The Development Practitioners Network (DPN) last week hosted the inaugural convention for development practitioners, which was aimed at creating a platform for key players in development work to interact, exchange ideas, experiences and best practices while exploring potential lines of partnership.
By Staff Reporter
The convention — the first of its kind in Zimbabwe — was held under the theme, Networking for Development.
Speaking to The Standard Style on the sidelines of the one-day convention in Eastlea, DPN programmes manager Mubaiwa Marufu said the convention was serving as a platform for those involved in development work to share experiences and ideas.
“You will find out that we have invited various organisations who will today showcase their different projects and activities,” Marufu said.
“These organisations are at the forefront in implementing development change through their work in the various fields. The convention is also a platform to network and share ideas on development issues.”
Marufu said they had invited various stakeholders, who included the National Social Security Authority, government departments, high schools and universities.
“As a developing nation, it remains crucial to create a platform where key players in development work like government, the academia, civil society and students share ideas, experiences and best practices in order to enhance coordinated approaches to the development process,” he said.
In her closing remarks, DPN national coordinator Chipo Muchabaiwa said the convention had come at an opportune time when resources were strained due to the socio-economic challenges bedevilling the country.
“The reduction in lines of funding coupled with the increased pressure from vulnerable communities due to the prevailing socio-economic environment, as well as the negative effects of climate change among other social ills, have led to the deterioration of the socio-economic lifestyles of most communities,” she said.
“We are gathered here as a group of practitioners in development work to prepare ourselves and uplift our capabilities against the challenges facing our communities.”
Marufu said the convention also recognised the importance of corporates in development of communities.
“Through the sub-theme, Corporates For Development, the convention applauded the participation of corporates as key partners in community development. So the convention brought the spotlight to the corporate social responsibility these corporates are engaged in. Normally, communities that benefit from these corporates are the only ones who know about them,” he said.
Guest of honour, Jonathan Banda from the department of Social Welfare, who stood in for the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Labour, Public Service and Social Welfare Ngoni Masoka challenged development practitioners to have such regular interactions and complement government efforts towards the development of the country.
Muchabaiwa said DPN was providing two training packages for young people to assist them in career development.
“Catch Them Young is a life skills training course, targeting high school students. The training is composed of three lessons, which include career planning and development, financial literacy and entrepreneurship skills as well as resilience and life skills training,” she said.
DPN is a network of development practitioners that seeks to promote professionalism and offers world-class sustainable development services and programmes in and outside Zimbabwe.