NGO Network Alliance Project
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Current Impact Stories

Name of Project: The NGO Network Alliance Project- Zimbabwe

Contact Information: nnap@kubatana.org.zw; www.kubatana.net

Name of organization: The NGO Network Alliance Project- Zimbabwe

Focus of project: Technology as a tool for empowerment

Audience/participants: Over 130 Zimbabwean NGOs, CSOs, and social justice organizations participate in this project. All these NGOs have websites that are hosted in a database driven portal called www.kubatana.net. There is also a mailing list of regional and global organizations (including religious, gay and lesbian and grassroots organizations involved in the environment, democracy, gender, HIV/AIDS and rural development) and individuals.

Context for the project: The idea for the NGO Network Alliance Project was formulated in June 2000 during the Parliamentary Elections in Zimbabwe, when a group of people assisted the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), a political party, with their email and Internet strategies. They noticed that email and Internet communication for advocacy and lobbying was under-used in Zimbabwe and it was from here that the NGO Network Alliance Project was formed. Relationship of the organization/project to the audience: One of the aims of the project was to link Zimbabwean NGOs, CSOs and social justice organizations under one online umbrella and to disseminate relevant information via an email address list to all NGOs in the Project. The Project then got in touch with over 150 Zimbabwean NGOs. They developed an electronic factsheet for those organizations interested in participating and also hosted the NGOs onto their website.

Funding source and level of funding: The project received a small grant from two donors as start up money. They are now exploring ways to continue funding their work either through membership fees or other mechanisms.

Length of project: Since March 2001

Brief description: The main aim of the project is to link all NGOs in Zimbabwe and share information between them. Aside from creating a mailing list for this purpose, they assisted the National Constitutional Assembly in developing a fully integrated website. At the same time, they also developed a database driven portal called www. Kubatana.net, which is updated regularly to profile the kubatana.net participants on a rotational basis, drawing attention to their work. They also started an electronic activism initiative focusing on Peace Petitions, Rates Boycotts, amongst other campaigns, on the kubatana website that encourages Zimbabweans to get involved in using electronic communication to advocate for change. In 2001, the NGO Network Alliance held workshops for their partners on using electronic communication for advocacy and lobbying. Email newsletters were posted on factory notice boards throughout Zimbabwe.

The project advises partners on software and hardware procurement. By establishing an NGO portal, they have seen the Zimbabwean community’s confidence in electronic communication grow enormously. They are helping to build capacity and awarness of the importance of disseminating voter educations materials as well as emphasising the usefulness, and cost effectiveness of this medium for MPs to lobby their constituencies. In a period of 6 months, the NGO Network Alliance had reached out to a significant number of NGOs, developed 4 websites for specific partners covering the child protection, HIV/AIDS, farm workers’ rights, democracy and good governance and women’s rights sectors.

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