USAID/Zambia Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance Office - Zambia Political Participation and Leadership Activity

Speeches Shim

A girl shows her finger after voting in a Zambian election
The ZPPL activity supports civil society's role in electoral oversight, civic education, and policy formulation.
Photo Courtesy of National Democratic Initiative

The political system in Zambia has real potential to hold those who wield power to account, and to promote citizen responsive governance.  USAID’S Political Participation and Leadership activity works with national democratic champions to promote an inclusive, productive political system that can advance and sustain the long-term prosperity and stability of Zambia. 


Civil society is key to putting Zambia’s political system to work for the well-being of its citizens.  ZPPL supports civil society’s role in electoral oversight, civic education, and policy formulation.  In particular, ZPPL builds on the rich history and capacity of Zambia’s faith-based community with support to the Christian Churches Monitoring Group (CCMG).

The ZPPL activity provides support to the Zambian electoral process through a coordinated, informed and targeted reform agenda. This is done through the provision of technical and financial support to civil society to identify and prioritize areas for electoral framework and policy reform, and to develop and implement an accompanying advocacy strategy.

Implemented by the National Democratic Institute (NDI), ZPPL also provides a mechanism for citizens to dialogue with policy makers and civil-society organizations, and provide informed citizen feedback. The Consortium for Elections and Political Processes (CEPPS) and NDI seek to improve citizen-led oversight and accountability in elections through observation of by-elections and local elections, with a focus on developing approaches which address emerging challenges to Zambia’s electoral processes and preparation for the 2021 general elections. 

By strengthening coordinated civil-society engagement in Zambia’s electoral and political processes, ZPPL advances democratic dispensation and citizen-responsive governance. 

  • Life of Project: 2018 - 2022
  • Location: National
  • Implementing Partner: Consortium for Elections and Political Processes (CEPPS) and National Democratic Institute (NDI)
  • Chief of Party: Traci Cook
  • USAID Investment (Life of Project): $4,500,000


Youth have a potentially powerful role to play in shaping Zambia’s democratic future, yet youth rates of civic and political participation are low when compared with other groups.  This is particularly true of urban youth, who participate in much lower numbers than their rural peers.  Starting from within Zambia’s political parties themselves, ZPPL empowers youth to become more active and productive contributors to the political process.  ZPPL convenes youth from across political parties to develop strategies to increase their voice within the parties, engage in policy advocacy, and develop leadership and conflict resolution skills.


USAID believes every person, every community, and every country wants to be empowered to lead their own future. We support self-reliance by walking alongside our friends on their development journey, as evolving but enduring partners.  As partners on this journey, we are empowering host country governments and our partners to achieve locally-sustained results, helping countries mobilize public and private revenues, strengthening local capacities, and accelerating enterprise-driven development.  This approach fosters stable, resilient, and prosperous countries that are more self-reliant, and prioritizes enduring partnerships.