Call for Expression of Interests to develop the State of Civil Society Operating Environment in Zimbabwe – Watch Report || National Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (NANGO)

  • Harare

National Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (NANGO)

DUE: 13 OCT 2023

The National Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (NANGO) is the umbrella coordinating body of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) operating in Zimbabwe. It is a non-political, non-profit making and non-denominational organisation mandated to coordinate the activities of NGOs and represent the NGO sector. Through its mission, NANGO commits itself to lead NGOs, to strengthen, represent and coordinate their work by creating space, and promoting networking, dialogue, and engagement to enable the fulfilment of members’ visions and missions. NANGO seeks to achieve its mission by fulfilling its vision of having a proactive community of NGOs responsive and committed to the sustainable development needs of all people in Zimbabwe and the full realisation of human rights, democracy, good governance, and poverty alleviation.

NANGO is implementing the Action to Protect and Enhance Civic Space in Zimbabwe (APECS) project  in collaboration with Centre for Humanitarian Analytics (CHA) and, the Citizens in Action Southern Africa (CIASA). The project is contributing to the broader program of the Citizen Engagement for Accountability Activity (CEAA). The overall goal of the project is to defend and enhance civic space in pursuit of an enabling operating environment for CSOs in Zimbabwe at multiple levels of CSOs influence and operations.  Through the project, the consortium is seeking to engage a consultant to develop the State of Civil Society Operating Environment in Zimbabwe – Watch Report. The main objective of this assignment is to examine the internal and external factors and trends that have impacted CSO operations, programmes, and operating space over this period. The study will cover a wide range of parameters such as CSOs internal governance, financing, government/CSO relationships, and operating space. This process comes at a critical time, as the civil society sector in Zimbabwe is experiencing seismic changes threatening the operating environment due to various administrative, legal and policy instruments promulgated by the authorities such as the Private Voluntary Organisation (PVO) Amendment Bill, the recently enacted Criminal Law (Codification and Reform), etc.


CSOs in Zimbabwe have evolved significantly in the last three decades. The CSO landscape has transformed dramatically in scale and profile since NGOs became prominent actors in development and the democratisation process.  Civil society in Zimbabwe is as diverse as it changes, reflecting Zimbabwe’s broader social and political trends, and linking with the State and the citizens in evolving ways. The sector has evolved and grown in size and scope, playing a significant part in shaping public policy and ensuring State accountability by creating awareness, delivering social services, participating in policy processes, organizing and building the capacity of citizens, and challenging State excesses.

The operating space for civil society in Zimbabwe is fluid and constantly changing. The state of the operating environment is highly influenced by evolvements in the socio-economic and political development discourse of the country. CSOs are facing challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic that has been affecting resource mobilisation; restricted operational ability due to lockdown restrictions and the need for updated modus operandi, as well as systemic attacks on CSOs through threats and introduction of suppressive regulatory measures. The Private Voluntary Organisations (PVO) Amendment Bill which has provisions purported to attempt to streamline the activities of NGOs and ensure Zimbabwe’s compliance with the Financial Action Taskforce (FATF) Recommendation 8 poses a threat to the existence and independence of NGOs in Zimbabwe. The amendments have various regulatory implications which may further shrink the civic space. CSOs should have inherent quality of flexibility and adaptability to respond to new developments in the ever-evolving working environment.

Purpose of the Consultancy

The consultant will provide technical assistance in the development of the State of Civil Society Operating Environment in Zimbabwe – Watch Report. The report will document the factors and trends that have affected the CSO sector in Zimbabwe and capture the dynamics of civil society over a period of 3 years (2021 – 2023).

Objectives of the Assignment

The main aim of this study is to investigate the internal and external factors and trends that have affected CSO operations since 2021. The study will cover a range of aspects, such as CSOs internal governance, funding, State-CSO relations, and operating environment.

Specifically, the report will seek to establish:

  1. The socio-economic and political developments and trends that have impacted the operations and programs of the CSO sector between 2021 and 2023.
  2. Key challenges (internal and external) affecting the growth and development of the civil society sector in Zimbabwe.
  3. Examine the state of civic space and its effect on the operations of CSOs.
  4. The opportunities that the sector can leverage to overcome the key challenges identified.
  5. Recommendations on key interventions from various stakeholders, i.e., the government, development partners, and CSOs to improve the sustainability and resilience of the civil society sector.


The consultant must adopt robust and credible methodologies, combining qualitative and quantitative approaches. The consultant must come up with tools to collect data from CSOs and other key stakeholders. The analysis should be conducted in a way that the findings are relevant, easily accessible, widely usable, and can be regularly updated.

Scope of the Study

The analysis should have national coverage.

Expected Outputs

The major output within the above-stated objectives is a comprehensive report of the State of Civil Society Operating Environment in Zimbabwe. The specific outputs are:

  • Inception report for the study with detailed methodology and draft assessment instructions/tools.
  • Draft and final report.

Practical Details

The consultancy is likely to commence by the 15th of October 2023 and be finalised by mid-November.

Consultant Profile

The consultant should have the following qualifications and experience:

  • At least a Master’s degree in Law or Legal Analysis, Public Policy analysis, Development Studies, or a related field.
  • Minimum of 7 years of working experience in the NGO sector of Zimbabwe and/or international development in conducting research and studies related to civil society and governance.
  • Demonstrable experience with similar assignments and understanding of civil society in Zimbabwe.
  • Excellent research, analytical, and writing skills.
  • Ability to work independently and deliver on time.
  • Written and spoken fluency in English is required.
  • Excellent presentation, interpersonal, and facilitation skills.


Interested Consultants are invited to submit the following:

  • A technical and financial proposal (4 pages maximum). This should outline your motivation, approach, the steps you will take to complete the assignment, any proposed revisions to the proposed approach or timeline, details regarding your availability, and a proposed budget/ financial proposal.
  • A CV (max 3 pages) for each consultant involved in the work.
  • A capacity statement that outlines the consultant’s qualifications and experience.
  • At least three referrals preferably from NGOs.
  • The financial proposal for the assignment should not exceed US$3 000.00


The deadline for submission of proposals is 13 October 2023. Proposals should be sent via email to cc with “EOI for State of Civil Society Operating Environment –  Watch Report Consultancy” in the subject line.