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Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

Poverty reduction initiatives are predominantly government functions. All line ministries are at some level addressing the issues of poverty with the Ministry of Finance and National Planning and Ministry of Community Development and Social Services being the lead ministries in this initiative. 

Body / Government


The Ministry of Community Development and Social Services

is charged with the responsibility of alleviating the suffering of poor and disadvantaged groups, men, women, children, youth and the disabled through facilitation and provision of survival community development skills and direct social support. 

The Ministry of Finance and National Planning

through the Planning and Economic Management Department is the lead institution in the overall coordination of the policy and planning process while sector ministries, public sector and civil society organizations will implement the programmes.

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

There is no specific legislation that target the combating of poverty, although generally legislation is intended to create an environment conducive for sustainable development. 

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

Little can be achieved to reduce poverty unless measures are taken to revive Zambia’s economy. Accordingly, Zambia’s Poverty Reducation Strategy focuses on measures to achieve strong sustained economic growth of between five to eight percent per annum.  In the short to medium term, uncertainty in the critical mining industry will dampen Zambia’s growth objectives and also threaten the viability of implementing Poverty Reduction Strategies. However, this can be considered to be a temporal setback as the country remains endowed with great mining potential.   

On several grounds, agriculture combines the virtue of growth and equity and it is in this regard that enhanced agriculture productivity is being given the highest priority under the current Poverty Reduction Strategies. Zambia plans to shift emphasis towards producing goods for export because the limited domestic market is a barrier to growth. The “Agriculture Commercialization Programme (ACP)” has been designed as the main vehicle for implementing the agriculture component of the PRSP. ACP is s successor programme to the Agriculture Sector Investment Programme (ASIP). 

For tourism, the plan envisages two broad interventions – national and zonal, both of which are expected to encourage investment in the sector. National intervention include rehabilitation of roads in tourist area, rehabilitation of museums, tourist markets, and human resource development. Zonal development refers to intense development work in identified tourist areas to make them attractive to tourist investment.  Regarding, industry the strategy focuses on choosing winners or industries that have the best chances of export success after considering comparative advantages and existing trade agreements. Other areas include improving transport and communication infrastructure, rehabilitating and enhancing electrical energy infrastructure and developing the national irrigation capacity and capabilities. 

The Ministry’s vision is to have every poor and vulnerable person empowered enough to live productive and useful lives in a supportive cultural environment.  It endeavours to pursue policies that support poverty eradication and sustainable human development through provision of social support services and opportunities for socio-economic empowerment of these people.  The Ministry has structures that reach out to the village/community level and is among the few institutions that are better positioned to articulate the needs and aspirations of the poor and facilitate their participation in sustainable human development.  

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement

Ministry of Finance and National Planning, NGO’s. Cooperating partners and donor agencies. 

Programmes and Projects 



Constraints & Challenges

Self Help Initiatives

The majority of the people live in rural areas in extreme poverty that is characterized by sub-standard housing. In response to this problem, Government in collaboration with the African Housing Fund (AHF), Habitat for Humanity and other local and international non-governmental organisations is trying to support the improvement of shelter within the framework of The National Housing Policy.


This project is on going.

Ø      Funding at community level low.

Ø      Fund raising capacity within low income groups insufficient.

Ø      General funding constraint low to meet targets.


Women’s Development Programme


While women’s contribution to national development has been acknowledged there are still many barriers preventing them from achieving their full potential. Some of the on-going initiatives to redress the imbalances and empower women include capacity building for sustainable livelihoods, provision of micro-credit and sensitization in gender and human rights.


Ø      Funding inadequate.

Ø      Inadequate effective facilitation skills and support facilities.

Ø      Poor Linkages.


Food for Work

In addressing the problem of hunger at the community level, and under the food for work intervention, households in peri-urban areas are enabled to meet their food requirements in exchange of construction and rehabilitation of community infrastructure. The Food for Work programme has incorporated capacity building of communities through skills training and provision of micro-credit to ensure sustainable livelihoods of participants even when the programme is phased out.  The Food for Work programme has greatly contributed to clean surroundings in their site areas which are predominantly peri-urban.


Ø      Performing well. Coverage however limited to urban sites due to funds.

Ø      The project Demand is in demand.

Ø      Due to success, there is an urge to integrate it with other projects.

Ø      Improving the sustainability of this project.



Constraints & Challenges

Targeted Food Security Pack

This is another intervention put in place to address the hunger situation as well as sustainable livelihoods for the affected persons. Government through civil society organizations is targeting 600,000 small-scale vulnerable but viable farmers over a period of three years by providing small packs of inputs comprising various seeds that include cereals, tubers, legumes and fruit trees to enable them attain food security. The most critical technology to the success of this project is conservation farming.


Ø      In areas where there’s no drought the project has been successful.

Ø      Poor rains have had an adverse impact on this project.

Ø      Project suffering from poor organization within the agriculture sector.


Non-formal education and Skills Training

The current levels of illiteracy are above 80%. The problem of illiteracy is more pronounced in the rural areas and among marginalised groups such as women, children and persons with disabilities. There is a correlation between illiteracy, poverty and disease. Literacy education is therefore a strategy to combat poverty and disease. Government intends to redefine the role of literacy in order to align it more closely to reproductive health, agriculture, community based environmental protection and management, HIV/AIDS awareness and sustainable livelihood skills.

Ø      Funding inadequate.

Ø      Interest is low.

Ø      Awareness campaign need in order to make project more relevant and to generate interest.



Public Welfare Assistance Scheme (PWAS)

This programme targets 2% of the population of the poorest of the poor. The objective is to provide basic needs to vulnerable persons so as to prevent destitution. The programme supports the aged, the disabled, orphans and vulnerable children. PWAS has three tiers of support namely social support, education and health care cost scheme. 

Ø      Accessibility limited to districts.

Ø      Failing to meet targets due to funds.

Ø      Only being accessed by ‘smart poor’. Support needs to be broaden.

Ø      Most assistance going to orphans.

The Child Care Upgrading Programme


The high number of orphans due to HIV/AIDS has given rise to the proliferation of children’s homes. Most of these are not meeting the basic standards required for the operation of such institutions. The CCUP responds to the need to ensure that basic standards of care provided to orphans and abandoned children in institutions are upheld and maintained. The project is supported by UNICEF

Ø      Cooperation from community poor

Ø      There is need to improve regulation and have an inspectorate.

Micro Credit For The Poor

This intervention is aimed at productivity and income generation. Some micro finance facilities include Micro-Bankers Trust which gives priority to women; the National Trust for the Disabled which provides loans to persons with disabilities, the People Living with HIV/AIDS Project which gives credit to persons affected by HIV/AIDS and the hammer mill project which has been loaning hammer mills to women groups for not only income generation but as appropriate technology to reduce their workload in food processing



Ø      Poor commitment on repayment.

Ø      Poor repayment due to lack of monitoring and inadequate debt management capacity building amongst participants.

Ø      Attitude problems  - “handout syndrome”




Constraints & Challenges

Water Sanitation

The aim of this programme is to empower the poor in rural and peri-urban communities to control and manage their water supply facilities on a sustainable basis. This is done through mobilization and training of communities in water and sanitation in line with the water policy. The focus is to promote community involvement and ownership of community utilities.



Street Children

There has been unprecedented growth in the number of street children in the country mainly as an effect of HIV/AIDS and household poverty. It was estimated that in 1996, Zambia’s cities were home to 35,000 children of the street. The number has since increased.  As a way of escaping the harsh realities of life most of these children abuse drugs and also get involved in petty criminal activities.  Street children are seen in some quarters to be contributing to environmental filth in the towns and cities where they have encamped. In carrying out street children activities, Government works in partnership with non-governmental organizations.

Ø      Strategies should include supporting families where these lids come from to get them back into the family and act the problem at source.



The implementation of Agenda 21 in as far as combating poverty through the stated interventions is concerned is on-going.  The impact of these efforts has so far been minimal due to various factors such as inaccessibility – either due to lack of information, physical distance or nature of project design (in the case of the disabled), un-affordability, (because of cost-saving measures) and poor funding of programmes. 

Government is reviewing some of its policies on cost-sharing to increase poor people’s access to basic facilities. The issue of poor funding is being addressed through HIPC resources and linking the poverty reduction strategy paper to the budget so that poverty reducing programmes are better funded. 


See under Programmes and Projects.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

Capacity Building


There is adequate human resource to carryout poverty reduction programmes in the public sector, civil society and the private sector. The government’s emphasis is on creating and maintaining enabling environment for the private sector to continue taking the leading role in running Zambia’s economy as well the civil society in service delivery at grass root level.




Staff are being trained at various colleges.



General training includes Training and specialized poverty analysis and poverty reduction strategies.



Ø      Lack of funding hampering awareness raising of programmes.

Ø      Weekly Radio Programmes.

Ø      Brochures and pamphlets produced but circulation poor. This area needs to be improved.



General information on the various poverty reduction interventions is available from sector ministries, publications from other stakeholders and the media.  There has not been enough information flow between line Ministries and the communities.  One of the factors affecting accessibility to programmes and, therefore, impact has been lack of publicity or awareness by the communities on services available to them. 

There is poverty mapping being done at the poverty Monitoring and Analysis Unit of the Zambia Social investment fund in the Ministry of Finance and National Planning 

Research and Technologies 

A number of researches have been done in the area of poverty such as Living Conditions Monitoring Survey I and II, Priority Survey II and Poverty Participatory Assessment. In order to promote policy-related research, some programmes such as Public Welfare Assistance Scheme (PWAS) , Health Care Cost Scheme (HCCS) as well as Literacy, Micro Bankers Trust (MBT), the National Trust for the Disabled (NTD) and hammer mill projects have been evaluated with assistance of the study fund (Zambia Social Investment Fund)  UNESCO and other Agencies. 

 In the case of PWAS, one major finding was that it was not reaching out to the poorest due to lack of publicity and those who knew and accessed the programme were not necessarily the poorest.  For Literacy the evaluation results indicated that the programme provided only literacy and numeracy which the participants could not easily translate into gainful activities.  


Financing of most of these programmes is through Government subventions with support on some specific programmes from Development Partners.  For instance, UNDP has provided financial support to the development of the National Poverty Reduction Action Plan; the Food Programme has received assistance from the World Food Programme and redesigning of The Public Welfare Assistance Scheme (PWAS) is financed by the European Union and earlier by the World Bank.  Other programmes which have received international financing include Micro-Bankers’ Trust (European Union); Literacy Programme from UNESCO and Arab Gulf Fund; the Street Children Programme (UNICEF); Child Care Upgrading Programme (UNICEF); People Living with HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS); and finally, the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (African Rehabilitation Institute (ARI) However, finances have never been enough and with the implementation of the PRSP, it is planned that more priority spending will be done and programmes that are of a poverty reduction nature will take precedence. 


There is generally a goodwill from both bilateral and multi-lateral organizations to fight poverty in Zambia.  These include Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, UK, USAID, World Bank, AFDB and EU. See also under Financing.

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Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies       

Body / Government


Inter-agency Technical Committee on Population

Address technical issues as well as coordinating the implementation and monitoring and evaluation of programmes in the area of population and development. Because of diversity nature of population and development interrelationships, membership in the committee is drawn from multi-sectoral institutions including government, civil society, traditional groupings, academia, and the private sector. The social and Population Unit in the Ministry of Finance and National Development serves as a secretariat of the committee. The Inter-agency technical Committee is further divided into six specialized committee namely:

  • Sustainable Development Sub-Committee
  • Reproductive Health Sub-committee
  • Gender Sub-Committee
  • Data Collection and Research Sub-committee
  • Youth and Child Development sub-committee
  • Information Education and Communication Sub-committee

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 


Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

At the center of all population programmes is the National Population Policy which was revised in 1996 to take on board issues of sustainable development in general and gender, HIV/AIDS, environment, youth concerns, adolescent reproductive health in particular. The Population Policy aims to influence the demographic dynamic such as fertility, mortality, migration and their determinant in order to ensure that there are commensurate with the pace of development. 

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement

See under Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies.

Programmes and Projects   

A number of programmes and projects have been implemented and financially supported by UNFPA and the National Budgets. Notable among these projects in the area of sustainable development are: 



Constraints & Challenges

The Population policy implementation and integration of population factors into development planning process.

The main objective of the project is to ensure integration of population factors in plans and programmes. An Assessment of the Extent of Integration revealed that the population factors integrated in virtually all policy and programme documents which included the Land Policy, Water Policy, National Environment Action Plan among others were basically descriptive such as population size, growth rate, composition and distribution. Little attempt has been made to establish ways in which the factors interrelate with population concerns or how policy and programme measures intend to influence or accommodate them. Despite the low levels of integration outlined above, the overall substantive mentioned in policy and programme documents offer greater opportunities for comprehensive integration.

·        In the past this programme was not formally recognized within the MOFED institutional structure. The programme has however being mainstreamed under the restructured MOFNP.

·        Building capacity at various ministries to enable them integrate population factors data in their policies and programmes.

Communication support to population and development project

. This project provided training in Advocacy and Information Education and Communication to what were called advocacy agents in the provinces. The agents were trained in thematic areas of environment, population and development interrelationships, gender and reproductive health. In addition, the agents were trained in developing Information Education and Communication and Advocacy strategies in order to address the key issues mentioned above in their communities. The agents were considered as opinion leaders in their communities and were charged with the responsibilities to develop strategies and disseminate information on the key thematic areas.

·        Funding erratic.

·        Human resource inadequate.


The project on integration has been institutionalized within government functions and it will continue to ensure integration of demographic factors in all planning process. Information dissemination on population and sustainable development interrelationships will continue to be articulated at the Interagency Technical Committee Meetings and Sub-Committee meetings. 


See under Programmes and Projects.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

Capacity Building


There is availability of human resource at national, provincial and district levels. However, there is need to enhance the capacities of sectoral, provincial and district level planners to be able to adequately and comprehensively integrate population including gender and environment factors in policies plans and programmes. Eventually Planner will be able to put measures and strategies in the policies, plans and programmes that would either accommodate or influence the identified demography dynamics.



The education curricula for basic school level has also been revised to incorporate population related issues in subjects such as Social Studies and Geography while Environmental Science has been recognized as a examinable subject on its own



Between 1995-97 two persons per years where being sent out to study Masters Degree courses in Population and Development / Demographic.




Demography database is maintained at central statistic office. The Office is currently analyzing the 2000 Census of Population and Housing. 

Research and Technologies 

A number of surveys and research have been conducted which included the Demographic health surveys, Priority Survey II and Living Conditions Monitoring Survey. Though these survey may not a have been on environment directly, they have brought out issues of food production, energy consumption patterns, water utilization, disease prevalence in relation population factors. 


In the area of population and sustainable development interrelationship and integration, United Nations Population Fund and the Government provided most of the resources. However, there was also considerable support from cooperating partners in the area of reproductive health, Information education and Communication and other service delivery programmes. 


The regional fora where these issues have been discussed are the Southern African Forum on Population and Development and the Southern African Ministers’ Conference on Population and Development. These are regional initiatives that are meant to bring out issues of demographic dynamics that affect the regional.

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Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

Prior to 1991, the health sector in Zambia was highly centralized. All issues of planning and decision making for the sector were handled by the Ministry of Health Headquarters and to a small extent by the provincial headquarters. Districts and the lower levels of the health care delivery system played minor roles prior to the decentralisation policy of 1992.

In order to operationalise the decentralisation policy, Government enacted the National Health Services Act in 1996, which led to the creation of Health Boards. This policy resulted in a purchaser/provider split which involved a redefinition of the Ministry of Health to a policy making body on health for Zambian’s and the creation of a Central Board of Health, a technical unit responsible for the delivery of health services and implementation of health reform policies and strategies on behalf of the Ministry. 

In addition, as part of Government’s strategy to ensure that an ordinary Zambian Citizen has a legitimate “voice” in the running of health service delivery in Zambia, District Health Boards, Statutory Boards Neighbourhood Health Committees and Village Health Committees were established to ensure that community needs were well represented in the process of planning for health and making key decisions on health matters. 

Decentralisation of health services is characterised both as delegation of the day to day management responsibilities from the ministry of health to a semiautonomous Central Board of Health and deconcentration to the District Health Boards. This involved granting managerial and professional autonomy to these autonomous institutions. Health Boards have a decision space to manage both human and financial resources without interference from the center whose role is to monitor and evaluate performance and give guidance. 

Decentralisation has provided the health boards with an exploit budgetary transfer called a “grant” which covers a significant proportion of local expenditure. Decentralisation has also allowed the health boards to make decisions for allocation of resources, user fee levels and expenditures. 

Body / Government


Ministry of Health

A policy making body on health for Zambian’s.

Central Board of Health

A technical unit responsible for the delivery of health services and implementation of health reform policies and strategies on behalf of the Ministry

District Health Boards

To manage both human and financial resources without interference from the center whose role is to monitor and evaluate performance and give guidance.


Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Legislation / regulation

Acts concerning regulation of medicines and pharmaceuticals Products

i.           National Health Services Act

ii.          Public Health Act

iii.        Pharmacy and Poisons Act

iv.        Food and Drugs Act

v.         Ionizing Radiation Act

vi.        Therapuratic Substance Act

vii.      Dangerous Drugs Act

viii.     Tropical Diseases Research Act

ix.        Human Tissues Act

x.         Termination of Pregnancy Act

xi.        Medical Services Act


Acts concerning public health and health promotion

i.                     National Health Services Act

ii.                   Public Health Act

iii.                  Food and Drugs Act

iv.                 Ionizing Radiation Act

v.                   Local Government Act

vi.                 Extermination of Mosquito Act

vii.                Pneumoconiosis Act

viii.              Mental Disorder Act

ix.                 National Food and Nutrition Act.

Acts Concerning financing of health sector

i.                              National Health Services Act

ii.                             The medical Aid Societies and Nursing Homes (Publication) Act


Acts Concerning Provision of Health Services including Research

i.      National Health Services Act

ii.     Tropical Diseases Research Act

iii.   Human Tissues Act

iv.   Flying Doctors Act

v.    Mines and Minerals Act

vi.   Pneumoncoisis Act


Areas Requiring Development of legislation

i.                     National Blood transfusion services

ii.                   Traditional Medicine

iii.                  Forensic Science

iv.                 Human Embryology and fertilization

v.                   The national analytical laboratory services

vi.                 HIV/AIDS

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

In order to ensure that Government takes a leading role in setting priorities and sector goals, Zambia has been tracking Sector Wide Approaches (SWAPs) since 1993. Within the SWAPs framework Developmental Co-operating Partners are discouraged from supporting projects/programmes to supporting sector investment plans through a funding mechanism popularly known as “common basket funding”. 

A prerequisite to SWAPs, which both Government and Co-operating Partners have jointly agreed on, are: 

(i)      Commitment to the Health Vision (Policy) by all stakeholders

(ii)  Articulation of a clear, practical medium term National Health Strategic Plan (First plan was developed in 1995-2000 and later 2001 – 2005).

(iii) Defining and updating the cost-effective basic health care package of interventions.

(iv) Pooled Funding Mechanisms (Common basket funding)

(v)  Joint reviews of plans and progress through the biannual Consultative and quarterly Health Sector Committee meetings

(vi) Joint Management Systems: Common procurement, disbursement reporting, accounting and audit procedures. 

(vii) Preparation and signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (code of conduct) with Co-operating Partners.  (16 Co-operating Partners have signed except Japan and UNAIDS)

(viii) Costed Annual Action Plans (MOH and CBOH)

(ix)  Definitions of performance indicators and putting in place the Health Management Information System (HMIS)

(x)  Financial feasibility of health reforms (worked out - National             Health Accounts and Resource Envelope)

(xi) Developed and implementation of the Financial Administrative Management Systems (FAMS). 

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement

Ministry of Health, Cooperating Partner and Communities. Structures for community participation in decision have been established through the Neighbourhood and Health Centre committees as well as the District and Hospital Boards comprising of about 15 members representing the communities of which at least half must be women. 

Programmes and Projects 

To ensure pooled funding mechanisms, Government signed a memorandum of understanding in 1991 with developmental Co-operating Partners operating in the sector. The MoU gives guidelines on proportions of funding to the sector from GRZ and CPs, priority areas to benefit from pooled funding, disbursement and reporting mechanisms. It also sets out parameters on how plans will be jointly developed, monitored and evaluated. 

With respect to the above, the Ministry of Health and its Co-operating Partners have agreed to jointly develop National Health Strategic Plans and to jointly fund this plan. So far two plans have been developed (1995-2000 and 2001-5). Only activities contained in the National Health Strategic Plans are financed with GRZ and CP funds. The following programs have been given priority: 



Constraints & Challenges

Basic Health Care Package

Zambia has developed and costed an essential basic health care package which gives cost effective core interventions to be undertaken from community, first, second and third levels of care. Public Health Priorities include HIV/AIDS, Malaria, TB, Child Health, Reproductive Health, Environmental Health and health promotion activities

·        Funding available only meets 1st level of care.

·        HIV/AIDS tying up resources.

Infrastructure Development Programme

in order to improve access quality health care, government has since 1992 been rehabilitation health facilities focusing more on rural health centres. Under the infrastructure development program government intends to rehabilitate and expand 520 health centres and hospitals. So far 100 facilities have either been rehabilitated or expanded.

·        Medical Resources Persons inadequate. Brain drain in sector high.

·        Lack of Medical Equipment and accessories.

Central Support Systems Development

Strength Procurement Systems, Financial Administration and Management Systems (FAMS), Health Management Information Systems, Drug Management Systems (DILSAT) leadership and Management development of hospital and district managers. Health Care financing focuses on revising resource allocation criteria based on an objective weighting system which will take poverty levels into consideration

·        Failure to retain qualified accounting staff. Staff turnover high.

National Aids Council

This Council is charged with the implementation of the HIV/AIDS/STD/TB Strategic Framework. The framework established a single, high-level institution, which will effectively coordinate the actions of all segments of government and society in the struggle against AIDS. It carefully analyses the lessons learned from past planning of AIDS programmes and lays future plans with this in mind.




Zambia embarked on a radical reform process in 1991, which was aimed at creating a well functioning, cost effective and equitable, district, based health care system that could deliver an essential package of care as close to the Zambian family as possible. While much progress has been made in improving the health care delivery system especially at the district level, rhetoric does not yet match reality for a number of factors such as: 

The Impact of HIV/AIDS  

HIV/AIDS is disproportionately contributing to the profound reversal of development gains made in Zambia over the past 30 years. In part, what makes this impact so severe is that it has derailed all development and society in Zambia. 

Financing Gap 

The estimated per capita expenditure in the year 2000 of USD 10.5 is under the USD 11.5 of the overall basic package.  Assuming that the districts were to receive 70% of per capita expenditure ($7.35) the difference of $3.65 would have to be funded by households through purchase of drugs, user fees or by further prioritisation even within the basic package.  This has equity implications. 

Planning for health Services 

There are also a number of issues that are likely to affect planning, management and provision of services.  These include variations between GRZ budgets and actual expenditures, variations between donor commitments and actual disbursements. 

Human Resources 

Human resources are critical to the delivery of quality health services.  The lack of adequate professional health workers has contributed to poor health car delivery. 

Poor Infrastructure 

A major problem in the Health sector is the dilapidated status of most facilities, which may affect safety of users and patients. 


See under Programmes and Projects and Status.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

Capacity Building,  Education, Training



To ensure better delivery of health services in the health boards, and to ensure better accountability of resources within the health boards, Government has been developing district capacities in the following areas:

a.       Training district and hospital staff on strategic health planning, leadership and management of resources

b.      Integrated competence training of health workers in order to have health workers with multiple skills in different disciplines of basic health

c.       Training of health workers on health management information systems and financial administration and management to ensure better decision making and financial probity in the sector

d.      Public Health Priorities- HIV/AIDS, Malaria, TB, Child Health, Reproductive Health, Environmental Health

e.       Systems Development at the District and Hospital levels- Strength Procurement Systems, Financial Administration and Management Systems (FAMS), HMIS, Drug Management Systems (DILSAT), leadership and Management development of hospital and district managers.

f.        In collaboration with PAID-ESA - Kabwe and The Royal Netherlands Government the Ministry has established the Higher Diploma Course in District Health Management.  Six batches of District Health Managers/Directors have already graduated.

g.       Strengthening technical skills and technical content of health plans; this is currently based on guidelines developed and distributed by Central Board of Health.  The Quality Assurance resource persons undertake capacity building work for districts and hospitals.

Epidemics preparedness is in place in all districts.



Various programmes are regularly aired through the Electronic media, National Days are held to promoted specific health issues, Annual Bulletin of Health Statistics, Posters and Pamphlets.


Since 1995, The Government has been implementing Health Management Information Systems (HMIS) at district level to ensure a monitoring and evaluation system, which supports the thrust of decentralisation. The system includes to routine information monitoring system (HMIS), sentinel surveillance system e.g monitoring HIV/AIDs sero-prevalence, operations research, and special research such as the Demographic and Health survey. The system also attempts to institutionalise a culture of quality through quality assurance and hospital accreditation 

All 72 districts have a functioning HMIS and report regularly on data collected. About 20% of the districts have a computerised HMIS.  Districts and hospitals use HMIS data to Asses and evaluate the levels on their performance in delivering care. Data from the districts and the hospitals is further processed and analysed at the national level to produce national wide statistics on health to help policy makers make policies supported with evidence. 

Research and Technologies 

Research is regularly conducted mainly on the performance of health care sector and policy research, these include; 

a.         Reports commissioned by Partnership for Health Reform. Harvard School of Public Health, School of economics-UNZA, and Abt Associates.
b.        Reports commissioned in collaboration with the school of economic at UNZA.
c.         Joint Reviews are conducted and reported bi-annually to assess the performance of programmes and make recommendations. 


The sector is financed by Government (about 60%) of the total budget while the rest, (40%) is met by development partners. Government finances the sector through grants while the cooperating partners finance through bilateral contributions, tied aid, loans etc. 


Zambia signed a memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in 1999 with all Bilateral and Multilateral co-operating Partners to the sector. The MoU provides a platform for joint planning, disbursement of funds, consensus on priority areas of support, reporting mechanisms, joint monitoring and evaluation of a joint GRZ-Donor funded sector.

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Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The Ministry of Education is responsible for environmental education in the formal education system and cooperates with other Ministries such as the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services on special educational programmes and public awareness campaigns and the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources on environmental policy and community environmental awareness activities. The Environmental Council of Zambia is charged with the responsibility of coordinating environmental education and public awareness campaigns under the Environmental Support Programme.

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The School curricula for the formal education system up to secondary school level have been reviewed to include environmental education.  However, it must be pointed out that the Ministry of Education has no Environmental Education Policy other than what is provided by the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources in the National Environmental Action Plan. 

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement

No information available.

Programmes and Projects   

Through the environmental support Programme and previous programmes such as the WWF Zambia Environmental Education Programme, Zambia has managed to review school education curriculum to include environmental education at Basic School level (grades 1 to 9). 


It is evident that Zambia has made progress in environmental education and awareness. At the policy level, parliament past rules and regulations in relation to the Environmental Impact Assessment, the first action of this kind by parliamentarians in the SADC region.  However, this was achieved after awareness training workshops for parliamentarians.  There is also evidence of changed attitudes in the industry where the Zambia Electricity Supply Company (ZESCO) has set up an Environmental and Social Affairs Unit, which has made an impact in the internal operations of the company and in the communities in which ZESCO operates.  Zambia has also seen a number of successful district and community projects spearheaded by NGOs such as the Environmental Conservation Association of Zambia (ECAZ), WWF, District Water, Sanitation and Health Education Programme (DWASHE) and many more In which communities have actively participated unlike in the past. 


See under Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

Capacity building at national, provincial, district and local level in natural resources management and environmental protection continues to be undertaken an integral part of the various natural resources management programmes and projects being undertaken in the country.  Under the ESP programme, substantial public awareness campaigns were launched in both print and electronic media. 

Since UNCED, steady improvements have been made in increasing environmental awareness among Zambians. This has been done through increased active participation of Government Institutions, NGOs, the media and the private sector. 


Environmental Awareness in Zambia is strengthened by the increase in the number and quality of environmental education and awareness campaigns and activities including environmental articles in the print media, environmental programmes aired on radio and television.  The Inclusion of environmental education in training courses for journalists is good evidence of increased environmental awareness among the public in Zambia. 

Despite this achievement in public awareness, there is a big challenge in terms of changing peoples attitudes by equipping them with knowledge of the environment and ensuring their participation in solving environmental problems. The following are the important issues, which must be addressed:

(i)                  Government Institutions to raise public awareness in their sector work

(ii)                Improve information exchange and coordination among different environmental education actors through the development of an environmental education strategy.

(iii)               Making environmental education strategic by targeting certain groups of the society for strategic reasons.

(iv)              Use of local languages in information dissemination to the communities 

Sustainable development requires that the natural resources are managed in a prudent manner. In this regard, environmental awareness has a critical role to play. Therefore, continued support to environmental education to reach different stakeholders in the economy is imperative.


No information available.

Research and Technologies   

No information available.


No information available.


No information available.


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Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

Body / Government


The Ministry of Local Government and Housing

The government institution responsible for co-ordinating local government administration and policy design and implementation.

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  


The Government re-affirmed its commitment to the decentralisation process, under the Public Services Reform Programme, by pledging to strengthen the management of Local Authorities. The aim is to devise mechanisms to facilitate de-concentration of certain functions to provinces and districts and devolution of selected functions to local authorities, as their management capacities improve. 

The government realises that decentralisation of services cannot be effective if there is no community or user participation in the formulation, implementation and evaluation of local-level projects. Therefore, in order to effectively decentralise services as well as enhance the capacity of civil society to participate in the formulation and implementation of programmes and projects, the Government will address the following as a matter of urgency: 

·        The management and delivery of services to be handled in collaboration with decentralises agencies such as local governments, the local communities, the NGO’s, and the private sector.

·        Provide for a high degree of decentralisation to allow for local decision making and ensure efficient and quality services delivery.

·        Projects submitted to donors by both government and NGO’s to be based on locally identified needs.

·        Government will facilitate the creation of a central database for information sharing and dissemination.

·        Local government planning and management systems to be enhanced so that they are able to undertake medium term social and economic development planning.

·        Civic education to be intensified in order to create greater awareness of civil society’s responsibilities.


The existing housing situation in Zambia is as follows:

·        The housing stock stands at approximately 1.3 million dwelling units for a population of 10 million,

·        36% of the dwelling units are in urban areas and 64% in rural areas, of the total housing stock, 31% meets the minimum development and health standards and 69% is informal or non-compliant housing 

In 1996 a comprehensive housing policy was formulated whose main goal is to provide adequate and affordable housing for all income groups in Zambia.  Zambia was awarded the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (UNCHS) "Habitat Scroll of Honour" in 1996 for a participatory and innovative approach to the formulation of the housing policy. The objectives of the housing policy are:

(a)               to allocate a minimum of 15% of the national budget to support a sustainable housing development programme;

(b)               to make serviced land available for housing development

(c)               to provide an enabling regulatory framework for housing development;

(d)               to encourage production and use of building materials

(e)               to de-link housing from employment 

Some of the changes that have taken place in the housing sector because of the adoption of the housing policy include: 

·        The sale of most government pool houses to sitting tenants

·        The sale of all council houses to sitting tenants

·        The sale of some parastatal houses to sitting tenants

·        The construction of medium and low cost houses in Masala, Ndola

·        The construction of over 2,055 houses since 1996 for both the urban poor and rural area residents by the Africa Housing Fund.  The houses have been constructed in Linda - Lusaka, Mazabuka - Southern Province, Mongu - Western Province, Solwezi - North-Western and Kasama - Northern Province. 

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement

NGO’s and communities 

Programmes and Projects 

The National Urban Peri-Urban Settlement Programme signed in August 1995 commenced in December 1995 as a government strategy towards meeting the National Housing Policy goal which is the provision of adequate affordable housing for all income groups in Zambia. 

The programme was supported by UNDP, UNCHS (Habitat) and French Co-operation. The programme had three components:

  1.  Low Cost Housing

  2.  Community Participation Training and

  3. Urban Environmental Planning and Management


This project was involved in the training of communities through the Residents Development Committees (RDCs) in the production of low cost building materials using readily available local raw materials. 

Two training centres for communities were established at Bauleni Compound in Lusaka and Nakoli in Kabwe.  Two youth training centers were also established at  Kawama in Mufulira and Ndeke in Mazabuka. 

A total of 50 demonstration low cost housing units were constructed on self-help basis. Other outputs of the project are:

(a)               Production of the National Housing Programme for Zambia

(b)               Trained 80 Artisans in the production and application of local building materials and management of small scale enterprises

(c)               Adopted, developed and documented testing procedures and standards

(d)               Produced simple production manuals for local building materials

(e)               Participation of women was a 30% of the number trained and beneficiaries of the demonstration house schemes

(f)                 Community participation in decision making planning, monitory and management of housing construction. 

In collaboration with TEVETA (DTEVT) a competence Based Modular Training syllabus in low cost building materials production and use were developed.  The syllabus has not been tested for lack of funds.  The Government's vision is to improve the income base of low-income households through artisan training. 


Community Participation Programme come as a response to demand by the Government for the transfer of knowledge and practical approaches, operational experience, participatory tools and training methodologies. 

Capacity building is the central focus of the programme.  This is achieved by strengthening the capacity of the actors involved in Shelter Development, and helps to improve the living and working conditions of low-income communities. 


·        To catalyse creative partnerships between central government, local government the public, the private sector, NGOs, CBOs and research and training institutions involved in human settlement development

·        To create opportunities for resource mobilisation and sharing

·        To exchange experiences in participatory shelter strategies

·        To promote innovative approaches in shelter development

·        To strengthen projects, programmes and organisations efficiently through collaboration efforts. 


(i)                  Urban Settlement

Zambia ranks amongst the most urbanised countries in Africa with 40% of Zambians living Urban areas. Zambia’s rate of urbanisation is 3.6% per annum. Urban migration is the leading contributor. Pressure exerted in infrastructure and social services in urban areas has most been felt in the housing sector more than any other sector. 

Almost all-major urban centres in the country  rely on outdated master plans which neither reflect what is obtaining on the ground nor provide the vision and framework for future development.  The lack of updated plans has resulted in un-co-ordinated and unorderly development and contributed to the establishment of unplanned settlements.  For this reason interalia the towns have become unsightly and less attractive to investors. 

To address the above problems the town and Country Planning Act Cap 475 or 283 has been amended.  The amendment simplifies the planning process and makes it more responsive to the needs of the people.  In place of master plans, there has been and  introduction of  structure plans which are strategic in character, cheap, less time consuming to prepare and more responsive to robust development trends.  With the assistance of co-operating partners such as World Bank structure/integrated development plans have been prepared for Mazabuka, Kafue, Lusaka, Ndola and Luanshya.  The World Bank is also funding the preparation of the Livingstone Integrated Development Plan under the Support to Economic Expansion and Diversification (SEED) Tourism project.  The preparation of integrated development plan entails the participation of the government, council, stakeholders and communities from the planning to the implementation stages.  

The Department of Physical Planning and Housing in the MLGH provides professional and technical support to ensure compliance to planning standards and regulations by both Councils and prospective developers.  Both activities of planning and development control are necessary because they provide guidance and promote orderly and sustainable development of human's settlements. 

(ii)                Unplanned Urban Settlement

The failure by the formal housing sector to meet the housing demands for the poorest of the poor who may have found themselves living in urban areas for one reason or another has resulted in the expansion and establishment of unplanned settlements.  As part of the process of improving the quality of the living environment in the unplanned settlement the Ministry has embarked on the process of upgrading these settlements. 

The unplanned settlements to be legalised are those meeting the criteria for legalisation.  The criteria to assist local authorities identify unplanned urban settlements to be legalised have been circulated to all councils.  The legalisation under the Housing (Statutory and Improvement Areas) Act Cap 194 is intended to restrain the expansion and proliferation of unplanned urban settlement.  It also provides security of tenure to residents and paves way for individual plots to be demarcated so that residents can obtain title deeds for their properties. 

Further, legalisation of these unplanned settlements paves way for the provision of basic services and infrastructure by the council with participation of all stakeholders.  It also enables residents to benefit from the upgrading programme. 

(iii)             Rural Settlements

The Africa Housing Fund in Zambia began its pilot operations in October 1996 through Statutory Instrument no. 177.  Operation commenced, with a grant from NORAD, in five districts with an aim of building 2,500 houses, sink 40 water wells and provide small scale agriculture and business credit. To date 250 houses have been constructed.  


See under Status.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 


Capacity Building


The MLGH works through local authorities in providing services. Capacity in terms of both human and institutional seems to be lacking in most of the Local Authorities. It is therefore, incumbent upon the MLGH to facilitate the development of human and institutional capacity in Local Authorities, if service delivery is to be improved.



Incorporation of topic in educational curricula



Professional training programmes



Public awareness


An effective and efficient information management system is essential for successful operation of the organisation. Currently, there is a lack of co-ordination mechanisms in the MLGH. There is therefore, need to establish an effective co-ordination mechanism within the ministry in order to have smooth operations.  

Research and Technologies   

No information available.


Government resources.


No information available.

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