Stakeholder Research 

Funding Analysis 

Modes Of Engagement 







Research conducted and written by Melissa Eveleigh, in collaboration with Nhimbe 

Trust, Pamberi Trust and with support from British Council and Africalia


02-11-2013 © Melissa Eveleigh

IMAGES: Nhimbe Trust



Stakeholder Research: Funding Analysis: Modes Of Engagement 

First, the cultural sector by its 

nature depends significantly on 

public or philanthropic funds, 

not because it is inefficient, nor 

because its products are not 

in commercial demand, but 

for a variety of reasons – most 

critically because it produces 

public value.

“Science will...produce the 

data..., but never the full mean-

ing.  For  perceiving  real  signifi-

cance, we shall need...most of 

all the brains of poets (and) also 

those of artists, musicians, phi-

losophers, historians, writers in 


Lewis Thomas, Scientist


02-11-2013 © Melissa Eveleigh


Stakeholder Research: Funding Analysis: Modes Of Engagement 






1.  Preamble 


2.  Executive 




3.  Methodology 


4.  Limitations         ———13
5.  Context 




6.  Gaps 




7.  Comparative overview of donors operating in the 




8.  Perspectives and analysis on funding    





9.  Recommendations 


10. Perspective of a Cultural Practitioner:    





11. A 






12. Perspective of a Cultural Manager:  






13. A 






14. Comment 






15. Arts & Culture: Stakeholder Research : funding analysis: 

modes of engagement 2011-2013 by Melissa Eveleigh   


16. Conclusions 




02-11-2013 © Melissa Eveleigh


Stakeholder Research: Funding Analysis: Modes Of Engagement 


The Creative Economy in Zimbabwe though very buoyant and vibrant, has for a long time remained 
largely ignored and unrecognised in terms of its economic value hence the moribund public and 
private funding regime availed to this sector. The country’s funding system for the Creative Economy 
is largely uncoordinated in its approach. What cannot be disputed is the fact that funding from 
the various funders that inter alia include donors, private sector organisations, UN agencies and 
individuals available to the creative industries lacks a properly coordinated approach underpinned 
by the relevant policies and guidelines at governmental level and its agencies notably at parent 
Ministry level (Ministry of Sport, Arts and Culture) and the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe. In 
addition, funding levels to this sector have remained low compared to other sectors of the economy 
resulting in large and glaring gaps in the funding process.

That the sector is largely fragmented and operating in an informal manner has not helped the 
situation. Consequently, embassies accredited to Zimbabwe and other funding agencies have 
been availing funds to the sector in a very partisan manner and usually based on the funder’s 
preferred thrust. The end result of this fragmented funding mechanism leads to unreliable quality 
of the arts products, antagonism within the sector and non-tangible outputs from the investment. 
In addition, it has also added to the view and attitude by communities that the arts have no other 
benefit to them other than as mere entertainment.

The research findings and recommendations contained in this document therefore provide a clear 
trajectory for agenda setting as well as the effective funding process for the Creative Economy 

in Zimbabwe devoid of any gaps imaginable. 
Stakeholders, particularly funders in the Creative 
Economy need to embrace and take note of 
the fundamental issues raised in this research 
document. Policy-driven funding mechanisms for 
the arts and culture sector breed a professional 
pool of artists and cultural practitioners ensuring 
sustainable growth of the sector. 

The outcomes of this research represents 
an extension of the National Arts Council of 
Zimbabwe 2007 Research Report: An Assessment 
Of The Contribution Of Arts And Cultural Industries 
To Economic Development In Zimbabwe 
Culture Fund of Zimbabwe Trust’s sanctioned Base 
Line Study of 2009
. A common recommendation 


Elvas Mari 

Director. National Arts Council of Zimbabwe(NACZ)


02-11-2013 © Melissa Eveleigh


Stakeholder Research: Funding Analysis: Modes Of Engagement 

was the conducting of further research into the Creative Economy focusing on specific issues like 
funding of the sector. Such further studies fall under the ambit of professionalization of the arts and 
culture sector that the Council has been pushing for all these years. The onus therefore falls on arts 
institutions in the mould of Pamberi Trust and others of their ilk to commission further collaborative 
studies and researches whose findings lead to the concrete formalisation of the Creative Economy.

It is my fervent hope and that of the sector as a whole moves forward and drawing lessons from the 
findings and recommendations of this research process (as well as previous ones), enabling funding 
to the sector becoming policy-driven and programme based as opposed to being project-driven. 
Adequate and sustainable funding mechanisms are what the Creative Economy is yearning for. 

National  Arts  Council  of  Zimbabwe  is  happy  that  the  research  finding  are  coming  at  this  time 
when Zimbabwe is developing a Culture Policy that will allow for the professionalization of the arts 
and culture that we have been championing for the last fifteen years. Council stands ready to 
work together with arts and culture stakeholders in making the findings beneficial in improving the 
welfare, remuneration of artists as well as the development and promotion of the arts in Zimbabwe.


02-11-2013 © Melissa Eveleigh


Stakeholder Research: Funding Analysis: Modes Of Engagement 


This paper aims to firstly provide funding and arts organisations, groups and individual artists with a 
solid overview of gaps and needs in the Arts and Culture sector in Zimbabwe; and secondly, map 
what has been funded, in what way, by whom and how, to support strategic decision-making and 
planning by all stakeholders.

In 2011, the initial research for this paper was commissioned and carried out for the British Council 
with analysis on gaps and needs from a wide cross section of Zimbabwean perspectives. This aimed 
to enable cohesive and locally rooted cultural relations programming. The resulting paper began 
to build a picture of essential requirements and financial support for the sector. It was clear that 
further research was necessary to complete this picture. 

Many artists and groups interviewed in 2011 stated that there was limited access to information on 
available funding. One respondent noted: ‘It is entirely unknown how much income there is from 
external sources in the sector.’ Many respondents were unable to say what specific funding priorities 
and what processes are, because those priorities and processes are often unclear. Respondents 
expressed feeling disadvantaged as a result. In addition, lack of coordination and information 
being shared between funding bodies was often cited as a weakness. A number of artists and 
cultural funders suggested that more informed decision-making is essential. 

The development of this research has also been carried out in response to the commonly held view 
that external financial support for arts and culture is more reactive and sporadic, than proactive 
and strategic. A more strategic and effective approach to spending and programming is needed. 
The conceptual basis therefore is that improved access to information across the sector can lead 
to a more cohesive and rewarding approach to working across the divides – especially in terms of 
closing the gap between artists and ultimate decision makers. 

The framework for this paper is guided by existing literature and national processes. For example, 
The Baseline Study on the Culture Sector in Zimbabwe conducted by the Culture Fund in 2009 
made a strong recommendation for further research into the financing of the sector, and draws 
on the Zimbabwe Creative Civil Society’s Strategy in the Formulation of a Plan of Action for Arts 
and Culture (NPAAC), which is coordinated by Nhimbe Trust in its capacity as the secretariat of 
NPAAC. This paper outlines key trends and perspectives, for use by stakeholders across the sector 



02-11-2013 © Melissa Eveleigh


Stakeholder Research: Funding Analysis: Modes Of Engagement 

from individual artists to organisations, public institutions and funding partners.

Recommendations are then distilled from a cross section of perspectives in the sector and do not 
necessarily represent the views of the author. The author does however highly recommend a more 
comprehensive mapping of the cultural economy, and all income streams – both current and 
potential – into the sector.

It is received opinion that the Arts and Culture sector in Zimbabwe is fragmented, economically 
challenged, and suffers from weak strategic vision and governing structures. Funding for the arts 
lacks cohesion and many donors tend to operate outside and without any guiding, or long-term 
policy frameworks – in terms of cultural development. If there are guiding frameworks, these are 
more likely to be determined by the funding partner or by that institution’s country head office than 
by national priorities for Arts and Culture in Zimbabwe. This is also because development goals for 
culture in Zimbabwe are not yet clearly defined. This research aims to support existing efforts by 
leading arts organisations, such as Nhimbe Trust, and government bodies, such as the National Arts 
Council, in strengthening the sector. 

A major challenge facing the sector is that demand for funds far exceeds the capacity of donor 
agencies. This is well illustrated by the gaping disparity between applications received and funds 
awarded by the Culture Fund. Between 2007 and 2010, 5456 proposals were received requesting a 
total of 37 million USD: 447 of these were awarded through disbursements amounting to 798,256.11 
USD. SIDA’s annual support to Culture Fund during this period was 1 million USD. Of this, an average 
of less than 300,000 USD, or 1 third of the whole fund was given in grants. 

Comparative donor analysis provides funders as well as key players in the sector a basis from which 
to review policy and could also be used to guide how projects are selected and implemented.

This paper aims to be made widely available and be an online resource for the sector, providing 
both a source and a platform for information that can be kept up to date with new opportunities, 
directions, funding objectives, available funds and significant changes to the funding landscape.  


02-11-2013 © Melissa Eveleigh


Stakeholder Research: Funding Analysis: Modes Of Engagement 

Executive Summary 

The information presented in this paper demonstrates that 2009 – 2013 represents a period of 
cumulative stability. Despite the economic context, contracted democratic space and diminished 
resources experienced in the decades prior, between 2011 and 2013 at least, there has been 
general stabilization and even growth in the arts sector, characterized by a period of increased 
investment and more responsive programming by key funders. 

Some funders have responded to major gaps and needs as pin-pointed by the Culture Fund Baseline 
Survey 2009: namely weak policy frameworks, poor training and management. For example, Pro 
Helvetia, Africalia, Mimeta and the Culture Fund have increased the amount of support available 
for the development of policy. The question remains whether indeed these policy initiatives have 
achieved improvements to national policy and/or governing frameworks themselves. It is argued 
that too high a proportion of cultural development funding is spent on cultural policy, without 
tangible benefit to the sector. In addition, although management and infrastructure is repeatedly 
cited as weak, funding of this is often felt to be wasteful or disproportionate. 

The findings of this paper may be of use in defining benchmarks for mid to long term policy goals 
for cultural development, in terms of, for example: investment and growth attained per sub-sector, 
the percentage of practitioners formally employed, the level of export, the number or percentage 
of professionally trained practitioners. 



02-11-2013 © Melissa Eveleigh


Stakeholder Research: Funding Analysis: Modes Of Engagement 

The summary of key contributing donors to the Arts and Culture sector in Zimbabwe shows that, on 
the whole, decision-making remains exclusive, consultation is often limited to discussion between 
funding partners and sector leaders, decisions made regarding the majority of grant support for the 
sector rarely include local artists and of the limited funds available in the short and mid-term, most 
of it is tied up – leaving negligible amounts of funding for the majority of artists to compete over.

Indicative annual donor funding is:


2.8 million USD


4.8 million USD


5.1 million USD

Of this, it is estimated that around 500,000 USD or less per annum is available for artists or groups 
nationwide in open application, despite the relative increase of incoming funds generally to the 

Other significant findings are that:

Large variations exist in the way donors and stakeholders in the sector operate.

Opportunities are missed, lost, not known about and/or not taken due to misconceptions, 

lack of information, and lack of open channels.

Sector reliance on donor support is inadequate for real sector growth.

A lack of coordination and consultation between leading institutions, funders, audiences 

and artists results in duplication, undefined national targets, and waste; or simply: ‘Shooting 

in the dark.’

The relationship between artists, groups and funders presents various challenges and 

frustrations – on all sides. 

Vast difference of opinion in what funding priorities should be.

Significant misconceptions on what funding is available and on what support goes where.

Cultural development remains largely undefined leading to significant support being wasted on 
activity that doesn’t necessarily contribute to sectoral growth. It is often argued that money is 
wasted on bringing foreign acts in to Zimbabwe, and that HIFA and the Embassies, particularly 
European and American, are largely responsible for this. In fact, cultural support from European 
funders as a whole, invests more in Zimbabwean cultural development than perceived. It is argued 
that there is more significant waste in over-financing administration or holding one off workshops – 
which do not necessarily achieve cultural development goals

The  findings  indicate  that  a  low  proportion  of  available  funds  support  actual  cultural  activity. 
Though it is a common complaint that infrastructure and administration do not receive enough 


02-11-2013 © Melissa Eveleigh


Stakeholder Research: Funding Analysis: Modes Of Engagement 

investment, a larger proportion of funds are received by organizational structures, than by artistic 
projects directly. That said, relatively few organizations receive core financial support: between 10 
and 15 including HIFA, Nhimbe Trust, Pamberi Trust, Dance Trust of Zimbabwe, the National Gallery 
among them. 

Organisations like the Culture Fund are in a position to bridge gaps, but many respondents perceive 
the Culture Fund as maintaining a top down funder-recipient relationship, and that they spread 
their funds too thinly across the sector. 

It is strongly felt by individual respondents that alternatives are necessary to subsidize the sector, 
and it can also be suggested that artists themselves across Zimbabwe represent the largest capital 
contributors.  Further mapping is required to quantify and value the largely informal contribution 
by individuals and artists to the development of the sector. It should be noted that ZIMSTATS and 
the Culture Fund carried out a Cultural Statistical Survey in 2012 the results of which ‘can be reliably 
used as pointers to the cultural industry’s contribution to the economy.’