Internal displacement: Community based planning leads to sustainable development in Zimbabwe

Internal displacement often implies that people are left without a home, work and income, and the opportunity to an education. Since 2000, due to various government policies and actions, many Zimbabweans have been facing that situation. Although some progress was made by the government by acknowledging the problem of internal displacement, many displaced Zimbabweans are still left without any governmental support.

blogpost_NRCIn 2010, the Norwegian Refuguee Council (NRC) implemented community based planning (CBP) projects in two provinces of Zimbabwe – Masvingo and Macivaland – in order to help displaced people. CBPs facilitate thousands of people’s access to some of their basic needs: food security, livelihood and basic services. At the beginning of this year, the project was awarded the Ockenden Prize, which honors projects for refugees and displaced people.

The foundation of CPB is a bottom-up approach which aims both to include people in the development process and to help them to become self-reliant. With the help of NRC, displaced people and communities were brought together so that they could identify their common needs, find their own solutions and build up understanding and acceptance. Thereby, community-led projects such as clinics, shelters and schools arose, resulting in benefits for all. By enabling and ensuring displaced people’s access to land owned by the host community, they are able to rebuild their homes and livelihoods. Land access also enables displaced people to gain an income, for example, by selling vegetables, and thus provides access to education for their children.

CPB empowers people, provides skills, and is an important step towards sustainable and inclusive development. It underlines the importance of bottom-up approaches, mirroring The Hunger Project’s grassroots-focused strategy in empowering people to take action to meet their own basic needs to improve their lives and conditions in their communities.

To read more about community based planning in Zimbabwe click here.

To find out more about internal displacement in Zimbabwe click here.

Image courtesy of the Norwegian Refugee Council.     

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