ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0219.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Economics Keywords: COVID-19; livelihoods; smallholders; Zimbabwe
Online: 14 April 2020 (08:50:30 CEST)
The article revisits previous viruses such as Ebola to extrapolate the socio-economic implications of the COVID-19. Using secondary sources and the Sustainable Livelihoods Framework (SLF) to guide understanding, the article argues that unless measures are put in place to safeguard smallholder activities in Zimbabwe, COVID-19 has the potential to reproduce the same catastrophic implications created by Ebola in West African countries where peasant food systems where shattered and livelihoods strategies maimed. With a perceptible withdrawal of the government from small-scale farming towards large-scale capital intensive operations, smallholders could now be even more vulnerable. The article concludes that social assistance should now be intensified to protect its vulnerable population from the ravages of COVID-19.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0371.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Analysis Keywords: COVID-19; digital data collection; qualitative; Zimbabwe
Online: 22 September 2021 (10:20:11 CEST)
The newly discovered coronavirus (COVID-19) has disrupted traditional methods of conducting research, particularly qualitative research. However, there remains a number of methods by which qualitative data can still be collected. These include the use of digital voice, video, and text-based tools, online surveys, and content analysis. Text-based sources can help to overcome the limitations of time and space, and also can be cost-effective. This chapter draws from data collected from 12 participants across Zimbabwe and demonstrates how these tools can be used to generate data or to sample data that is already available to satisfy research questions and meet research objectives. It recommends researchers to experiment with new ways of collecting qualitative data while also observing safety protocols and ethical considerations.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0169.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Software Keywords: digital platforms; digital auction; livestock systems; Zimbabwe
Online: 10 May 2020 (14:51:38 CEST)
Livestock contribute towards household food security in rural communities through income generation and provision of animal-source food. However, livestock system are fragile for example, in Zimbabwe, communities face challenges such as fewer buyers, poor infrastructure, and information asymmetry when selling livestock. Emerging digital platforms promise opportunities to address these challenge but only anecdotal evidence exist. This paper uses data from Beitbridge to explore the potential of digital platforms to revitalise the livestock auction system. Study findings show that digital platforms are designed with affordances which can help overcome challenges within the livestock system. However, these digital platforms are also fraught with hidden complexities such as power dynamics. Thus, despite digital platforms’ affordances, their design inherently extends beyond technical functions. Therefore, there is an urgent need for discussions exploring the contrast between affordances and complexities to enable target users to make informed decisions on the adoption and use of digital platforms.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0224.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Accounting And Taxation Keywords: Climate change; contract farming; coping; adaptation strategies; Zimbabwe
Online: 15 September 2022 (08:27:58 CEST)
The literature on contract farming and climate change in Zimbabwe has blind spots in relation to the study of contract farming as a climate change response. While the literature on contract farming and climate change abounds, such literature is lacking when it comes to the exploration of how contract farming can facilitate climate change coping and adaptation strategies by smallholder farmers. This paper fills this gap. It draws on in-depth interviews with 10 contracted and 10 non-contract farmers who were engaged through face-to-face in-depth interviews in the Chipinge South Constituency. It found that contract farming does not only boost productivity, but it also enables farmers to positively respond to the ravages of climate change, and therefore, it should be supported and encouraged. Future research should explore more viable and sustainable way through which the state, instead of private sector actors, should be at the centre of contract farming.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0332.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Other Keywords: social context; food value chains; impact assessment; Zimbabwe
Online: 28 June 2020 (09:34:50 CEST)
Investments in digital infrastructure in marginalised communities are set to increase in the next decade. These are premised on the potential of digital technologies to contribute towards solving societal problems, including the fragility of food value chains in rural areas. Although there are mixed empirical findings on the impact of these digital infrastructure investments, huge investments are continuing amid changing ICT policies in most developing countries. This paper, using a case study of a local livestock value chain in a rural community in Zimbabwe, argues for the application of non-conventional approaches towards digital infrastructure transformation impact assessment. Using selected theories and frameworks (socio-ecological systems framework, choice framework and technology affordances theory) as well as empirical data from a project in a rural community, the paper shows that real-time impact assessment using context-specific metrics may reveal hidden digital infrastructure transformation impacts, positive and negative, that are often overlooked when traditional impact assessment approaches are employed. The findings of this study contribute towards improving approaches towards ICT impact assessment. Practitioners engaging in impact assessment are challenged to move beyond dependence on traditional metrics (e.g. access) to the adoption of participatory processes to decipher context-appropriate metrics.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0300.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Economics Keywords: Chiredzi; livelihoods; Sangwe; smallholders; transformative social policy; Zimbabwe
Online: 24 June 2020 (14:04:49 CEST)
The analyses of the socio-economic consequences of the 2000s land redistribution in Zimbabwe have always been biased towards the analyses of the ‘production’ and ‘redistributive’ aspects while other equally important features such as ‘social cohesion’, ‘cooperation’, ‘protection’, and ‘accumulation’ amongst beneficiaries are neglected. Using the Sangwe farm in Chiredzi as a case study, this article departs from the conventional use of the political economy, sustainable livelihoods, human rights-based and neo-patrimonial approaches. It experiments with the transformative social policy approach positing that this approach includes the features which are ignored in dominant analyses. Using both quantitative and qualitative data in an exploratory research design, the article shows that viewed from this social policy perspective, the 2000s land reform was not a mere resounding success nor was it a complete disaster. The programme actually produced mixed results. There is therefore, the need to deploy eclectic approaches in the analysis of its consequences.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0619.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: climate smart agriculture; crop productivity; climate change; Pfumvudza; Zimbabwe
Online: 29 January 2021 (12:40:06 CET)
Concerns of food and environmental security have increased enormously in recent years due to the vagaries of climate change and variability. Efforts to promote food security and environmental sustainability often reinforce each other and enable farmers to adapt to and mitigate the impact of climate change and other stresses. Some of these efforts are based on appropriate technologies and practices that restore natural ecosystems and improve the resilience of farming systems, thus enhancing food security. Climate smart agriculture (CSA) principles, for example, translate into a number of locally-devised and applied practices that work simultaneously through contextualised crop-soil-water-nutrient-pest-ecosystem management at a variety of scales. The purpose of this paper is to review concisely the current state-of-the-art literature and ascertain the potential of the Pfumvudza concept to enhance household food security, climate change mitigation and adaptation as it is promoted in Zimbabwe. The study relied heavily on data from print and electronic media. Datasets pertaining to carbon, nitrous oxide and methane storage in soils and crop yield under zero tillage and conventional tillage were compiled. Findings show that, compared to conventional farming, Pfumvudza has great potential to contribute towards household food security and reducing carbon emissions if implemented following the stipulated recommendations. These include among others, adequate land preparation and timely planting and acquiring inputs. However, nitrous oxide emissions tend to increase with reduced tillage and, the use of artificial fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides is environmentally unfriendly.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202203.0304.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Bat Coronavirus (Bt CoVs); human-bat interaction; genetic diversity; reproductive phenology; Zimbabwe
Online: 23 March 2022 (02:55:01 CET)
Background: Studies have linked bats to outbreaks in human populations such as SARS-CoV-1 and MERS-CoV and the ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Method: We carried out a longitudinal survey from August 2020 to July 2021 at two sites in Zimbabwe with bat-human interactions: Magweto cave and Chirundu farm. A total 1732 and 1866 individual bat faecal samples were collected respectively. Coronaviruses and bat species were amplified using PCR systems respectively. Results: Analysis of the coronavirus sequences revealed a high genetic diversity and we identified different sub-viral groups in the Alphacoronavirus and Betacoronavirus genus. The established sub-viral groups fell within the described Alphacoronavirus sub-genera: Decacovirus, Duvinacovirus, Rhinacovirus, Setracovirus and Minunacovirus and for Betacoronavirus sub-genera: Sarbecoviruses, Merbecovirus and Hibecovirus. Our results showed an overall proportion for CoV positive PCR tests of 23.7% at Chirundu site, 16.5% and 38.9% at Magweto site for small insectivorous bats and Macronycteris gigas respectively. Conclusion: The higher risk of bat coronaviruses exposure for humans ranged from December to March in relation to higher viral shedding peaks of coronaviruses in the parturition, lactation and weaning months of the bat populations at both sites. We also highlight the need to further document viral infectious risk in human/domestic animal populations surrounding bat habitats in Zimbabwe.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202303.0523.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Other Keywords: Zimbabwe Stimulated Telephone Assisted Rapid Safety Surveillance (Zm-STARSS); mHealth active participant-centred (MAPC) Adverse Events Following Immunisation(AEFI) surveillance
Online: 30 March 2023 (03:51:08 CEST)
Abstract Introduction: The mHealth active participant centred (MAPC) adverse events following immunisation (AEFI) surveillance is a promising area for early AEFI detection resulting in risk minimisation. Passive (spontaneous) AEFI surveillance is the backbone for vaccine pharmacovigilance, but has inherent drawbacks of under reporting, and requires strengthening with active surveillance methods. The Zimbabwe stimulated telephone assisted rapid safety surveillance (Zm-STARSS) randomized controlled trial (RCT) sought to evaluate the efficacy and feasibility of AEFI detection using a short message service (SMS) and computer assisted telephone interview (CATI) approach. Method: A multicentre Zm-STARSS RCT enrolled consented adult vaccinees or parents or guardians of children receiving vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, at study vaccination clinics. At enrolment study participants were randomised to either SMS-CATI group or control group. SMS prompts were sent on days 0-2 and 14 post-vaccination to SMS-CATI group to ascertain if a medical event following immunisation (MEFI) had occurred. However, no SMSs were sent to the control group. SMS-CATI group who responded “Yes” to SMS prompts were interviewed by research healthcare workers (RHCWs) who completed a CATI to determine if an MEFI/AEFI had occurred whilst an AEFI in control group was determined from passive AEFI reporting channels. The primary study outcome was the AEFI detection rate in the SMS-CATI group compared to the control group. Results: A total of 704 (31%) participants responded to the SMS prompts, with 75% (528/704) indicating “No” and 25% (176/704) "Yes” to experiencing a MEFI. However, 31% (55/176) who responded “Yes” did not complete a CATI survey, but 69% (121/176) did; and 64% (77/121) of these indicated negative to AEFI experience whilst 36% (44/121) were affirmative. There were no AEFI reported in control group participants. Zm-STARSS showed promising results in that the AEFI detection rate using SMS-CATI was 2% (44/2280) on an intention to treat cohort. Conclusion: Despite the low SMS response and CATI completion rate, we demonstrated that Zm-STARSS SMS system improves AEFI detection compared to passive AEFI surveillance. We recommend cost-effective multi-channel digital approaches for holistic pharmacovigilance to improve AEFI detection in LMICs for all vaccines.