Research for Constructive Engagement & Sustainable Development in Zambia


Who: Students in colleges and universities.
Theme: Students in Zambia contributing to development.

Summary
This project seeks to change mindsets in Zambia towards research through advocacy and actually engaging students in learning institutions into long term research which culminates into constructive engagement and sustainable development in Zambia. The objective of this simple and practical research is for constructive engagement and sustainable development. Any research done without an objective or direction of how the information derived shall be used to benefit the society, organization, country, etc is just wastage of resources. Research in Zambia has not been used to really benefit the people and environment.

The Problem
There are many social-economical and health problems being faced in Zambia yet there is little research being done on these and the little research done is not taken further to provide workable solutions to these problems in the country. There is little value attached to research and hence very little support goes towards research. Many view research as a wastage of time, resources and human capital because there is little value realized from some local researches being conducted as most researches end up at report level and no or rarely taken further than that.

Solution
We are here to advocate increased support and budgetary allocation towards research, improvement of policies towards research, and also to link relevant research concerning social & economic problems to duty bearers and development actors for a better Zambia through sustainable development. This research helps those in positions of power delinked from realities and truth on the ground to get correct information for better decision making and policy development/ improvement. The solution is to ensure that any research should aim at bringing a solution; this is research for appropriate decision making and action.

The following shall be activities towards implementation of this project:

  • - Call for concepts from learning institutions.
  • - Selection of twenty researchers, twenty volunteer consultants and twenty volunteer research assistants.
  • - Workshop training of researchers, development of research tools and action plan.
  • - Sensitization meeting and meeting with targeted government departments, agencies and ministries.
  • - Research process and data validation.
  • - Research presentation and research improvement.
  • - Collection of missing information.
  • - Final report.
  • - Presentation & submission to various government departments, agencies and ministries for inclusion in action plans and budgets.
  • - Advocacy for increased support towards research – learning institutions, private sector ad government departments/agencies/ministries.

Potential Long Term Impact
The project shall target students in learning institutions as main researchers to socio-economic and health problems being faced and as main advocacy agents of change who shall engage the key various government departments, ministries and agencies and who shall promote increased government support towards research and implementation of useful information obtained through various research. The project shall also encourage learning institutions to come up with research requirements or topics which are actually local socio-economic and health problems the country is facing for possible interventions towards these. There shall be need to change the mindset of researching just to pass examinations but researching to actually contribute to constructive engagement and sustainable development.

Research Topics
The following shall be the research topics to be focused on for this project:

  • Road Accidents: Too many road accidents and what can be done by all stakeholders (people, drivers, duty bearers or people tasked for road safety and the government), what is being done?

  • Life-Span: Short life- span while people in other countries have longer life span. How can life-span be increased under the prevailing economic circumstances? Who needs this information and how shall it be disseminated constructively in a respectful and dignified manner?

  • Corruption: How to stop/ reduce corruption in Zambia. Motto: “Stop corruption before it becomes a giant that destroys those that oppose it”. What are the existing factors that are fertile for corruption? What are the forces of corruption that really compel beyond measure communities, duty bearers and various people in positions of influence and power get engaged in corruption and how can these be gotten rid of? Consider examples of clearing goods, also road traffic controls, obtaining licences or licensing and how one is compelled to engage in corruption. Is the environment conducive for corruption? How can environment be made less and less conductive for corruption considering that lives of people have to be made easy not hard?

  • Equal benefit from natural resources: How everyone in Zambia can benefit from the country’s natural resources (There is uneven distribution in terms of benefitting from the existing natural resources because of various advantages like status, access to education, access to information, relations, friendships, etc. Some are benefiting far much more than the others. Others are dying from hunger and suffering from poverty despite abundant natural resources).

  • Central Government support to government grass-root structures: Government funding to line ministries and government departments (does government funding correlate with outputs or benefits to communities? How much of government funding to ministries should really reach the government departments on the ground also considering the need for financial needs of line ministries or provincial departments’ for operations? How can the government ensure that funds meant for government departments on the ground or in communities or in districts reach them? Do these departments on the ground also use properly the little support they are receiving?.
  • Effectiveness & efficiency of government grass-root structures: Comparison of strengths of government structures in communities/ districts with government structures at provincial/ national level. Are government structures in communities/ districts strengthened and supported adequately and are they also really taking their roles adequately in communities as intended? If not why? What can be done to ensure government ministries in districts/ communities are more effective?

  • Improvement of efficiency and effectiveness of office bearers: How Ministers, Members of Parliament, Town Mayors and Councilors can be more effective in execution of their roles and responsibilities.

  • Improvement of Democracy: Development of democracy for sustainable development (policies, environment, systems, culture, attitudes, etc) and not for abuse. Do all stakeholders really understand constructive democracy? What are the risks of abuse from all stakeholders and how these risks can be countered? What democracy is not (e.g. abuse, disrespect).

  • Citizen’s participation to development: Roles of Citizens in development (citizens expect only government and their leaders to develop Zambia but are not really aware of their roles and responsibilities. What should leaders do when sharing their goals or vision? Who should be stakeholders in these country visions shared? Are citizens contributing towards realization of the country vision? Are they aware of the country vision or government departments in districts have not shared it? Do government departments in districts know the country vision and how they are contributing to it? How can attitudes and mindsets of communities be improved for improved and sustainable development?

  • Education for All: how can all citizens access education regardless of their economic status, location, age, etc regardless of the current economic challenges/or status? Kindly give practical and easy ways. What is the current situation and what can be done better or what can be improved?

The following are the required donation support areas:

  • $20 laptops for 20 student researchers
  • $20 modems for 20 student researchers
  • $1200 for communication & internet for 20 researchers for 3 to 6 months
  • $600 for stationery for 20 student researchers
  • $2000 training of student researchers
  • $50 Allowance for one student research for one month
  • $50 transport logistics for one student research for one month
  • $100 accommodation for five nights per month for one or two researchers per month
  • $25 meals for one research for five days in the field per month

    *Currency $USD

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