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The Unfreedom Monitor: A Methodology for Tracking Digital Authoritarianism Around the World

April 1, 2022

Digital communications technologies have been a powerful tool in the advancement of democratic governance, but in recent years there is concern that they are being used to undermine democracy as well. The Unfreedom Monitor, part of Global Voices' Advox project, aims to study and report on this growing phenomenon. This briefing document provides an overview of key developments in digital authoritarianism in a sample of 10 countries, while explaining the theoretical framework and methodology behind the project. The document also provides a basis for expanding this research to other countries so we can deepen our understanding of digital authoritarianism globally as well as its crucial implications for the future.

Forgotten by Funders

December 1, 2021

This report highlights the underfunding of work with and for imprisoned and formerly imprisoned women and girls,  alongside a worrying increase in the global female prison population. The report draws from the survey responses of 34 organisations, most of which are based in the Global South and have women with lived experience of the justice system involved with or leading their work. Calling to donors that fund human rights, women's rights and/or access to justice, the report concludes that this heavily gendered area of human rights tends to fall through the cracks of donor strategies, including recent Gender Equality Forum pledges. 

Sexual Harassment in the Media – Africa Report

July 12, 2021

In 2020, WAN-IFRA Women in News (WIN), in partnership with City, University of London,  set out to establish the extent of sexual harassment in news organisations and to gauge their effectiveness in managing it. The research project focused on regions where WIN operates: Africa, the Arab region, Southeast Asia and Russia. In addition, a survey of Central America will begin soon.This report is a summary of its findings in Africa. The project included an online survey and interviews. Some 584 media professionals completed the online survey. They were from eight countries in Africa, namely Botswana, Malawi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The overall tally includes eight responses from within Africa that were outside the focus countries. WIN conducted supplementary interviews with 32 media executives from those countries.

Covid-19 and the media: A pandemic of paradoxes

April 1, 2021

This report covers responses to the infringement of the right to freedom of information, misinformation on social media and the impact on public interest media caused by the Covid-19 pandemic with a human-rights based approach and gender-sensitive lens.As journalists on the frontline have supplied essential live-saving information to massively expanded audiences in need of reporting they could trust, advertising revenues have collapsed, leaving public interest media struggling to survive.The report features interviews with journalists from four IMS programme counties, Colombia, Ethiopia, Sri Lanka and Ukraine about the challenges created by the pandemic and case studies showcasing success stories from independent media outlets in Pakistan, the Philipines, Somalia and Zimbabwe.

Understanding norms around the gendered division of labour: Results from focus group discussions in Zimbabwe

April 13, 2018

Social norms refer to the shared expectations held by a given community. They are often held in place by social approval or rewards for conformity, and by disapproval or sanctions for transgressions. Understanding how and why social norms hold sway can provide a powerful means for understanding the gendered division of work that prevails in many communities and inform strategies aimed at promoting change. This report summarizes the main findings from the qualitative research conducted in August 2017 to support on the identification of the main social norms related to unpaid care and domestic work in rural communities in four districts in Zimbabwe. The research served to identify who the leaders are that communities look up to in order to validate social norms change. It helped to identify nascent opportunities for changes in the gendered division of labour, and what the implications are of the findings for planning and practice in addressing inequalities on unpaid care and domestic work.

Infrastructure and Equipment for Unpaid Care Work: Household survey findings from the Philippines, Uganda and Zimbabwe - 2017 Household Care Survey report

March 5, 2018

Care work is essential for personal wellbeing, a healthy society and a functioning economy. But across the world, it is overwhelmingly done by women, which restricts their opportunities. Policy makers rarely recognize the public responsibility for facilitating unpaid care and domestic work through investments in infrastructure and care services.In 2017, Oxfam's Women's Economic Empowerment and Care (WE-Care) initiative conducted a Household Care Survey (HCS), collecting data in the Philippines, Uganda and Zimbabwe, to inform the design of public policies and local development programmes. The study tests which infrastructure, equipment and other factors influence care-work patterns. It finds that access to improved water sources is associated with reduced hours of care work, and household equipment facilitates men's participation in care. It also finds that heavy workloads related to long hours of unpaid care can impact women's health and well-being. Perceptions of care work, community expectations and fear of sanctions for deviating from social norms play an essential part in maintaining the gendered division of care work.The report presents recommendations for government and private sector decision-makers, development practitioners and researchers in the area of women's economic empowerment on how they can contribute to facilitate the recognition, reduction and redistribution of unpaid care work.   

Exploring the Need for Gender-Equitable Fiscal Policies for a Human Economy: Evidence from Uganda and Zimbabwe

February 15, 2018

Fiscal policy can be a powerful tool for governments to help achieve a 'human economy', if these policies are designed to address gender inequalities and the gender biases in current macroeconomic thinking. This report uses the case of one element of fiscal policy - public spending - to demonstrate how such policy design could help achieve gender equality and improve human development outcomes in developing countries.The report identifies unpaid care and domestic work as a key area where fiscal policy has a significant impact on gender equality. Using data from Oxfam's 2017 Household Care Survey in Uganda and Zimbabwe, the report explores the impact on adults' and children's/adolescents' time use of access to improved water sources, electricity, healthcare and childcare. It also considers secondary impacts on measures of well-being and women's empowerment, including women's health and decision making.  

Women's Economic Empowerment and Care (WE-Care) - Oxfam: Phase II Interim Report

February 14, 2018

This report examines the second phase of Oxfam's Women's Economic Empowerment and Care (We-Care) programme. The first phase focused on building evidence for influencing policy change on women's heavy and unequal unpaid care work in six countries. The second phase of the programme seeks to continue deepening the evidence base; strengthen influencing capacity on unpaid care; develop and test new strategies, resources and approaches; and capture and share learning with the development sector on effective influencing.The report also includes progress reports from three countries in which the programme is active: Uganda, Zimbabwe and Ethiopia. 

Turning Water into Wellbeing: How an irrigation scheme changed lives in a Zimbabwean dryland

October 3, 2017

Climate change is putting increasing stress on the livelihoods of people living in the world's drylands. Smallholder irrigation has long been seen as a means of improving food security in areas with unpredictable rainfall, and is now being promoted as part of climate change adaptation strategies. The Ruti Irrigation Scheme in Zimbabwe was begun by Oxfam in 2009 with these objectives in mind.This report examines the findings of two evaluations of the project and shows that the irrigation scheme has had more significant social and economic impacts than those measured by a quantitative study alone. However, the positive impacts for wellbeing have not been as extensive as originally hoped - having been affected by extreme weather events and the decision to reserve scarce water for use by sugar estates further downstream.This suggests that while smallholder irrigation schemes can provide important local benefits, these are threatened not only by the usual difficulties associated with their implementation, but also by the greater challenges posed by climate change and the resource conflicts that are being exacerbated as a result. These are problems which require significant changes in policy and practice at catchment-wide, national, and international levels.

The Recipe for Success: How Policy-makers Can Integrate Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Into Actions to End Malnutrition

August 24, 2017

By analysing the approaches governments and donors are taking, we highlight ways in which progress is being made, and we call on decision-makers to shift mindsets, change ways of working, and invest now in effective integration to improve child health.Building on last year's The missing ingredients report, this report highlights why WASH is essential for nutrition, and how this integration could be strengthened. Through an analysis of nutrition and WASH plans and policies in ten countries, we identify gaps and ways of working. The report highlights where there has been effective integration at the policy level and how improvements can be made. It also includes an analysis of donor initiatives and to what extent WASH has been incorporated in nutrition investments.

The State of Handwashing in 2016

March 28, 2017

2016 was a big year in hand hygiene! This summary outlines key themes and findings from 59 peer-reviewed handwashing-related research papers published in 2016, relevant to low and middle-income countries, around 1) the benefits of handwashing with soap, 2) handwashing compliance, 3) approaches to handwashing behavior, 4) determinants of handwashing with soap, and 5) handwashing hardware efficacy.

Our Seeds: Lessons from the drought. Voices of farmers in Zimbabwe

December 13, 2016

Zimbabwean smallholder farmers consider seed security to be an issue of national security. For them, access to the right seeds at the right time, and for the right price, is critical to being able to produce enough food to eat in the face of growing climate disruption. Farmer seed systems and community seed banks provide an important safety net for cash-strapped, vulnerable people. They also help small-scale farmers manage climate risk. Supporting them is an adaptation opportunity that is currently being missed.