Center for Research and Development It is a Trust, established in Zimbabwe in terms of the PVO Act, registered in 2006
Envisioning human rights standards that enshrine inclusion, equality and sustainable development
Empowering active civic participation in society’s governance practices around natural resources to ensure a culture of accountability, human rights protection and freedoms.
Our mission at CRD is driven by acknowledging that human rights are indivisible and interdependent. By working to promote economic, social and cultural rights in our communities, we are contributing to the attainment of civil and political rights of citizens. CRD had its humble beginnings in January 2006 when it launched its civic education programme in Mutare, Nyanga, Chimanimani and Mutasa Districts of Manicaland Province with support from Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR).The programme was important to promote civic and political rights in an environment marked by political intolerance, violence and polarization.
As global population rises amid rapid industrialisation, competition for natural resources has been a case of resource capture, deprivation and violence. CRD was one of the first Civil Society Organisations to raise alarm on violence in the Marange diamond capture in Zimbabwe. From our campaign against human rights abuses in Marange, we noticed a growing pattern of exploitative international investors leveraging state power to capture resources and marginalising local communities in Zimbabwe. In Marange, political elites and state security entities were networked with international dealers in diamond plunder that deprived the country of potential revenues. These entities exploited archaic laws, opaque licensing and weak governance systems to fuel illicit financial flows for their enrichment. Our experiences in Marange made us realise that people cannot derive economic and social growth from their natural resources in Zimbabwe without people- centered policies and practices.
On this account, our efforts at CRD for over 18 years are focused on strengthening citizen’s actions to demand public accountability in local government practices around natural resources. We seek to achieve this objective by helping establish citizens’ groups, build their knowledge base on public policy around natural resources and accompany them in the broader advocacy activities for policy reforms and human rights protection among other issues. CRD believe that citizen engagement is the sine qua non for public accountability. From this viewpoint, we engage citizens with duty bearers, policy makers and business from grassroots to national level in dialogues. These dialogues enable citizens to occupy critical space in governance frameworks and defend their rights. The success of our advocacy work at CRD is anchored on research and documentation, community mobilization, networking and information dissemination.