The overall goal of USAID/Zimbabwe’s Country Development Cooperation Strategy (CDCS) for 2022-2027 is that Zimbabwe transitions from chronic vulnerability to a more resilient, inclusive, and democratic society. This goal, along with the strategy’s results framework, reflects the Mission’s realistic assessment of Zimbabwe’s current development path, trajectory, and operating environment. It builds on development theory and past achievements and is supported by lessons learned from the last four decades of assistance, including the Mission’s last five-year strategy. The goal statement defines resilience broadly to include the most immediate and visible causes of vulnerability (i.e., infectious disease, droughts, natural disasters, entrenched poverty, and chronic violence) as well as the underlying causes of vulnerability (i.e., poor nutrition and health care, livelihoods insecurity, insufficient social cohesion and individual agency, and the under-realized potential of natural resources) that require a long-term approach. The inclusion of “democratic society” in the goal statement reflects the central role that accountability, citizen participation, rule of law, good governance, and policymaking play in resilience. The word “inclusive” in the goal statement recognizes that Zimbabwe cannot emerge from fragility if youth, women, and other marginalized members of society are left behind.
Over the five-year lifespan of this CDCS, USAID/Zimbabwe expects that the implementation of the strategy will result in the Zimbabwean people becoming healthier, more food secure, and better able to cope with continuing shocks and stressors (compared to what the outcomes would be without USAID assistance) as measured by improved health indicators, reduced poverty, and a reduced need for humanitarian assistance. It is further anticipated that, compared to a theoretical control sample, citizens will be more active in civic life; the Mission posits that this will enable improved access to and quality of necessary services and resources due to improved local governance. The CDCS focus on youth envisions young Zimbabweans as active development partners in this journey.
The Mission carefully crafted this CDCS to realistically respond to Zimbabwe’s complex development context and adhere to appropriation law. The strategy addresses the immediate needs of the populace and promotes improved governance, strengthens citizen agency, capitalizes on strategic opportunities, and effectively targets limited resources to build long-term resilience and reduce chronic vulnerability.