Our Work

ZERO coordinates, catalyses, facilitates and evaluates various types and levels of development projects and interventions in the region.

Policy advocacy is also a role that the organization plays evolving out of research conducted and programs implemented. 

Projects developed and administered by ZERO include agricultural productivity and land resources. For example, wind pattern studies have been carried out leading to the development and erection of wind turbine electrical generation plants. These have been used to power irrigation farming in, and bring electricity to, selected rural communities in Zimbabwe.

ZERO also develops other renewable energy sources, appropriate technology and stimulates income generation models in rural areas.  Agricultural and climate change research and project proposals, programmes addressing gender and HIV and AIDS have also been some of the areas of focus.

The institute organises and holds national and regional development seminars and workshops, and undertakes and publishes researches and reports. With the United Nations, IUCN - World Conservation Union and other international agencies and public institutions as partners, ZERO works on the implementation of sustainable development initiatives. 

ZERO is the lead agency in Zimbabwe for the implementation of the United Nations sponsored Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and functions as the Regional Secretariat for the Community Organisations Regional Network (CORN), a SADC country member network.

Projects and Achievements

ZERO works through local, regional and international development partners to demonstrate its innovative approaches and technologies to poverty eradication while building strategic alliance for influencing policies and changing practices of others. Our strategic partners in the region have been shaping our strategic focus areas, which are mainly in the areas of energy, agriculture and natural resources management, waste management and climate change. We have invested in building strong and reputable alliances in all these sectors to ensure relevance, accountability, responsiveness and impact of our interventions. 

A variety of socio-economic sectors in Zimbabwe are likely to be adversely affected by climate change, with potentially significant costs. In response, a growing number of NGOs and research organisations, including UN agencies and ZERO, are engaging in a variety of development projects, many of which have strong adaptation components. The UNFCCC (2007) defines adaptation as the process through which societies increase their ability to cope with an uncertain future, which involves taking appropriate action and making the adjustments and changes to reduce the negative impacts of climate change (UNFCCC, 2007). The two main types of adaptation are autonomous (indigenous responses) and planned (conscious policy options or response strategies).

Whilst adaptation can focus on changes to infrastructure or behaviour, the majority of the projects in Zimbabwe support behavioural changes related to agricultural livelihoods. The activities examine a number of projects that employ a variety of approaches to climate change adaptation, notably community based adaptation (CBA). The following projects offer examples of adaptation activities and feature examples of these approaches:

Community-Based Adaptation as an approach to adaptation

ZERO uses Community-Based Adaptation (CBA) strategies as an approach to climate change adaptation. CBA is emerging as a key response to the challenges of climate change. Tailored to local cultures and conditions, CBA supports and builds on other adaptation strategies to climate change.

The CBA is participatory, involving both local stakeholders and development and disaster risk reduction practitioners. As a result, it builds on existing cultural norms while addressing local development issues that contribute to climate vulnerability. CBA is now gaining ground in many parts of Zimbabwe.

ZERO carried out the first phase of a pilot project on Community - Based Adaptation in the Domboshawa area of Goromonzi district, in Mashonaland East province of Zimbabwe.  This project, started in February 2008, has witnessed a number of activities implemented. The main objective of the project was to design the best adaptation strategies that communities could use in the face of the ever-changing climatic conditions in the Munyawiri Ward of the district. This design is premised on a methodology called Local Options for Communities to Adapt and Technologies to Enhance Capacity (LOCATE). This methodology has among other intellectual aspects, a strong research component that leads to the determination of climate change hotspots.

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Climate change Information Resource Centre

In an effort to provide updated information on climate change in Zimbabwe, ZERO established and stocked its resource centre with current publications on climate change. Information regarding the available literature was sent to the University of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Open University, selected media houses, academic and research institutions, as well as non-governmental organizations working on climate change. We believe that proper awareness creation is crucial for effective engagement in, and support for, adaptation.

Coordination of NGOs on Climate Change.

ZERO is the current coordinator of the civil society organisations (CSO) Climate Change grouping called Climate Change Working Group (CCWG).  A  ZERO representative chairs the working group. ZERO is also involved in building the capacity of other CSOs on Climate Change related issues.  It also trains community representatives on behalf of other NGOs.

Mentorship on Climate Change  

Under a programme called CLACC, ZERO coordinates and mentors fellows on climate change in the institutions in Malawi, Zambia and Mozambique.  For more information visit:

Climate Change and Health Studies

ZERO is currently running a project on Sustainable and Climate resilient cities in Zimbabwe. The project aims to build the capacity of urban communities to manage urban waste, water and forestry. The project is using evidence learned from Latin America, under a project facilitated by Practical Action, an international development charity. 

Universal Access to Energy 

ZERO works in the area of universal access to energy.  With financial support from Hivos, a donor agency, and with technical support from Practical Action and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Zimbabwe Country Office, ZERO is the civil society coordinator of the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) initiative in Zimbabwe.  The goal is to increase universal energy access through the provision of modern energy for cooking, promoting rural electrification and advocating for pro-poor energy policies that expand access to people living in slums.

The United Nations – led Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) initiative has entered its fourth year. In Zimbabwe, it is being coordinated by civil society and focusing on advocacy and policy dialogues to raise awareness on SE4ALL. 

SE4ALL is a United Nations global goal for achieving universal energy access to modern energy services by 2030. The UN is leading this initiative on sustainable energy for all to mobilise action from all sectors of society: business, governments, investors, community groups and academia.

Click here to go to SE4ALL Website