Structure and leadership
The ACT Zimbabwe Forum has grown exponentially and now has 4 active local members excluding one on suspension and seven international members. The Forum encourages Guests in a bid to encourage them to become full members. To promote joint learning growth and programming, the ACT Zimbabwe Forum has 3 Communities of Practice which are thematically based drawing from Zimbabwe ‘s realities and the ACT Global policy.
All the Members of the Forum belong to one or more of these Communities of Practice, and implementation of joint activities is done through these thematic groups led by a chosen lead Member and Chair. To foster closer cooperation, the Lead is an international Forum Member while the Chair is a local Member. These CoPs are the vehicle for members joint programme implementation and participation, a way of getting new members through programmes and also to get the participation of non-ACT implementing organisations who enrich programmes.
The Forum has 4 International Members who do not have a presence in the country but are highly involved through the participation of their non-ACT implementing Partners through the Communities of Practice. These Members financially contribute to the Office of a full-time Coordinator who ensures that information is passed to them and they are part of the decision making for the Forum. The Forum also ensures that Forum meetings are held whenever these Members visit the country to ensure their direct participation whenever possible.
The Zimbabwe Forum promotes equal participation between local and international members. The Chair of the Forum position is reserved for National Members to ensure and encourage participation and rooting in the country context. Communication in the Forum is open, and there is no hierarchy in making decisions. Decisions are made during the Forum meetings which are held once every two months with those outside the country making their input via email to the Coordinator.
The position of a full-time Coordinator has strengthened communication as the office acts as the liaison among members and ensures that information is passed to all Members and also to ensure that the Forum is kept abreast of what will be happening in the Regional and Global ACT Offices.
The Forum ensures that during joint programming under the communities of practice we invite the participation of other ecumenical organisations. The Our Vote Our Faith Campaign is an excellent example of how the Forum has incited all people of Faith to come and Partner with the Forum in calling for a peaceful election in Zimbabwe while encouraging Christians to exercise their right to vote. The WE have Faith Campaign also brought together various Churches and other Faiths in climate justice advocacy. The Forum has strengthened the ecumenical voice in Zimbabwe, and after the November political developments, the Church led efforts to organise civil society in advocacy.
The Forum is also involved in the Faith Leaders Environmental Advocacy Training which targets Faith leaders inside and outside the Forum to create environmental champions.