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To reach those most in need, address the root causes of poverty, speak truth to power and raise the voices of the world’s most marginalised people, we are refocusing our work. In line with our new global strategy, Standing Together, we are deepening our interventions in fewer countries.

The Joint Country Programme (JCP) is a venture of three organisations: Christian Aid, Dan Church Aid and Norwegian Church Aid. Our joint programme was founded to enhance the impact of our projects, ease the burden on our partners and reduce costs.

We worked with strong local partners on a long-term basis to help them become more sustainable and mature as civil society actors in Zambia. Our partners included two church mother bodies: Council of Churches in Zambia (CCZ) and the Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops (ZCCB) (previously known as the Zambia Episcopal Conference).

Together, our vision was a Zambia where all women, men, girls and boys are empowered to enjoy economic, political, social, environmental and democratic rights.

Our aims were

Throughout this work, our mission was to empower and unite our partners through accompaniment, capacity building and facilitation.

  1. Economic empowerment: all rights holders have sustainable income to meet their basic needs by secured entrepreneurial opportunities and sustainable employment.
  2. Emergency preparedness and response: a Zambia that is resilient and prepared for a changing environment and disasters.
  3. Gender justice: a Zambia free from gender-based violence, where the rights of women, girls and boys are respected and upheld.
  4. Resource governance: a Zambia that is transparent and accountable in the management of national resources and guarantees citizen’s benefits. Throughout this work, our mission is to empower and unite our partners through accompaniment, capacity building and facilitation.

Through our project we have learnt how to save and also accessed an initial loan to help us start poultry farming.

- Mina Sakala, Beneficiary of JCP’s economic empowerment programme.

In Zambia we worked on

Economic empowerment

Our economic empowerment programme addressed ‘income poverty’ among rights holders, especially women and youth. Income poverty was caused by limited access, ownership and control over key livelihood resources such as natural and environmental, physical, financial, human, and social, capital.

Resource governance

Zambia has ‘growth without development’ – where extreme poverty prevails amid economic growth. Our resource governance programme aimed to achieve equity and transparency in national resource use.

Zambia is a member of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), which provides a point of leverage for faith-based organisations (FBOs) and civil society organisations (CSOs) to undertake advocacy for improved transparency in the mining sector.

JCP supported a national Publish What You Pay (PWYP) Coalition, to ensure transparency and accountability in the mining sector and also examine issues of environmental degradation and displacement of rural communities for mining purposes.

We also supported the Zambia Tax Platform (ZTP) to ensure equitable and fair taxation systems and influence The National Budget to be pro poor.

Gender justice

Our ‘gender justice – free of gender-based violence’ programme built on the women in governance programme from 2011-2015.

Founded on the fundamental principles of gender equality, we worked to broaden opportunities, choices and increased active participation of women and girls in their own development. This is not just an issue of fairness, but a pre-requisite for human rights.

Emergency preparedness and response

Our emergency work was strategically implemented within target communities in the Copperbelt, Eastern, North Western, Western and Southern provinces of Zambia.

As a member of the ACT Forum in Zambia, we worked with fellow members, including the Council of Churches in Zambia (CCZ) and the United Church in Zambia (UCZ), to implement the programme.

Strategic partnerships

JCP was committed to accountability and respect in the relationships we develop with our partners. We are HAP certified and bound by ACT Alliance Anti-Fraud and Corruption Policy.

We carefully select partners – both faith-based and secular – who are strategically placed to contribute to our goals.

Faith in action

Faith actors played a pivotal role, through alliances and networking with civil society, to advocate for constitutional reforms. These civil society organisations (CSOs) have a variety of roles – ranging from advocating to central and local government authorities on behalf of disadvantaged groups, to direct service provision where government support is absent, especially in remote, rural and poverty-stricken districts.

Harnessing youth potential

Zambia’s young people possess great potential and are an asset to economic and social transformation. We see investment in young people as not only making economic sense but also as a human rights imperative.

We aimed to partner with youth to empower them as rights holders and help them be major drivers of change. For example, employment creation through entrepreneurship development, and improved access to markets.

Now am able to support my daughter and the rest of the family.

- Alice Banda , Received a loan through JCP's economic empowerment programme.

Alice Banda is a beneficiary of JCP’s economic empowerment programme in Chipata, Zambia. The loan she accessed through her savings group enable her to inject more money into her small home tuckshop.

Key achievements

Economic empowerment

Our economic empowerment programme had over 20,000 direct beneficiaries in 2016 alone. Products and services offered included: 

  • training in entrepreneurship and vocational skills,
  • links to domestic markets,
  • links to financial institutions,
  • and training in value addition.

In the Eastern Province, 7,400 women and 334 men were trained in entrepreneurship and vocational skills, 625 targeted women, men, and youth managed to establish informal micro enterprises.

There are many more indirect beneficiaries, who cannot be quantified because some interventions, such as policy change recommendations, have benefits that transcend primary project targets. An example of this, is the submissions made to parliamentarians and the house of chiefs on strengthened customary land tenure to empower rural women and men with land ownership.

Gender justice

In 2016 the programme had more than 3,000 direct beneficiaries. Figures for indirect beneficiaries are higher because some outcomes benefit the whole country. For example, our partners advocated for, and worked together with, the Justice Ministry and National Prosecutions Authority to develop and adopt Rules of Courts to the Anti Gender-Based Violence Act. These rules guide the court on how to adjudicate gender-based violence cases.

In addition, 324 men and 150 boys role models were identified and mobilised to become 'change agents' through the programme. 

100 religious leaders and 138 traditional leaders were trained on the provisions of the Anti Gender-Based Violence Act and related laws.

A total of 1,431 gender-based violence survivors have received legal/psychosocial support services. 96 paralegals and 470 psychosocio counsellors were recruited and trained; they are currently facilitating justice for survivors and victims of violence.

Resource governance

After continued advocacy by our partners, the government prioritised three key social sectors – health, education and social protection – and increased their funding allocations in the 2017 national budget.

In addition, six budget submissions put forward by our partners were adopted in the national budget.

  • The Compensation Policy and the Mines and Mineral Development Act of 2015 were reviewed to be more responsive to the needs of the people.
  • Four targeted advocacy initiatives were introduced on the domestication of African Mining Initiative, Freedom of Information, Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and Public Resource Management.

Emergency preparedness and response

In 2016 at least 1,091 people were empowered with knowledge about the development of resilient water, sanitation and health (WASH) facilities.

Six models were also developed for sanitation and one for a water model at schools and villages in two districts in the Western Province.

WASH designs were also developed and produced, and training in the application of developed designs for WASH conducted in seven communities.

44 communities have taken concrete steps to prepare for emergencies, and 44 community task forces have been formed. Community level contingency plans have also been developed.

361 community task force members and 154 satellite committee members were trained in disaster management in Western and Lusaka Provinces. A total of 23 community task forces were trained to apply contingency plans in emergency situations.

I didn't know that in the event that my husband dies, I have the right to go my own way and not be inherited like a piece of furniture.

- Mulima Akapelwa, A beneficiary of our gender justice programme..

Our programmess

We are working in partnership with the Women and Law in Southern Africa Research and Educational Trust (WLSA) Zambia, on a three-year European Union-funded gender justice programme. The project aims to increase access to justice for survivors of gender-based violence (GBV) in the Eastern and Western Provinces of Zambia.

Other strategic partners are the Czech Diakonia, who support our economic empowerment programme, and FORUT, a Norway-based donor organisation supporting our gender justice programme by advocating against alcohol abuse.

Find out more about our founding organisations:

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