Open Spaces

Speeches Shim

For a healthy democratic state that upholds participation, transparency, and accountability, Zambian actors across media, government, and civil society need to ensure an enabling environment exists to both protect and promote independent and diverse voices. Given the popularity of community radio and digital media outlets, these information sources could be a positive and effective tool for improving dialogue and supporting freedom of information and expression in Zambia.

Open Spaces aims to strengthen the democratic foundations of freedom of speech and assembly; facilitate independent and new media; and safeguard a space for independent media, civil society, free speech advocates and diverse voices in Zambia.

Life of Project: July 2021 - June 2026

Geographic Focus: National

Partner: FHI 360 and Internews

Chief of Party: Teldah Mawarire

Total USAID Funding: $11 million

USAID Contact: Charlene Bangwe -

Objectives of the Open Spaces Project:  

  1. Strengthen and promote viable and independent media.
  2. Promote digitally literate and cyber secure users and inclusive online spaces of engagement.
  3. Strengthen the enabling environment for independent and new media.

Expected Results

  • Independent media outlets will attain an increased understanding of audience’s information needs and utilize digital platforms to expand their audience base. 
  • Actors across the media sector will participate in a range of professional-level training and mentoring and produce and increase the dissemination of more balanced and in-depth coverage of locally relevant content.
  • Management and financial capacities of community radio stations will be strengthened 
  • Establish a A “Digi-Hub” to promote training, production, and collaboration for media, CSOs, digital-content producers and users, corporate entities, and film creatives.
  • Independent media and civil society will have increased knowledge and tools to stay safe online and reduce a range of risks, from harassment to cybercrime. 
  • Increased use of digital technologies and platforms for citizen engagement.
  • Increased capacity of media and civil society organizations to analyze legal and regulatory issues and advocate for a strengthened enabling environment. 
  • Civil society will have strengthened advocacy skills and increased presence in national, regional, continental and international venues for promoting freedom of expression, Internet freedom and digital rights.
  • Tailored capacity building and technical support provided to regulatory bodies and media-related Ministries.
Issuing Country 
Tuesday, May 3, 2022 - 9:00am

Last updated: June 22, 2022