Advocate for Improved ECDE Policies and Measures
Implementing a transnational advocacy capacity building project which seeks to develop stronger and vibrant Early Child Development and Education (ECDE) in southern Africa, the strengthened CSO's will engage in transnational advocacy to make governments in Southern Africa more transparent and accountable to their citizens on ECDE issues.
Transparent and accountable governments ultimately improve the development and implementation of sustainable, equitable, inclusive and gender responsive ECDE policies, legislation, and systems as well as improved ECDE financing by governments, CSOs and donors. The TRANAC consortium as it is called, is made of up of ECDE CSO national coalitions from Eswatini, Mozambique, Zambia, Lesotho (NECDOL), the Malawi ECD Coalition and the Zimbabwe Network of Early Childhood Development Actors (ZINECDA) in the implementation of the project.
The design of the project is premised on the human rights-based approach (HRBA), whereby regional and global education frameworks such as SDGs, UNCRC and ACRWC guide implementation. HRBA is adopted including such issues as participation, accountability, non-discrimination and equality, empowerment and legality at national and regional level. The right to education emphasizing that children are active agents in their own learning and that education is designed to promote and respect their rights.
Zimbabwe Network of Early Childhood Development Actors (ZINECDA) ZINECDA which is the lead organization in the implementation of the project is a membership-based organization whose purpose is to fulfil the realization of the rights of every child, from conception to eight years, the period known as Early Childhood Development or ECD. It is a network of non-state and state actors with current membership consisting of community-based organisations, non-governmental organizations, faith-based organizations, ECD centers, research and academic organizations and private sector working to enhance early childhood development in Zimbabwe.
Taking the leading role in TRANAC, ZINECDA will be influencing ECDE legislation, policy, guidelines and procedures that concern the rights and development of children through direct participation using rights-based approaches such as evidence-based advocacy, research, capacity building and networking with major focus on SDG4.2 target.
ZINECDA has influenced the inclusion of ECDE in the Education Amendment Bill (now Act) and provided technical expertise in the development of the Early Learning, Inclusive Education and School financing policies. The Network with its nationwide and diverse composition of membership engages and collaborates with key stakeholders and policy makers like Members of Parliament, senior civil society officials and government through Ministries of Education, Health and Child Care.
The Network for Early Childhood Development of Lesotho (NECDoL)
The Network for Early Childhood Development of Lesotho affectionately known as NECDoL is a non-profit voluntary association of individuals, organizations and institutions who have come together to pursue the same objectives aimed at the overall well-being of young children.
The network’s vision is that by 2030, every child in Lesotho from 0 to 5 years old shall have equitable access to well-coordinated quality integrated early childhood services. NECDOL will organize national activities building up to transnational activities through community mobilization coordinated by regional coordinators and national teacher trainers based in the 10 districts of Lesotho building up to national and transnational advocacy. There shall be active high-level advocacy targeting parliamentarians and this will be supported by effective use of the media to gain the support of the masses in proposed changes. NECDOL will also collaborate at the transnational level through the organizing of advocacy events and information sharing.
With the current funding for the year 2020-2021 UNICEF made provision to support NECDOL in collaborating ECCD teachers to form a union which will assist NECDOL in strengthening and professionalising Early Childhood Education in Lesotho which is still very informal with less than 40% of its teachers trained. The association will also assist with increasing membership for NECDOL.
The Network is also part of Local Education Group (LEG) which provides us with the opportunity to represent Early Childhood Education in National Decisions, and we have actively participated in reviewing of the National Strategic Plan. It is also a member of multi sectoral partners where we represent civil societies advocating for early childhood development.
The Early Childhood Development (ECD) Coalition Malawi
The Early Childhood Development (ECD) Coalition Malawi is a member organization of civil society organizations, Faith Based Organizations, Community Based Organizations, institutions and interested professionals providing ECD services and implementing ECD interventions. The organization has a network of over 96 members.
ECDC Malawi continues to advocate for ECDE at national level contributing to the transnational agenda. ECDC is a member and national representative of AfECN and International Step by Step Association (ISSA). It is also representing its partners in parliament especially the committee of Social welfare where ECD is housed.
ECDC is implementing four projects funded by World Bank through ministry of Community Development and Social welfare (Citizen engagement), OSISA (influence the Government of Malawi to honour its commitment to allocate 1% of the annual education sector budget to ECD) Roger Federer (School readiness) and AfECN (Response to Covid -19).
ECDC is strong in advocacy, research, capacity building, resource mobilization, monitoring and evaluation, collaboration and partnership for national development.