Ruzivo Trust

Welcome to Ruzivo Trust
A Centre for Knowledge Excellence

Livelihoods Innovation Development Programme (LIDP)

The Livelihoods Innovation and Development Programme (LIDP) of Ruzivo Trust is an application programme for our work on livelihoods. LIDP has become the main knowledge and research portal informing all programming activities at Ruzivo. The programme theme, “the right to food security and development” highlighted the rights based approach to research undertaken by Ruzivo, and commitment to generate new and relevant empirical knowledge for understanding livelihoods complexities and food matters in Zimbabwe. Under this programme we provide advice to a wide range of local, national and international organisations on livelihoods related issues such as mainstreaming livelihoods in development programmes, gender, HIV and AIDS. In addition, we help development partners to transition in their programmes in response to changing contexts. Our studies and the collaboration we engage in are interactive and cover themes such as:

  • Sustainable livelihoods analysis on an ongoing basis;
  • Helping development partners in the area of accountability;
  • Strengthening the cohesion of development agencies;
  • Systems for food security through self sufficiency and other innovative approaches;
  • Helping communities in land use, management, and natural resource stewarding;
  • Helping partners search for appropriate livelihoods technologies for helping communities in need.
  • Though research is central, it specifically focuses on use of knowledge for action and discovery of new knowledge on a range of emerging issues.

Our Objectives

The aim of the programme is to facilitate action in the areas that RUZIVO works using the research results. The objectives of the programme can be summarized as to:

  • Use research results from the RUZIVO research programmes for policy engagement, carrying out regional and international campaigns based on researched publications;
  • Facilitate a platform for sharing livelihoods knowledge from local to international levels;
  • Capacity development in livelihoods through facilitation of training in mainstreaming livelihoods;
  • Advance livelihoods discourse as a major and cross-cutting component in programming on Gender, HIV and AIDS.

Approach in our delivery

  • Action based research;
  • Consultancy activities as sought by different stakeholders;
  • Policy engagement at national and international levels;
  • High level policy advisory in donors/development circles and government;
  • International and regional networking;
  • Campaigns and advocacy;
  • Publications in the form of books and Information, Education and Campaign (IEC) materials.

Current Projects

Agrobiodiversity Knowledge

agrobiodiversity-knowledgeAgro-biodiversity is very specific to agriculture and natural resources but also speaks to how people depend on nature. Zimbabwe like other African countries have emphasised what can now be described as conventional Agriculture for instance that use heavy chemicals, which affect the environment and people. Yet, the smallholder farmers have no control of the chemical or seed markets, making the options for indigenous seeds more relevant. Ruzivo believes a nature based system provides a set of advantages that include the body of indigenous knowledge that rural communities have accumulated over generations and use of indigenous technologies in natural farming systems that can be upscaled. Smallholder farmers have knowledge around indigenous food processing that could generate internally controlled rural industries through processing, packaging and marketing; niche markets now exist that consumes the naturally produced foods.
Through this research we would like to provide a basis for growing indigenous knowledge and systems through:

  • Generating, packaging and sharing knowledge on agro-biodiversity;
  • Capturing stories of significant change in agro-biodiversity;
  • Promoting through awareness the importance of locally produced foods on healthy, ecological and economic reasons;
  • Facilitating mindset change in government and development agencies to promote the same, and also have appropriate supporting policies.

The rural districts of Chiweshe (Mazowe District in Mashonaland Central) and Domboshawa (Goromonzi District) will be used as research sites. The sites have unique natural and demographic characteristics which provide a basis for comparative studies to be conducted. In Mazowe, Chiweshe communal lands is highly degraded, yet is a key food producer (maize) for Zimbabwe. Chiweshe has hardly needed food assistance, and we need to learn why the people and the system have coped.

Value Chain Research

value-chain-researchA focus on value chain in terms of costs and benefits has been a key area of programme intervention by NGOs, as a basis for finding ways of help producers. Yet, understanding the value chain is laden with complexity, as there are many actors that are involved. While some play a co-ordinating and regulating role, others are key in product development, technology, financing, extension etc. Ruzivo Trust invests in research on value chain using approaches that combines quantitative and participatory approaches. Through the value chain research we aim to:

  • Explore the entrepreneurship of women in the value chain in terms of their activities, what value they add, the products and services ranges from production to consumption.
  • Assess how effectively resources are being used at the various points in the chain while at the same time understanding the role played by the various actors along the chain.
  • Analyze the governance and the complex interrelationship between markets and the agents involved.
  • Identify the opportunities and constraints at different levels and the different interests and power relations, which influence how value is distributed at different levels.
  • Recognize the most powerful change agents and their likely positive or negative impact on the competiveness and inclusiveness of actors, particularly women.
  • Identifying barriers to entry while assessing risks and opportunities related to different value chains and to identify appropriate strategies for value chain integration which make it possible to achieve pro-poor growth.

Based on the above template, Ruzivo can carry out research in the following areas:

  • Crop based value chains;
  • Livestock value chain;
  • Institutional issues, as well as stakeholder analysis;
  • Technology
  • ICTs in value chains.

Harmonised Social Cash Transfer (HSCT) programme Evaluation

The HSCT is positioned to become Zimbabwe’s primary social protection program that provides cash to the most vulnerable households across the country. The program targets labour constrained households that are also food poor. Ruzivo Trust has become part of an international collaborative team with six partners conducting the impact evaluation of the HSCT. The programme is implemented by the Ministry of Labour and Social Services (MoLSS) and involves the disbursement of cash transfer to vulnerable households in various districts. The purpose of the evaluation is to learn if and how the program impacts the lives of beneficiaries for an array of outcomes including poverty, health, education, nutrition, and child protection. In the three year phased evaluation, Ruzivo Trust will be the main local evaluator in t six (6) districts.

Contact Details

28 Greendale Avenue
Greendale, Harare



+263 772  302 953
+263 773 853 641

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