Child Participation in Local Governance: A Case Study of Harare Junior Council

The essence of this study was to examine the institution of child participation in Zimbabwe with a distinctive focus on Harare Junior Council. Child participation has become an important phenomenon in the era of sustainable governance with increased calls for governments to create child participation structures in local governance. The research sought to investigate on various factors which included the role played by Junior Council in promoting child participation in local governance, legislation guiding junior council operations, the function and roles of Junior council and the challenges faced by the Junior Council. A combination of quantitative and qualitative techniques was employed to investigate the objectives of the study so as to acquire a holistic collection of data that is valid and reliable. Sampling techniques included purposive sampling, simple random sampling and convenience sampling. Interviews and questionnaires were rolled out to a sample size of 100 respondents and observations made of selected respondents. The research findings were presented through a thematic analysis and the findings indicated a gender imbalance between male and female children taking part in child participation processes, the omission of the disabled and vulnerable children in society and the lack of explicit legislation guiding junior council operations and subsequently lack of commitment by Government to support junior councils. Recommendations were derived from these findings and suggestions made for further research of a comparative analysis of Junior Council operations in Zimbabwe.