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Democracy, Human Rights and Governance

 

Our support for democratic governance aligns with the Government of Zambia’s Sixth National Development Plan, which aims to provide a democratic system of governance that creates the necessary conditions for markets to function correctly, for the efficient and effective delivery of basic services, and can ensure civil society participation in decision-making. Overall, democratic governance in Zambia will help communities and individuals maximize their potential in order to lead healthier, more fulfilling lives.

Governance and Rule of Law

Corruption is a major constraint to the functionality and growth of the public and private sectors. During the previous administration, President Levi Mwanawasa declared a “zero tolerance” policy toward corruption and the current administration has publically reiterated its support for this policy. Despite the support for a government and society free from corruption, Zambia continues to face tremendous challenges in the fight against public corruption.

In March 2006, the Millennium Challenge Corporation approved a Threshold Program for Zambia, which focused on combating corruption. During this two-year program, government agencies simplified their interactions with the public, leading to more efficient service delivery and reduced opportunities for corruption. The Threshold Program was largely successful and the benefit from the savings in time it takes to process a request is estimated at more than $12 million per year.

Our support seeks to build on the success of the Threshold Program by expanding it to other public service institutions. This will not only reduce the opportunities for corruption, but will also ensure improved efficiency of services.

Elections

In the 2004 National Governance Baseline Survey, Zambian households ranked the Department of National Registration, Passport, and Citizenship in the top five that solicited bribes in return for services. We are now working with this department on transparent and efficient service delivery. Reform of this department will positively impact Zambian participation in national elections since all Zambians registering as voters must first obtain a National Registration Card.

USAID supported the expansion of voter registration, including mobile registration, to enable greater participation in the electoral process. Current assistance also enhances more effective participation of civil society and Parliament in the constitutional reform in 2012.

Last updated: April 02, 2014

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