further promote freedom of association, social dialogue and collective bargaining, and demand transparency, accountability and democracy necessary for achievement of decent work.
  • ZCTU mobilising its regional and district structures to integrate the SDGs in ongoing trade union organising and education activities and participate in the upcoming Ministry’s Provincial education, sensitisation programmes; and,
  • ZCTU mobilising labour-friendly MPs to bring to the fore labour issues and decent work (SDG 8) when the Ministry engages the Parliament.

Overall, the meeting was successful in setting a positive path for an increased participation of trade unions in the national implementation of the SDGs.