AFRICAN COMMUNITY PUBLISHING & DEVELOPMENT TRUST
The community publishing methodology has been developing since 1986. For the first nine years, it was used in the Ministry of Community Development for training and training manuals for 7000 village community workers. In 1995, Africa Community Publishing and Development was set up as an independent, non-partisan trust. ACPD carries out its mission through two interconnected programmes, each based in a department, within which all projects are situated:
The Community Publishing Programme
The Community Capacity Building Programme
These programmes, and departments, are supported by the Finance and Administration department, which is also responsible for the organisational growth of ACPD.
Strategic Objectives 2013-2015
The following strategic objectives will guide ACPD in the next five years of its work:
1. Communities empowered to identify, document and tackle issues of concern.
2. Impoverished communities having a voice and influence in public affairs through community publishing.
3. Local leaders and communities respecting human dignity and practising constructive relationships and communication for building peace, good local governance and sustainable development.
4a. Children empowered to have a voice, know their rights and participate in the issues that concern them.
4b. Families and communities, with increased awareness of children’s rights, mobilised to support and protect children from violence and abuse.
5a. Improved access to information on peace-building, democratic development, good local governance, children’s rights, gender equity, poverty reduction and current affairs in all rural and urban constituencies through the widespread distribution of publications on generative themes by trained interagency facilitators.
5b. Zimbabweans living in the diaspora, and regional and international readers, having access to highlights of community publishing through electronic media.
5c. Community Publishing messages also communicated through other cultural forms.
6. Enhanced capacity of ACPD to realise its mission and offer expanded services through organisational and personnel development, decentralisation, formation of a leadership to succeed founders, and resource mobilisation.
7. Enhanced capacity to monitor and evaluate outputs, outcomes and impact of the community publishing and capacity building programmes from community to national level and ACPD’s organisational growth.
The Relevance and Significance of ACPD’s work
The huge demand for ACPD’s publications and training show that ACPD’s work continues to be highly relevant in
ACPD’s work is significant because:
•The production and distribution of books and posters rooted in community wisdom enables participants to develop confidence, critical consciousness and organising skills; influence public life positively and explore practical, democratic alternatives;
•It is the only large scale, non-partisan rural media in Zimbabwe (although in recent years it has begun to cover the metropolitan provinces of Harare and Bulawayo);
•Community publishing is people centred and internally driven, self-managed by local teams with light support from a small national team;
•The books are a cost effective way of communicating important messages and transferring effective development methods across rural and urban Zimbabwe, linking the local, district, national and international spheres;
• Positive relationships, peace-building, use of constructive forms of communication and creativity enables ACPD to work even within difficult situations;
•The community publishing process is integrated and inclusive;
•It regularly publishes children’s views and includes children and youth voices in adult publications and holds intergenerational workshops;
•Community priorities such as economic survival, local control over local resources, gender equity, HIV/AIDS, the rights and well-being of children, can be mainstreamed in local governance and other institutions;
•Community publishing is accessible both in terms of language, the user friendly nature of the books, and in having books and services available in remote rural wards. It is reaching communities who have very little access to conventional media;
•The books and training of interagency facilitators adds value to the work of many CSO’s and government agencies with complementary missions.
ACPD’s vision is vibrant, peaceful, articulate communities in which female and male citizens of all ages actively participate in development within a supportive local governance system.
ACPD’s mission is to facilitate research, publishing and capacity building in marginalised communities and the institutions that support them, for peace-building, democratic development, good local governance, children’s rights, gender equity and poverty reduction.
-Constructive communication and relationships
-Respect people equally
-Teamwork and shared leadership
-The continuous search for truth
-Community self-reliance and empowerment.
-Independence, being non-partisan
-Courage and perseverance
-Dedication and commitment
-Innovation and dynamism, responding positively to challenges.
-Build on what is there, promote local creativity and wisdom.
-Work with whole communities in an integrated way.
-The process is as important as the product; method should re-enforce content.
-Freedom of expression and access to information.
-Decentralisation and co-ordination of local initiatives.