Between 7 and 9 February 2020 the Southern Africa Human Rights Defenders Network carried out a Strategic Planning Session for Chapter One Foundation (COF), Zambia as part of its wider programme of contributing to a stronger network of human rights defenders (HRDs) in Southern Africa. The strategic planning process was attended by the staff and board members of COF.
The participants made a rapid assessment of how COF has performed as a start-up organization looking at what is working and why and what is not working and why. They also looked at where they want to take the COF to by 2024 with a clear appreciation of where they are presently. Some tools to look at the internal capacities and weaknesses and the environmental challenges and opportunities were deployed as part of the strategic planning process resulting in the adoption of an implementable and realistic strategic plan with a strong angle at protection of human rights defenders and use of impact litigation to contribute to positive social transformation through promotion and protection of human rights and the constitution of Zambia.
One of the “core objectives of the strategic planning process is to contribute to the Institutionalisation of the COF and make the organization survive individuals and have perpetual succession” said Linda Kasonde the Executive Director of COF. “COF arose after the realization that there was no organized public interest litigation firm in Zambia that systematically worked to promote the rule of law and good governance” added Kasonde.
The participants felt that the sustainability of the organization was important as it was part of important national cogs to unlock the effective participation of Zambians in matters that affect them. If this strategic plan is implemented, it is hoped that the COF will be the go-to institution for human rights defenders in Zambia