Universities and Curriculum Development

Project Overview

Results from assessments undertaken by the ZPSP indicated that high-level office bearers in government and elsewhere were invariably suspicious of Security Sector Transformation largely because of lack of understanding of the concept of SST. Further analysis revealed that SST is a relatively unknown concept in Zimbabwe, hence the misconceptions and suspicions surrounding the issue. In 2011, the ZPSP commissioned a desk review of the available curricula on Security Sector Transformation/Reform in Zimbabwe. The desk review findings indicated that most local universities in Zimbabwe had limited course ranges related to security sector governance. Key findings of the assessment included: limited coverage of SST; limited capacity to teach and research on SST; limited collaboration & uncoordinated curricula development processes; limited access to global resources on SST. In light of these findings, the ZPSP launched an SST Curriculum Development project whose objective was: 

to facilitate the development and integration of SST-related content into the curricular of Zimbabwe’s academic institutions.  

The project saw the formation of the Zimbabwe Peace and Security Education and Training (ZIPSET) Network. The ZIPSET Network is a network of academics and researchers whose interest is to facilitate the institutionalization of peace and security studies in the curricula of Zimbabwean institutions of higher learning, as well as to conduct and facilitate research and other learning opportunities in the area of peace and security. The Network has membership drawn from 13 universities and related institutions across the country. ZIPSET Network has a coordination structure that comprises an Advisory Board, a Coordinating Committee and three thematic sub-committees, namely Research, Documentation and Publication; Teaching and Learning Resources and the External Relations, Training and Scholarships. 

The ZIPSET Network was formed in November 2011, after engagements between the academics and the ZPSP and its objectives are to:

  • Collaborate in curriculum development and increase visibility and quality in the teaching and learning of peace and security
  • Utilize global, regional and national curriculum best practices in the teaching of peace and security
  • Engage in scientific research in the field of peace and security
  • Inform policy formulation in peace and security education and training
  • Disseminate home-grown peace and security research output and knowledge
  • Capacity build academics in the area of peace and security and related fields 
Partners

The Southern African Defense and Security Management (SADSEM) Network

  • The SADSEM Network gives technical advice and support including provision of technical experts to make presentation during ZIPSET workshops

The Wits Centre for Defence and Security Management (CDSM)

  • Offers technical advice and support
  • Facilitated an exchange visit by ZIPSET representatives to the Centre
  • Delivered the course on Security Sector Governance to ZIPSET Academics

The Association for Security Sector Reform Education and Training (ASSET) 

  • A voluntary association of organisations and institutions engaged in Security Sector Reform (SSR) education and training of which ZPSP is a member.

The UZ Centre for Defence Studies (CDS)

  • Is the SADSEM representative in Zimbabwe
  • Plays a facilitator role in engagements between SADSEM and ZIPSET

The ZIPSET Network

  • After its formation, the Network became the core partner in the curriculum development project 
Activities
  • Curriculum Development desk research
  • Consultation and dialogue with local and regional academics 
  • Introductory workshop on SST, in which gaps in current curricular were identified
  • Formation of the ZIPSET Network 
  • Trainings and regional exchange visits for ZIPSET representatives
  • Publication of the Zimbabwe Peace and Security Journal
  • ZIPSET annual general meeting
  • Thematic meetings held by ZIPSET subcommittees
Results
  • Increased level of understanding of security sector reform/transformation among academics
  • Formation of the ZIPSET Network
  • Journal Publication 
  • Introduction of peace and security related components to academic curricula
  • 17 academics obtain a Postgraduate Certificate in Security Sector Governance from the University of Witswatersrand (click here to read the ZIPSET Chairman's update) 
  • Development of a generic Peace and Security Curriculum by ZIPSET members (click here for more information)