The Poverty Reduction Forum Trust (PRFT) is a civil society organization founded in 2008 from the then Poverty Reduction Forum (PRF). While the PRF was involved in several activities during its span, its main flagship remained the production, dissemination and advocacy around the UNDP sponsored Zimbabwe Human Development Reports (ZHDRs). PRF produced ZHDRs in the following areas: Poverty, Globalization, Governance, HIV and AIDS and Gender. In partnership with the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), PRF was also involved in the World Bank sponsored Structural Adjustment Participatory Review Initiatives (SAPRI). The key researches conducted in Zimbabwe under the SAPRI covered the following topics:The Impact of Public Expenditure Management under ESAP on basic Social Services, Health and Education; The Labour Market and Economic Development 1980-2000; Trade liberalization; Liberalization of Agricultural Markets and the Financial Sector Liberalization and the Poor: A Critical Appraisal.
The motivation to register the PRFT as a fully fledged and independent civil society organization, when the drivers of PRF decided to close the project completely was, and is still, the deep calls, from beneath and above, for strategic and decisive actions to be taken to address the causes and manifestations of poverty in Zimbabwe, in its various and sometimes horrendous forms. The organization is inspired by the vision of a Zimbabwe Free from Poverty in which every human being lives a dignified, secure and decent life that conduce sustainable human development. In this regard, sustainable human development paradigm is the guiding principle for all PRFT work on poverty reduction.
The PRFT’s goal is to influence the formulation of pro-poor policies through carrying out research on poverty related issues, engaging with policy makers, promoting broad-based consultative dialogue and processes, as well as advocating for sustainable human development in Zimbabwe. In order to achieve this goal, the organization continues to conduct poverty related research and promote evidence based policy formulation and dialogue between civil society, development partners and policy makers on issues of sustainable poverty reduction and human development.
The PRFT has positioned itself as a platform for civil society in Zimbabwe to not only generate research data on poverty related issues but to also generate policy alternatives for poverty reduction, mobilize and catalyze different civil society constituencies to speak out against policies, strategies and actions that hinder poverty reduction and or increases the vulnerability of people to poverty. This is being done through; mobilizing national expertise from the academia and other sectors to undertake poverty research in order to inform policy; Participating in pro-poor policy formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation processes; forming strategic partnerships and networks for poverty reduction advocacy; and mobilizing sufficient resources to ensure the financial sustainability of the organization.
National Poverty Watch is the PRFT’s flagship and is largely anchored on a three-pronged approach, namely, research, training and advocacy. The forum also continues to work with marginalised groups, households and communities to have their voices heard in policy making, implementation and monitoring and evaluation.