Post-crisis Zimbabwe’s innovative financing mechanisms in the social sectors: a practical approach to implementing the new deal for engagement in fragile states


BMC International Health and Human Rights 2014, 14:35 doi:10.1186/s12914-014-0035-6

Abstract (provisional)


Donor engagement in transitional settings, complex emergencies and fragile states is increasing. Neither short-term humanitarian aid nor traditional development financing are well adapted for such environments. Multi-donor trust funds, in their current form, can be unwieldy and subject to long delays in initiation and work best when national governments are already strong. We reviewed the aid modalities used in Zimbabwe through the period of crisis, 2008?2012 and their results and implications. Literature review and case experience was utilised.


By focusing on working with line ministries in non-contested sectors to determine local priorities rather than following global prescriptions, pooling funds to achieve scale rather than delivering through fragmented projects, and building on national systems and capacities rather than setting up parallel mechanisms, the Transition Fund Model employed in Zimbabwe by UNICEF and partners in partnership with the Inclusive Government was able to achieve important results in health, education, social support and water services in a challenging setting. In addition, forums for collaboration were developed that provided a platform for further action. The initial emphasis on service delivery diffused much of the political delicateness that impeded progress in other sectors. The Zimbabwean experience may provide a model of innovative financing for countries facing similar circumstances.SummarySuch models may represent a new practical application of the Paris Principles, consistent with the major tenets of the 2011 New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States agreed in Busan. As we approach the Millennium Development Goal deadline, an over-arching, mutli-sectoral and independent evaluation of this approach is recommended in order to validate findings and assess broader replicability of this approach.