Speaker of the National Assembly of Zambia, Rt. Hon Justice Dr Patrick Matibini, SC, FCArb, MP has said partnerships at Constituency Office level have been uncoordinated and ad hoc resulting in the development of guidelines for governing the relationship and interface between the Constituency Offices and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs).
Speaking when he launched the partnership strategies and guidelines for Constituency Offices and Civil Society Organisations at Parliament Buildings on Monday, 17th September, 2018, Dr Matibini stated that he was hopeful that through the guidelines, CSOs and other local partners would acquire new insights and leverage on the existing formal and informal relationships that Constituency Offices foster with community members and vice versa.  He therefore, implored NAZ Constituency Offices staff to make good use of the guidelines in their execution of duty.
And speaking at the same occasion, German Ambassador, His Excellency Achim Burkart stated that the KfW- the German Development Bank has been supporting the construction of Constituency Offices while GIZ, the German Technical Assistance Company has been providing support aimed at enhancing the utilisation of the Constituency Offices.  He added that the assistance has been in the spirit of supporting Zambian citizens to advocate for greater transparency and accountability from duty bearers and demand for effective and efficient service delivery.
Mr Burkart however, noted that improving the member-constituent relationship has experienced challenges in the past due to limited knowledge of citizens on the purpose of Constituency Offices and lack of formalised engagement processes for constituency staff to engage and be engaged by CSOs at constituency level.  He therefore, experienced confidence that the guidelines that formalise the engagement of the Civil Society and Constituency Offices would benefit both parties especially that they were crafted in a participatory way.
The partnership strategies and guidelines for Constituency Offices and Civil Society Organisations were developed with the support of the German Government through GIZ’s Civil Society Participation Programme (CSPP).