Active engagement, social innovation and resilience: The role of youths in Zimbabwe
This project focuses on socio-economic activities being implemented by youth in Zimbabwe in response to the social and economic challenges in their environment, political exclusion, and violence. It will analyze how the social relationships among peers, and their interaction with wider community structures, contribute to the resilience of young people. It will also identify the conditions, including gender inequality, under which various individual and collective initiatives of young people are emerging. The study will examine the effectiveness of their initiatives to provide platforms and safe spaces for young people to connect, reflect, and ultimately develop capacities for collective action.
Results from this study will inform policy approaches and civil society interventions (at the national and regional levels) to support young people and encourage more inclusive governance and development processes. The results will also demonstrate the importance of linking economic empowerment and governance, and will highlight that supporting youth economic empowerment initiatives should be connected with strengthening their active participation in citizen processes and governance initiatives. The study will identify opportunities for using socio-economic enterprises as platforms for promoting active citizenship and policy engagement, and as tools to strengthen youth resilience against violence.
The Research and Advocacy Unit (RAU), a Zimbabwe-based civil society organization, will lead this project. The project will use a participatory and action-oriented approach to collect gender-disaggregated data on experiences of exclusion by young men and women, and the innovations that they develop as a result.