Free Press Unlimited, with
House of Consciousness and Alliance for Community Action
Name of the project: ‘Speak up Zambia! Empowering citizens to have a voice and enabling media to exercise their role as watchdog of society – Length: 36 months (till September 2018)
Target area: Population of Zambia as a whole, local media and Civil Society Organisations (CSO).
Target groups: 80 Citizen journalists, 8 community radio stations, 80 female community reporters, 10 freelance journalists, local policy makers and duty bearers, grassroots organisations, local CSOs, Kanyama township.
Free Press Unlimited (FPU), House of Consciousness (HoC) and Alliance for Community Action (ACA):
Are committed to enable Zambian citizens to express their opinions and to strengthen their ability – through media and Civil Society Organisations (CSO)
To hold duty bearers accountable. By combining efforts and strengths FPU, HoC and ACA aim to enhance social accountability and policy engagement in Zambia through citizen journalism and investigative journalism.
The project is designed in close collaboration between FPU – an experienced international media development organisation – and HoC and ACA, which are both young local NGOs and will as such be capacitated.
Independent media and civil society organisations in Zambia are present to bring in discussions from the society at local and national level.
Investing in the capacity and strength of these organisations will contribute to social accountability, and will provide opportunities for people to participate in discussions on issues that affect them.
To ensure all people are respected should be a key aspect in this process, and access for all Zambians, irrespective of religion, ethnicity and political affiliation – is crucial to have an atmosphere where discussions are open to all.
The overal objective if this project is to contribute to giving citizens a voice and to enabling media to exercise their role as watchdog of society. More specifically the project aims to enhance social accountability through citizen journalism and investigative journalism. As a result of the project activities, citizens will be able to call local authorities to account on how public resources are put to use. Marginalized female youths from deprived areas will be given a voice and platform to tell their stories and that of their communities, whereas professional journalists will get extensive training in fact checking techniques enabling them to scrutinize facts stated in publications and reports by others. The timing of the project is especially relevant as Zambian elections are scheduled to take place in 2016.