VCA Call for Proposals – Artivism for Climate Justice

  • Full Time
  • Lusaka, Zambia
  • Applications have closed

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Voices for Climate Action Programme | Call for Proposals

Issuance date: 2nd March 2023
Deadline for submission of Proposals: 17th March 2023, 17:00 (Central African Time).
Funding Type: Sub-grant
Project Size: Up to Eur 45,000 annually
Focus: Artivism for climate justice


Climate change is considered to be the biggest threat to the modern world. Like many countries around the world, Zambia is also facing the effects of climate change.
Climate change is taking a toll on Zambia in many ways. The increasing incidents of droughts, floods, rising temperature, heat waves and wildfires have led to energy shortages, crop failure, water insecurity, collapse in fish stocks, increased health risk, pressure on ecosystems, among others. There has never been a greater urgency for Zambia to work in new ways to fight against the climate crisis. Climate change is not a remote prospect, it is a crisis now!

Voices for Climate Action

The Voices for Climate Action (VCA) is a 5-year programme (2021-2025) supported by the Dutch government under the “Power of Voices” framework. The programme aims to scale up Zambia climate action response targeting vulnerable communities. This action recognizes that climate change is not only an environmental problem but also a societal challenge that brings in ethical and human rights issues. Climate change affects the enjoyment of indivisible, interdependent and interrelated human rights, hitting the most vulnerable the hardest and threatening to increase existing inequalities between the rich and poor, ethnicities, sexes, generations and communities. The greatest burden falls on those already in poverty and on underrepresented groups such as Indigenous peoples, the rural and urban poor, women and youth, although they are the least responsible for climate change.

We are at a critical stage, not only in our fight against the climate crisis, but also in addressing the economic and social challenges to transform our societies in a sustainable, just and inclusive manner. VCA therefore seeks to drive locally-shaped solutions to climate change challenges by empowering local civil society groups and citizens to have their voices heard and be advocates and co-creators in finding solutions.

Vision: A Zambia where civil society is heard & respected by influencing & co-creating locally relevant, inclusive and fundable climate solutions that deliver real benefits to people & nature as part of a local & global response to this crisis.

Partners: The programme is being implemented through an Alliance of five partners consisting of WWF Zambia, Hivos Southern Africa, Akina Mama wa Afrika, South South North (SSN) and Slum Dwellers International (SDI).

Focus Areas/Districts -: VCA will operate in the Lower Kafue Basin and Lusaka Province regions across 10 Districts namely; Luangwa, Rufunsa, Chongwe, Lusaka, Kafue, Chirundu, Siavonga, Chikankata, Mazabuka and Itezhi Tezhi.

The Lower Kafue basin, located 50km from Lusaka city, is directly linked to the climate resilience of the Lusaka province. It provides 50% of Zambia’s national hydroelectricity supply, 46% of Lusaka’s water supply, supports the livelihoods of more than 900,000 people (esp. cattle ranchers), a hub for sugar cane production, sustains vital ecological systems, and hosts one of Zambia’s most productive wild fisheries, supplying both urban and rural markets with an annual estimated value of US $30 million.

A healthy and sustainable Lower Kafue landscape is therefore an important lifeline for the city of Lusaka. The realization of this clear link between these two areas is our driver for change. A healthy functioning Lower Kafue and Lusaka is not lost yet. There is an opportunity to turn the tide and redirect developments in the region towards ecological and economic sound investment propositions for a greater climate resilient Zambia.

Target Groups: the target group of the VCA intervention in Zambia is centered around those who are most vulnerable to climate change impacts: women, youth, urban poor, rural communities, and marginalized groups. Women, young people and other marginalized groups often have critical perspectives on power structures and alternative approaches to the climate crisis. This Alliance sees harnessing these diverse perspectives, alternative approaches and women’s leadership as key to ensure the voices of marginalized groups are heard.

Thematic Areas: VCA will target five key thematic areas; water, food, energy, health and gender in relation to climate change. These thematic areas will thus form the basis of our climate action which is focused on advocacy while emphasizing a rights-based and intersectionality approach to amplify civil society voices in climate action.


Strengthening the resilience of natural freshwater and critical human water systems to reduce risks for communities facing high water stress, inadequate water quality, and impacted by floods and droughts


Innovative food system approaches to improve access to sustainable, diverse, and nutritious food and ensure food security. Sustainable agriculture which addresses the threat to livelihoods and food and nutrition security through crop failures resulting from climate impacts


Strengthening energy security of Zambians in the face of energy shortages as hydroelectric power is exposed to the variability of rainy seasons. Addressing the unsustainable use of natural resources resulting in deforestation as the rural and urban poor continue to depend on wood fuel for energy


Strengthening the capacity of urban poor communities to cope with climate-related hazards resulting from poor access to sanitation and drinking water, inadequate solid waste management and insufficient infrastructure for water and sanitation which leads to disease outbreaks, particularly during flooding episodes


Strengthening the feminist and transformational leadership capacity of CSOs, women’s networks and youth groups to amplify their voices for inclusive, rights based and just climate transition. Recognizing that the socio-economic and political challenges that communities face are interlinked and therefore, that the solutions to emerging challenges such as the climate crisis require an intersectional approach for the overall scaling of climate solutions, especially for women.

VCA Strategies:

  • Strong lobby and advocacy and movement building efforts for inclusive, locally led nature based and climate adaptation solutions. Through a strong advocacy agenda, we aim to influence system-level change as the right level of change
  • Strong focus on learning, learning questions and mutual capacity building throughout the planning and implementation phases. An in-depth understanding of the context is essential, and the theory of change will be used to show how and why the desired change is expected to happen
  • Co-creation of real solutions on the ground to tackle the challenges around climate focused on water-food-health-energy-gender
  • Adaptive management approach which will provide the flexibility for civil society partners to adapt to changing circumstances and contexts
  • Linking and strengthening the re-defined narrative in the role of citizens in climate action and amplifying grassroot voices through a climate movement building
  • Bridging divides (urban-rural, gender, youth) and linking actors through unusual and innovative partnerships that amplify voices in new unusual ways
  • Innovation around improving transparency and accountability on climate change impacts on communities
  • Knowledge Brokering and Management strategies for gathering, sharing and uptake, to ensure that locally relevant and applicable information on climate action is accessible and usable. This will include mapping key knowledge stakeholders and audiences, identify opportunities for convening appropriate fora for knowledge exchange, tailoring appropriate knowledge products to different target audiences, whether these are policy briefs, films, animations, online tools, games or other innovative products

Call for Proposals

Hivos Southern Africa welcomes proposals from organizations and coalitions registered and based in Zambia to partner with Hivos in delivering the Voice for Climate Action program through the use of art.

Hivos considers Art as a vital tool in mobilizing and strengthening movements worldwide as it enables people to communicate innovative ideas and issues quickly and powerfully for positive change. Various mediums, including visual art, music, film, poetry, and sculpture, strongly appeal to different people, enabling further advocacy efforts.

In Hivos, we recognize the different opportunities the arts provide. They can build bridges between ideological and generational divides, urban and rural, public and policymakers, artists and scientists. And they can overcome language barriers, make climate change tangible, and reach a wide audience. Moreover, by approaching climate justice in a new way, the arts have great potential for uncovering more innovative solutions.

Who is eligible to apply?

  • Locally registered non-profit Zambian organizations
  • Applicant with a clean human rights record
  • Applicant with track record on developing and advocating for locally shaped climate solutions
  • Applicant with ability to link to and mobilize larger networks or capacity to access, mobilize, convene, and influence power holders
  • It will be considered favorable if the coalitions/organizations:
    • Have prior experience carrying out activities in priority areas (water-food-energy-health nexus).
    • Includes actors not traditionally working in climate justice issues, but that have skills and tools which are relevant and/or scalable
    • Reflects a diverse perspective and intersectionality approach which will enhance participation and strengthen the wider climate justice movement and advocac
    • Led by or who work with women groups, youth, persons with disabilities, or other marginalized groups.
    • Willing to collaborate with other actors to influence stronger impacts and to build capacity over time and jointly develop and implement a capacity strengthening plan.

Evaluation Criteria

Generally, applications will be assessed based on eligibility or threshold criteria (minimum standards must be met), the quality of the proposal and the quality of the applicant organization or lead party of the coalition.

Specifically, the following criteria will be used during proposal review and selection:

  • Clear aim and objective: the proposal is instrumental and/or strategic in contributing to VCA strategic interventions
  • Context analysis: the extent to which the proposal defines the problem and objective
  • Rightsholder representation: the degree to which the organization involves, represents, and potentially amplifies the voices of vulnerable and marginalized groups and communities
  • Advocacy and lobby: the degree to which the project potentially influences the stakeholders to implement new procedures and policies, create new and unexpected connections and practice
  • Innovation: the degree to which the project/coalition provides clear innovative methods to enhance civil society participation in climate action
  • Knowledge brokering: how the project plans to use the available knowledge and package relevant information in easily accessible formats, to reach key stakeholders to support evidence-based decision-making for just climate action
  • Thematic focus and relevance: project addresses at least one of the thematic areas (water-food-energy-health nexus)
  • Intersectionality approach: adopts a diverse, gender-equality and rights-based perspective to climate action and advocacy
  • Regional presence: works in or able to work in the regions of interest: Lower Kafue Basin and Lusaka Province

Grant Value

The sub-grant will be awarded annually for the duration of the VCA programme depending on performance and availability of funds. The Sub-grant will range up to 45,000 euros annually and applications should be within this range.

To apply, kindly request application proposal templates and further information by emailing;  [email protected]

Application deadline is 17th March 2023, 17:00 (Central African Time).

Completed Proposals should be submitted to [email protected], with Subject: Artivism for Climate Justice.

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