The researchers set out to identify the gaps between the Republic of Zimbabwe National Water Policy and its implementation. A qualitatively-oriented desk review provided the step-by-step process of identifying and analysing the gaps. The desk review was informed by the observation that no scholar has engaged the Water Policy and the performance of the water sector in terms of gaps between policy and implementation. The existing literature focuses on, and is influenced by quantitative and linear analyses. A lacuna therefore exists in Zimbabwean literature on qualitative policy analysis. The desk review was aimed at creating a platform for conducting a qualitative empirical study on the policy and its performance in urban areas. The desk review produced three major findings. Firstly, that the aim, objectives and principles of the policy are stated in qualitative terms. Secondly, that the gaps between the policy and its implementation are largely qualitative. Thirdly, that the available analyses of the water sector have been influenced solely by technical and linear models. Accordingly, two main recommendations are proffered. Solid empirical qualitative analyses of the gaps between the policy and implementation should be done against the provisions of the policy. Interactive models of policy analyses should be used as substitutes to, or in conjunction with linear models. The aim of such studies should be to attain the overall goal of social policy, that is, creating and sustaining wellbeing.
This is an original and unique article on the qualitative gaps between Zimbabwe’s National Water Policy and its implementation as social policy issues. The study contributes to the limited empirical knowledge and literature on effective policy implementation.
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