What we do

We focus on the people that others forget. People in poverty. People who face discrimination. People whose voices are ignored.

We help people fight for the rights that they are denied. Simple things, like the right to eat. The right to stay on their land. To an education. To have a say in the decisions that shape their lives.

We’re not about giving handouts or telling people what to do, because in the long run we know that doesn’t work. Instead, we use our resources, influence and experience to help people find their own solutions.

We listen to what people really want and need. We help communities take action together to hold their governments to account, and we give local organisations our support where they need it. Together, we’re making a lasting difference.


In Zimbabwe AAI, started as a small HIV and AIDS Project (Strategies for Action) in 1999 under the then Harare based AAI Regional Office, becoming a programme under AAI’s Southern Africa Partnership Programme in 2003 and a standalone country programme in 2006. In 2010, ActionAid International Zimbabwe (AAIZ) merged with the Danish Association for International Co-operation, MS Zimbabwe whose focus was on building local democracies, to become one organization.

AAIZ is now a full country programme and is increasing its presence in Zimbabwe through enhanced support to women, youth and children. AAIZ has a fairly big programme which constitutes work in Local Development Programmes (LDPs) in rural areas and donor funded projects in urban and peri-urban areas. AAIZ is scaling up and deepening the integration of the human rights based approach, including advocacy and campaign activities in its work at local and national levels. It is currently working in partnership with 41 organisations which constitute community based organisations (CBOs) and nationally based organisations.

Local Development Programmes (LDPs)

To date AAIZ works with five (5) CBOs to implement a 10 year International Child Sponsorship Programme which started in 2006. The organisation has set up LDP structures in Makoni, Chiendambuya and Nyanga in Manicaland, Hwedza in Mashonaland East and Nkayi in Matabeleland North.  More LDPs are currently being set up in Saunyama, Nyazura and Nyamaropa in Manicaland. The purpose of setting up LDPs structures is to consolidate AAIZ activities and increase impact in Zimbabwe.

Special Projects

In addition to the LDPs, AAIZ is also working with 11 partners on special projects which address social protection, mainly through a Protracted Relief and Livelihood Programme focusing on households who are infected and affected by HIV. The Protracted Relief and Livelihood Programme is implemented in urban and peri-urban areas in Harare, Bulawayo, Midlands, Mashonaland West and Manicaland Provinces.

Democracy programmes

Through the merger with MS Zimbabwe, AAIZ took over partnerships with 22 more CBOs and nationally based organisations to focus on promoting transparency and accountability within local government structures, the empowerment of women and youth, conflict resolution, peace building and trade justice. The merger stretched AAIZ reach to more disadvantaged communities in Matabeleland North, Matabeleland South, Masvingo, Midlands, Harare and Mashonaland Central Provinces.

Our target groups

AAIZ is working with CBOs, civil society organisations (CSOs), coalitions, networks and movements working towards the eradication of poverty and injustice. The following are some of the specific groups targeted:

  • Poor and vulnerable women hosting OVC
  • People affected and living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHAS)
  • Victims of various processes that have led to internal displacements
  • The youth ,boys and girls in and out of school
  • Movements and organisations of poor and excluded and citizens 
  • Mining communities

As at 2010, over 160 000 people, 97% of whom were females and 3% were males, were beneficiaries of the AAIZ various interventions.

Priority Areas

AAIZ focuses on the following five development priorities which are in line with the AAI Draft Global Strategy for 2012-2017 as follows:

  • By 2017 we will have advanced people-centred economic alternatives that deliver a sustainable and just future for people living in poverty
  • By 2017 we will have advanced participatory democracy, increasing the influence in political decision-making processes of excluded groups and women living in poverty
  • By 2017, we will ensure that women and girls living in poverty enjoy safe spaces and control over their bodies
  •  By 2017 we will have built people’s resilience to political and economic conflicts and natural disasters, reduced the risks they face and reacted to disasters in ways that accelerate alternatives to the dominant humanitarian model
  • By 2017 we will have enabled children and youth to become a new generation of active citizens who are committed to end poverty and achieve equality and justice.

Specialised Services and Skills

AAIZ is a leading organisation in building the capacities of communities, CBOs, CSOs and duty bearers using rights based approaches focusing on:

  • Advocacy and Lobby
  • Building local democracies
  • Sustainable Agriculture
  • Strengthening commodity associations and building local value chains
  • Building community platforms for social deliberations and action (society tackling issues through rights).
  • 70% of people living in poverty are women. Women around the world are more likely to live in poverty - just because they are women. 

    Land Rights Activists shout slogans during a march from Bodhgaya to Patna, India
  • Every day, one in six people goes to bed hungry. Yet the world produces more than enough food for everybody. We’re tackling the causes of hunger, so that everyone can enjoy the right to have enough to eat.

    Vasta, 29, winnowing and drying the rice harvest, Malawi
  • When disaster strikes, we can respond within hours, providing vital things like food and shelter. We link our response to our ongoing projects, and we stick around as long as we’re needed, providing practical support, and making sure local people have a say in rebuilding their communities and livelihoods.

    Urmila Devi, 55, stands in front of flooded farm land and abandoned huts.
  • The rich countries cause climate change, but it’s the poorer countries that are suffering the consequences. We’re supporting communities who are trying to cope with the disastrous effects of climate change. And we’re challenging world leaders to do something about it.

  • Education is a right. It’s the key to a better childhood, and a better future for children, their communities and their countries.

    (L-R) Ross Srey Meng, 4, and Both Srey Aun, 5, at a non-formal school, Cambodia.