Zambia Economic Advocacy Programme

Supported by  Department for International Development (DFID),

Project brief

OTT Consulting designed the Zambia Economic Advocacy Programme (ZEAP) for DFID. ZEAP was designed drawing lessons from the Think Tank Initiative and the Knowledge Sector Initiative in Indonesia. Alongside the design of the programme OTT Consulting carried out an organisational assessment of ZIPAR.

Support consisted in:

  • Research into the challenges and opportunities facing the think tank community in Zambia;
  • Organisational assessment on ZIPAR: Zambia Institute for Policy Analysis and Research;
  • Developing a programme proposal to support the development of the policy research sector in Zambia. This was then complemented by the development of a business case for DFID.

The ZEAP approach involved peer to peer support and the development of three key networks: for directors, for economists and for communicators. These were the main mechanism for support.

Additionally, ZEAP would provide some funds (mainly to hire economists and communicators), encourage the production and communication of data held by the government, and strengthen linkages with parties, the media and the private sector.

Project dates

From 08/2011 to 09/2011 (although there was an ongoing process of support afterwards)

The OTT Consulting Team

Funder and funding

Funding was provided by the Department for International Development (DFID).

Fees were  GBP10,150.00. Travel and accommodation amounted to GBP4,346.00, covered directly by DFID.

Lessons learned

Key lessons learned from the project include:

  • Supporting think tanks involves supporting the context they are in. In undertaking the interviews with multiple stakeholders we learned about how the private sector and the media were eager to be involved but did not know how.
  • Supporting local think tanks requires more than funds. Think tanks, by and large, had enough funding. What they lacked were experienced thinktankers. Finding appropriate peers to encourage the adoption of new practices was seen as a valuable contribution.
  • Think tanks need to learn to engage with each other and with other policy actors. Supporting several think tanks to study the same policy challenges can provide an opportunity for public debates and engagement.
  • A reflection on the project delivery was written up by Kivu International.