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Youth for Good Governance

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From October 2003 to April 2004, the Network of African Youth Against Corruption (NAYAC) Zambia implemented "Youth for Good Governance" as part of the youth organisation's mission to promote accountable leadership and to create anti-corruption awareness clubs in schools. Run in collaboration and partnership with the World Bank Institute (WBI), the project sought to educate young people who aspire to join public office so that they can develop practical skills to resist and fight corruption, thereby playing a positive role in Zambia's development process. The project was designed to reach Zambian high school and college students, in close co-operation with teachers' associations. It centred around a six-month course, regional seminars throughout the country, and a national workshop.
Communication Strategies: 

The WBI initiated the Youth for Good Governance project in 2002 but expanded it in 2003, when NAYAC Zambia joined the programme. Together with WBI they designed the second phase of the Youth for Good Governance project, on a much larger scale than phase one.

In defining the objectives of training and education on good governance, tailored to the local setting, NAYAC-Zambia sought to understand the views and needs of youth and teachers. Interviews were conducted with youth graduates who had participated in previous good governance courses, as well as with teachers of civic education.

For the training, facilitators provided one hour of governance and anti-corruption classroom lectures to pupils and students in 40 high schools and colleges. The lectures dealt with basic understanding of corruption, and its causes, manifestations, and consequences - with an emphasis on its relations to good or bad governance. The lecture was theoretical and practical, and applied specifically to the current situation in Zambia. A number of case studies on corruption were presented during the lecture, illustrating the effect of corruption on governance and development.

Following this initial training, a 6-month enhanced course on good governance for 150 pupils/students per learning institution was designed. In high schools, the course was conducted through anti-corruption clubs; at college level, the course was offered as a regular class. The course consisted of 8 modules on different governance and developmental subjects such as "social marketing strategies to fight corruption". The module on "legal and institutional safeguards against corruption in Zambia" explored the Anti-Corruption Act, No. 42 of 1996, as a legal tool and institutional framework against corruption in Zambia.

As the young participants gained a deeper understanding on effective administration and public service delivery, they undertook visits to local government and other service providers for the purpose of conducting interviews, using a structured questionnaire. The findings of this research informed participants' work on countermeasures for improving the situation. The students were asked to use their imagination to transform their acquired knowledge into posters, including messages such as "hate corruption NOW for the better tomorrow", and many others. Flyers and posters were developed and distributed in places where public services are rendered, with students providing further information to those accessing public service.

At the regional level, 4 different seminars were held over 3 days, each for an average of 85 youth. The seminars brought together participants from the good governance course, and it provided a platform to compare lessons learned and to discuss joint action. Training focused on: identifying and designing strategies for fighting corruption; planning effective advocacy, awareness, and lobbying campaigns; and exposing youth to good international practices of fighting corruption. The local and national press provided the young people with an opportunity to present their opinions on governance and ideas on improving it.

The final national anti-corruption workshop for 150 youth participants defined the way forward for youth intervention. At the end of the workshop, participants pledged to disseminate the anti-corruption message and to build a strong alliance in order to improve Zambia's governance system. This was done through signing the Ibis Integrity Pledge, named after the workshop venue.

Development Issues: 

Youth, Democracy and Governance.

Key Points: 

"Zambia, like many other new African democracies, is struggling to improve good governance and bring development for its people. The majority of governors are over the age of 50 years. Most of them have proved incapable of managing the country's resources, and many, including former President Fredrick Chiluba and his companions, are believed to have abused and mismanaged national resources and funds for poverty alleviation and development provided by the international community. What is particularly disturbing is that society has come to accept corruption as a way of life and people talk about it casually as if it is not a serious concern."

The biggest achievement of the project was the outreach to 6,000 pupils and students. The leaflets and posters produced to influence the attitude of the general public were a concrete outcome of the training. 15,000 anti-corruption posters, 8,000 flyers and 5,000 booklets were developed and distributed to schools and public institutions.

Furthermore, youths can be said to have grasped an understanding of the key constituents for good governance. The initial analysis of the evaluation form indicated a 90% increase in knowledge on good governance among youths.

The project led to an increase in numbers of active anti-corruption awareness clubs in schools, from 18 before the project to 45 afterwards. In addition, eight more chapters of NAYAC-Zambia were formed in colleges, totalling 12 active chapters that form its membership.

The project has received widespread recognition, also from private companies that provided transportation to pupils undertaking visits to public service providers. The media played a major role in the success of the programme by participating actively in seminars and sharing some experiences. They not only publicised the work of NAYAC-Zambia and its partners but also brought young peoples' views on their country's national development and governance into public light."

Partner Text: 

WBI, NAYAC Zambia.

Contact Information: 
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