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November 2001

Reviewing M & E for the Gauteng CBPWP directorate

S&T was commissioned to review the monitoring system and evaluation strategy of the Community Based Public Works Programme Gauteng Directorate. Senior Partner Moagi Ntsime, who managed the project, outlines the project and its main findings.

The Community Based Public Works Programme (CBPWP) directorate within the Provincial Department of Public Transport, Roads and Works (DPTRW), in Gauteng undertook various policy initiatives intended to realign the programme for the 2000/2001 year. Most of the initiatives of the directorate took into consideration some of the strategic developments within the realigned national CBPWP.

Key activities and changes in the province included the following (amongst others):

  • realignment of delivery mechanisms in the province;
  • adoption of an integrated approach to infrastructure delivery;
  • review of financial procedures;
  • adoption of a new provincial targeting strategy, taking into consideration the current demarcation boundaries in the province; and
  • reviewing the monitoring and evaluation system within the directorate.

The need for an M & E review

Some of the activities outlined above had a higher priority than others. The M & E review was considered an urgent activity – if not a necessity - if the impact of the programme was to be measured both regularly and accurately.

S&T was commissioned by the Gauteng CBPWP Directorate to review its current monitoring and evaluation requirements and the capacity required to ensure the efficient functioning of the system.

Purpose of the review

The monitoring and evaluation review focused on the following aspects of the system:

  • review the reporting requirements and data path from project level to directorate;
  • assess capacity requirements of users as well as data use for management purposes;
  • assess the frequency and accuracy of data capturing, reporting and analysis ;
  • assess whether there is a uniform M & E reporting system for the directorate; and
  • based on the findings of the review, design an M & E framework for the Directorate.

Methodology

The review used two methods: documentation review and in-depth interviews. For the first, we relied mostly on key strategic documents within the directorate. For the second, we developed structured guidelines about current M & E practices and needs in consultation with the Directorate. These were used to conduct in-depth interviews with key players within the process.

Findings

Firstly, monitoring was taking place within the Directorate, albeit in a less systematic fashion than required. We also noted that there were challenges were M&E were concerned, and some of these are outlined below.

We found a lack of uniformity in terms of what project co-ordinators (departmental officials responsible for project monitoring) were expected to do and/or monitor within the existing framework. As a result, in many instances a great deal of the information collected at project level did not serve the monitoring function.

Also, while some of the information was reported on regularly, the responsibility of reporting was located outside the directorate and with project managers (who were independent consultants). As a result, most of the monitoring data were not situated within the directorate but with these outside service providers. These raised questions about strengthening and developing the capacity of the directorate to function better and take ownership of the data.

Inaccuracy of data was fairly common. While some of the service providers tried to report on the actual performance of the projects, others did not update their data; often the data reported on were inaccurate and inconsistent. If the programme needed to be moved in a particular direction to maximise the impact or deal with unforeseen problems, it would be extremely difficult - and misleading - to do this on the basis of inaccurate and inconsistent data.

Furthermore, we noted that data analysis and tracing emerging trends in the programme did not seem to take place. The only analysis that we were informed about related to minutes and scanty reports written by outside consultants, which often did not focus on key impact issues relating to the programme.

Recommendations

We noted three key areas or levels of reporting and monitoring within the directorate. Firstly, the pre-implementation or baseline data; in other words, business plan data that needed to be separated from ongoing regular monitoring of the project progress and performance. This mostly referred to information captured on a once-off basis, for example, envisaged number of beneficiaries, intended jobs to be created, and overall project budget and so on. We stressed the importance of recording such targets and using it as the baseline against which performance can be measured (and for the use of programme evaluators).

The second level we identified was at project level. We specified indicators to be reported against and thus monitored at that level. For example, regular administering of a wage register to capture the number of people employed and their demographics, days worked, wage rates and so on.

The third level was at directorate and management level. The frequency of reporting, the type of information reported on, the report format, analysis and management of the programme using M&E outputs were some of the issues that were recommended to the directorate.

Way forward

It is important that monitoring and evaluation be viewed as an integral part of the entire programme cycle. It should not be viewed by those implementing the programme as an additional administrative burden, separate from the programme outputs and deliverables.

As such, for the recommendations to be realised it is important that the following activities be carried out by the Directorate:

  • Firstly, conduct a workshop with all key members of the Directorate responsible for project implementation, management and monitoring to understand the ethos and culture of M & E and allow them space and scope to make informed inputs.
  • Secondly, to design a simple, user-friendly and uniform tool for recording and analysing data for the Directorate. This system would assist the Directorate in producing regular reports pertinent to their needs and competencies.
  • Linked to the above would be to ensure that if a monitoring system were to be introduced, it must not lose its social and developmental component. For this to succeed, it would be important that the process of developing and designing the M & E system is an integrated process involving M & E specialists as well as (but not driven by) IT/software expertise.
  • It is important to put timeframe for the entire process of designing and developing an M & E system. Sufficient resources need to be sourced for the development and capacity building processes.
  • Finally, implementing a fully developed M & E system would require a training component. Therefore, it would be important for the M & E specialists to develop an M & E training manual that would be used by those involved in the implementation and monitoring of the programme. This would contain generic M & E principles as well as specific elements of the system.
 

Review of the DoE/CHET’s Effective Governance Project

Matthew recently completed a review of the Effective Governance Project established by the Centre for Higher Education (CHET), in consultation with the National Department of Education (DoE). He describes the project.

Members of the steering committee, staff at CHET and DoE officials played a valuable role in conceptualising the approach used in this study, designing the qualitative and quantitative instruments used and facilitating access to the institutions that the evaluation team selected to participate in this study. However, it was the evaluation team that not only conducted the study, but also chose the respondents who willingly either completed the questionnaire or made themselves available for in-depth-interviews.

The objectives of the midterm review were to assess:

  • The organisation, planning and delivery of workshops, training materials and other interventions by the project to achieve its stated objectives.
  • Project participants’ understanding of co-operative governance.
  • The levels of awareness amongst project participants in terms of their roles and responsibilities on respective governance structures.
  • The effect the project has had on relationships between different governance structures at the same institution.

A telephonic questionnaire was administered to 50 randomly selected members of governance structures at 5 different institutions of higher education in South Africa. The institutions that were selected were drawn from a stratified sample to reflect the diversity in the system. In other words, we selected an appropriate mix that took geographical location, historical disadvantage, and type of institution into consideration. We also accounted for the governance stability of the institution and whether or not the institution had participated in the project. All 5 of the selected institutions had participated in the project:

  • Border Technikon
  • Technikon Witwatersrand
  • University of Fort Hare
  • University of Port Elizabeth
  • University of Zululand

In addition, in-depth-interviews were conducted with the following:

  • 3 officials of the DoE
  • 3 members of CHET
  • 2 consultants
  • 3 steering committee members
  • 4 individuals based at institutions

The proposal clearly outlined what activities this project would implement and the indicators that we used to measure implementation. The activities and associated targets can be tabulated as follows:

Activities

Target for end of 2002

Advisory committee

Establish steering committee

Develop guidebooks on Effective Governance

Guidebook for Councils

Guidebook for Institutional Forums

Capacity building workshop packages developed in the following 5 areas (a – e)

a) New legislative framework

b) New policy framework

c) Roles and responsibilities defined

d) Efficient functioning

e) Effective functioning

Identify & train facilitators

15 facilitators trained

National workshop for chairs of councils, IFs, registrars and co-ordinators of IFs

At least one such workshop

Institutional workshops for non-targeted institutions

Minimum of 30 workshops

Intensive capacity building for councils and forums at targeted institutions

Minimum of 8 institutions


Figure 1: Activities listed in the project proposal

Key findings included:

  • Mid way through the lifespan of the project the project had spent less than 50% of its total budget whilst it had delivered significantly more than 50% of its targeted activities.
  • By the end of this year it will have produced 7 guidebooks on effective governance and developed all the necessary workshop packages.
  • The need for extensive but time-consuming research to draw up these guidebooks and packages. Research typically involved sending preliminary questionnaires to institutions, campus visits to institutions to discuss in-depth pertinent research questions, and then discussing preliminary findings in forums/seminars to garner responses and reactions to the research.
  • The important impact a project of this nature has in defining roles and responsibilities for people working in their respective governance structures which in turn has a profound effect on stability within the sector.
  • The need for projects of this nature to focus on their original plans and to stick to their core purpose rather than deal with the plethora of problems that beset the higher education sector at present.
  • The value of a systematic approach to institutional interventions. Such an intervention would include i.e. pre-intervention questionnaire/ interviews, adjustment of intervention accordingly, implementation of intervention, post-intervention assessment, appropriate follow-up.
  • For the project to become sustainable and to ensure that the materials developed get maximum exposure, training has to become institutionalised. In other words, workshops need to be developed to train institutional based trainers so that they can provide on site training/ induction for new members of the respective governance structures.
 

Providing research and evaluation services to the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund

The Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund (NMCF) supports projects and programmes in four key areas: leadership and excellence, the well being of children, children with disabilities, and education and development. The Fund has recently changed focus and carefully scrutinises the developmental impact of its funding. Strategy & Tactics has been commissioned to conduct two separate projects for the Fund - a review of the Winterveldt Alliance and an environmental scan of programmes dealing with children and youth at risk. Nobayethi Dube (in charge of the Winterveldt evaluation) and Jowie Mulaudzi (running the environmental scan) briefly outline the respective projects.

Winterveldt Evaluation

The Winterveldt Alliance is made up of three organisations, namely, Bokamoso, Sisters of Mercy and the National Institute For Crime Prevention & Reintegration of Offenders (NICRO). The project is based in Winterveldt, a peri-urban area outside Soshanguve. The three organisations target youth, and (in line with their developmental approach) the NMCF suggested in 1999 that they form an alliance as a means of maximising their impact. The alliance targets young people between the ages of 15 and 21.

S&T was commissioned by the NMCF to conduct a fast turn-around process evaluation of the Winterveldt alliance project, focusing on:

  • An evaluation of the functionality of the alliance;
  • An assessment of the role of the NMCF;
  • A critical analysis of the risks of funding an alliance (as opposed to one-on-one funding);
  • Offer clear guidance as to the appropriateness of future funding.

Evaluating the alliance

Bokamoso has a three-month diversion programme, called the Adolescent Development Programme (ADP). Out -of- school youth are recruited by Bokamoso into this programme. At the end of the ADP, the young people are then referred to Sisters of Mercy for vocational training. Some of the vocational training offered by Sisters of Mercy includes basic carpentry, joinery, welding and bricklaying. NICRO offers young people an economic opportunity programme and training on how to start their own business.

For S&T to understand the origins and development of the project we conducted in-depth interviews with members of the alliance as well as NMCF personnel who have worked on the Winterveldt project. A common interview schedule was used to guide the interviews and to ensure that we got information on common themes. S&T also visited the site where the project is located in Winterveldt.

Environmental scan

Children and youth at risk (including those at risk with the law and street children) are an important target group for the NMCF in the ‘well being’ category. The specific objectives of the scan are: to identify programmes, their target groups and their methodologies; to identify best (and worst) practice; and to critically analyse the findings and develop a strategic approach to youth at risk for the NMCF.

Partnering with the UN Child Justice Programme

Together with the NMCF we narrowed down our focus to look at organisations catering for children and youth at risk with the law, i.e. those that have had a brush with the law or are in circumstances that make them vulnerable to criminal activities. In the process of identifying programmes, we learned that the United Nations Child Justice Project (UNCJP) was developing a data-base of organisations running diversion or potential diversion programmes. Both initiatives have the same target group.

All parties have agreed to work together to develop a wider and richer data-base. We have subsequently reviewed our focus and timelines so as to engage in a more extensive process than initially designed, which will benefit all three parties.

The results of both projects will be written up in future editions of Phatlalatsa.

 

A study of Public Priorities, Willingness and Ability to Pay for Social Health Insurance in South Africa

Matthew, in conjunction with Jud Cornell and S&T Non-Executive Director Geetesh Solanki, has just completed a study of public priorities, willingness and ability to pay for social health insurance (SHI) in South Africa commissioned by the Department of Health. He describes the project.

The project

This project had a clear set of objectives, namely to assist the Department of Health in gaining an understanding of:

  • The perceptions and priorities of members of the likely target groups for SHI regarding the composition of possible benefit packages under SHI, and
  • The willingness and ability to pay for SHI.

This was a demanding project brief, with tight financial and time constraints. These limitations precluded a random survey of workers and employers. Instead, the study focused on certain sectors, using a replicable methodology, which can be expanded in future into additional sectors, or to explore specific questions more fully.

The study has produced strong indications of perceptions and priorities in the groups surveyed. The voices of health service users emerge with unusual directness, highlighting the contradictions and tensions within groups, the barriers to change and the challenge of rebuilding public trust in the health sector.

Paying for SHI

Exploring willingness and ability to pay in the abstract must be undertaken with an understanding of the inevitable limitations of this approach. Willingness and ability to pay depend crucially on several factors:

The mechanism for payment - pre-payment is more predictable than fee-for-service and therefore easier to budget for, but also likely to be viewed with some suspicion by those who are not certain how much use they will make of the services and who may use services without payment at present.

Wage level and financial situation at the time when a new system is introduced: individual weightings of priorities and needs shift over time and are highly influenced, in the case of health care, by family health status and levels of health service utilisation.

The perception of value for money. It should be noted that this factor is, in turn, strongly influenced by prices and practices in the private sector and, in particular, by the speaker’s own situation in terms of medical scheme coverage.

Methodology

The qualitative and quantitative components of this study focused on employees and employers within a mix of private and public sectors. A description of these sectors can be tabulated as follows:

Public Private
 

Formal

Informal

Central Government

Clothing Industry

Taxi Drivers

Local Government

Motor Industry

 

Parastatals

Agriculture

 
 

Mining industry

 

The study began with a series of in-depth interviews with key informants, including officials from the national and provincial departments of Health and others. Interviews focussed on a range of issues, including policy shifts, experiences, and lessons already learned.

This study revealed a striking degree of residual goodwill towards the public health sector, alongside a clear indication of the need for visible improvements in order to retain and extend this goodwill, as the support base for a viable Social Health Insurance system. At the same time, the pervasive public perception is of a sector in crisis, with low morale and slipping standards, unresponsive to criticism and the distress of its users.

This image is a powerful barrier to the successful introduction of Social Health Insurance, as it undermines trust and, in particular, the leap of faith required for public support of a new contributory system based largely on public sector provision. While many participants believed that it was important to get additional funding into the public health sector, there was widespread distrust about whether the money would reach its target and be appropriately used.

‘We’ll pay – if services improve’

This is an indication also of a broader distrust about service delivery by government, which has knock-on effects on attitudes towards the health sector (defence spending was repeatedly cited as an example of ‘useless’ spending in the context of the need for social investment). The overwhelming response of participants may be summarised in the words of one participant: ‘When we said we are prepared to pay, it was conditional. It was provided the service was improved.’ There needs to be visible and credible change in attitudes (particularly of nurses) and facilities as a pre-requisite to the successful introduction of any form of SHI.

It is noteworthy that there is greater support for SHI from employees than from employers, on the whole. This may be due to the nature of the employer sample, but it indicates the need to undertake detailed work with appropriate employer organisations. If SHI is to be successful, it will have to be supported by employers. In the first instance, work needs to be done in establishing relationships with employers and employer organisations in the sectors which contain the natural target groups for SHI: specifically, low wage sectors with low medical scheme membership.

The worker responses in this study were complex and, on occasions, contradictory. This factor must also be taken into account in further work on SHI, which will require the development of a solid support base in the trade union movement for successful implementation.

It is clear from this study that current medical scheme status and experience crucially influence attitudes towards alternative mechanisms such as SHI. A current medical scheme member is likely to see SHI contribution levels as low (and may therefore welcome a shift), while someone who has never been a scheme member may well perceive any regular contribution (however low) as a problem and resist it.

Levels of service?

One of the most surprising results of this study was the reaction to tiering of services. The predicted response (certainly expected by key informants in the public health sector) was that users would expect some kind of differentiation in return for paying for services that others received ‘free’. In the view of health sector informants the key issue was that the differentiation should be in ‘hotel’ services, rather than in medical service levels.

However, users and potential users displayed a much more nuanced view on this issue. Employers tended to support tiering in terms of access (i.e. cutting waiting time) but employees (especially in the focus groups) were uncomfortable with differentiation of any sort, expressing strong views on the need to deal fairly and equally with all, on the basis of their need for health care, rather than their ability to pay. Instead there was a strong sense that hospital services needed to be improved for all users.

These improvements (reduced waiting times, improved hygiene and security, better facilities and a change in staff attitudes to patients) would both encourage new users, who would shift to the public sector via SHI, and improve conditions for existing (indigent) users. These findings suggest that there may be broader support for the aim of social solidarity and cross-subsidisation expressed in earlier models of SHI than has been taken account of recently.

It should be noted that this study has not included interaction with the private health sector (including the medical schemes industry). Further development will need to include engagement with the private sector, including the debate about the relative efficiency of the public and private sectors.

This study provides evidence of potential, though conditional, support for a program of Social Health Insurance. It also reveals areas of concern which could threaten the success of this programme, including widespread unhappiness about public hospitals, linked to doubts about whether the funding provided by SHI would be retained in the health sector. It is clear that support is dependent on visible improvements in public hospitals and the re-building of public trust in the public sector.

 

Piloting a youth job-creation project for The Sirius Development Foundation

S&T was commissioned by the Sirius Development Foundation to draft an implementation strategy for an innovative job-creation project. S&T Senior Partner David Everatt outlines the challenges.

The problematic

S&T has a long track-record in youth research, and Phatlalatsa has carried a number of articles dealing with the youth sector. We were approached by Sipho Shezi, Executive Director of The Sirius Development Foundation, to help devise an implementation strategy for youth employment.

The approach adopted by Sirius is highly innovative. Working through faith-based structures, the goal is to recruit out-of-school and out-of-work youth, provide a wide range of inputs including lifeskills, technical and other inputs, and then organise groups of youth to maintain the assets provided by development and infrastructure delivery programmes. In other words, where other youth employment-creation projects often fail – namely linking youth to actual work opportunities – the Sirius approach is to identify the employment opportunities in advance and negotiate an agreement with the relevant District Council.

Moreover, the overall approach is one of service rather than simple ‘entrepreneurship’. The use of faith-based organisations – specifically the St Johns Faith Mission church – sets the tone for the programme. The employment offered to graduates will also be service-related, namely maintaining assets such as roads, community halls and others supplied through government’s large development programmes.

Innovative design

The programme seeks to link two key issues: firstly, the need to create employment opportunities for South Africa’s youth, especially in poor rural areas, and secondly, the need to ensure that assets provided by development programmes are maintained. Rather than see these as discrete and separate ‘problems’, Sirius have linked them to see if we can generate a highly creative solution.

S&T has been commissioned to undertake a formative evaluation and draft an implementation strategy for the proposed programme. The first phase of our project entailed re-analysing existing statistical data relating to DC21, the site of the pilot. This was followed by in-depth interviews with local leaders and stakeholders, which Senior Partner Moagi Ntsime completed during October.

These two activities have helped us refine the target group, identify key supporters and possible blockages. In the coming months, S&T will be holding focus groups among the target group to help devise a detailed training curriculum, while Sirius will negotiate the possibilities of maintenance contracts for graduates of the programme. Future editions of Phatlalatsa will keep readers informed of progress.

 

Review of a UCT Equity Development Programme

Matthew has just completed a review of the University of Cape Town’s Molecular and Cell Biology (MCB) department’s Equity Development Programme (EDP), and is about to lead a 3-year S&T tracking project for The Transatlantic Philanthropies.

In consultation with the funder of the MCB EDP, it was decided that the review, whilst focussing primarily on MCB EDP, should also take into account the experiences of the Law Faculty’s EDP and the views of UCT’s senior management responsible for equity programmes across campus.

The objectives of the review were three-fold:

  • Review, as opposed to evaluate, the programme. It is still too early to assess whether the programme has succeeded or not, as no student has yet completed their studies or had an opportunity to seek an academic post.
  • Review the programme to ascertain whether it is on track, whether the participants believe it is likely to achieve its stated aims, and whether it is necessary to make any adjustments to the programme to ensure its success.
  • Gain some understanding of what makes a successful EDP and identify some of the pitfalls associated with these types of programmes.

An electronic questionnaire was distributed to staff and students involved in the MCB EDP. Staff were sent a slightly different questionnaire than students, although the questions were similar. In addition face-to-face interviews were conducted with senior management at UCT.

A systematic approach was used to evaluate the programme, examining the following key features:

Assessment Area

Sub-area

Planning

 
 

Objectives

 

Co-ordination

 

Student career plans

Implementation

 
 

Recruitment

 

Orientation

 

Supervision

 

Mentoring

 

Administration

 

Overseas study

 

Funding

Assessment

 
 

Monitoring & Evaluation

Although the findings of the report are confidential and therefore cannot be discussed here, it may interest readers to note the following:

The report will feed into a much larger project that S&T have been commissioned to do by Transatlantic Philanthropies to conduct a 3 year tracking and monitoring of the successes of EDPs at select South African universities.

Matthew has been invited to address a national conference on successful Human Resource Development strategies drawing on the lessons learnt from assessing equity development programmes.

 

A national framework for civic education in Uganda

S&T Senior Partner David Everatt is the Team Leader for an EU-funded project in Uganda. The project represents another successful collaboration between S&T and South Consulting.

Civic education

Civic education is an important development tool. It is commonly defined in a fairly narrow fashion, focusing on voter education or specific rights-based initiatives. However, there is a growing move to define civic education in far broader terms to include a wide range of issues from health to literacy and so on. This stems in part from the growing popularity of ‘rights-based’ campaigns, as well as the fact that for citizens to execute their civic duties appropriately, they need to know far more than how to mark a ballot paper every five years.

This seems a seductively logical argument, but it creates a series of challenges. Narrowly defined civic education campaigns – some of them, anyway – have been hugely successful. Examples include the pre-1994 voter education in South Africa, and the public participation and education campaigns run by the Constitutional Assembly. However, civic education in such instances benefited from a single-issue focus, a national groundswell of public and media attention, and a defined end-date. Seeking to broaden civic education requires de-linking it from these factors.

Across Africa, constitutionalism is growing. Constitutional reviews, referenda and similar processes have been taking place from Zimbabwe to Eritrea, Uganda to Kenya (similar processes have been occurring in developing countries beyond Africa). South Africa is regarded as the most successful of these initiatives. Others have been bogged down in disputation or conflict as different interests clash over the nature and scope of their constitutional processes. One of the key points of disagreement has been the extent to which ordinary citizens can or cannot play a meaningful role, and the kind of inputs that can improve such participation. Constitution-making has become an important site of contestation and popular mobilisation; the profile of civic education has risen alongside it.

Civic education in Uganda

In Uganda, civic education has focused on voter education for elections, and more recently the 2000 referendum. However, both civil society organisations (CSOs) and donors expressed increasing disquiet about the fragmented nature of civic education as well as its narrowness.

As a result, a group of northern donors issued a tender for devising a national framework for on-going civic education that would incorporate donors, CSOs and the government of Uganda (GoU). The framework has to be impact-oriented, and must include mechanisms for achieving co-ordination across implementers as well as rigorous performance measurement.

South Consulting approached S&T to tender for the job, with S&T’s David Everatt as Team Leader, and we won the job. S&T has had a long and successful working relationship with South. In Kenya, the two companies designed the National Civic Education Programme where donors pool their funds and source it to CSO consortia for civic education. We jointly undertook a Programme Finalisation Mission for Danida in Kenya, and collaborated on evaluations and other projects inside South Africa.

Outputs

The project will stretch over three months, ending in December 2001. The first fieldwork phase took place in September. David was joined by South MD Karuti Kanyinga and Ugandan consultant Nansozi Muwanga in a series of workshops with donors, government officials and CSOs. Nansozi is currently managing a series of in-depth interviews and workshops with CSOs, to ensure that they are able to engage with and understand the implications of the framework.

David will produce a draft civic education framework in early November, for circulation among all stakeholders. In mid-November, a two-day workshop will see all stakeholders come together to negotiate the framework – the services it provides, the focus and content of civic education, the requirements of the performance measurement system, and so on. The framework will be finalised in December.

 

Marginalisation Recreated? (Part II)

Part Two of a study of South African youth, conducted by senior S&T partner, David Everatt. Part three to follow in the next edition of Phatlalatsa.

Then - and now

The RDP set the tone for government’s approach to youth development in the post-1994 period. Government departments were sectorally organised. The needs of young people were to be met within these sectors, primarily education, health and welfare. ‘Youth’ was a target group for employment on development programmes. The only youth-specific initiative was the creation of a Youth Commission to advise government, and later a Youth Council for civil society structures working with youth.

Integrated youth development had disappeared from government’s agenda. So had any notion of targeted, multifaceted provision for those making the transition from adolescent to adult. The RDP, the 1996 Constitution and other key policy documents projected a simple, linear life-course for South Africans. It moved from childhood and school, through adolescence and further education or skills training, into adulthood and the world of work, living by the rules and values adopted by the Constitutional Assembly. Youth either made it or failed.

The downward spiral of youth in South Africa 1993-2000

Transforming South Africa into a democratic state with a vibrant economy has proved enormously challenging; through the 1990s, young and old both faced rising unemployment, increased crime, on-going poverty and deepening inequality. Women of all ages have been victims of rape. People of all ages have HIV+ family members. However, it is clear that youth continue to face greater obstacles than their older counterparts. Unemployment is widespread, but highest among youth; HIV is rampant, but youth are most at risk. Many post-apartheid youth have been unable to follow the normative life-course set out for and expected of them. Data suggest that in many respects youth are worse-off now than in the early 1990s.

If we compare data from two youth baseline surveys (1993 and 2000), we find a rate of youth unemployment at 52% in 1993; by 2000, this had risen to 62%. Where 57% of African youth available for work were unemployed in 1993, 70% were unemployed in 2000. The 2000 survey also found that a fifth (22%) of unemployed respondents had been without work for more than five years. In 1993, 5% of African respondents had a post-school qualification; this had risen to just 6% in 2000.

Perhaps expectations of post-apartheid South Africa were unrealistic. In 1993, only one in ten (9%) respondents regarded micro-enterprise as their preferred means of employment; the vast majority wanted to work for a large company. Attitudes have changed, presumably because of the sluggish South African economy and jobless growth. In the 2000 survey, 78% of respondents regarded self-employment as a good route to make money; a third (33%) had tried to set up their own business, and half of them had succeeded.

Gender concerns were and are a key component of youth development, but again the situation seems to have worsened. The 1993 study found that a third (32%) of young women with children had planned their first child; this was true of 30% in 2000 – the remaining 70% had had unplanned pregnancies. The 1993 survey found that four in ten (43%) young mothers had fallen pregnant while at school; this rose dramatically to 54% in the 2000 survey. The 2000 study also found that the first sexual experience of a third (31%) of young women had been involuntary.

In the early 1990s, the majority of young people – including the majority of those in the ‘at risk’ and ‘marginalised’ categories - participated in the activities of a wide range of organisations, and could therefore be reached. Religious organisations were the most popular (38% participated in the activities of their local body), followed by sports clubs (32%). But youth are now far more difficult to reach: over half (54%) belong to no organisation at all, and while church and sport remain popular, participation had halved to just 16% of respondents (for sport and church respectively) in the 2000 youth survey.

Perhaps the most ominous comparison relates to HIV/AIDS. In 1993, 3% of respondents had never heard of HIV or AIDS, and three-quarters (73%) believed themselves not to be at risk of infection. By 2000, a fifth (18%) of respondents knew someone with HIV, and over a quarter (28%) knew someone who had died of AIDS. While a quarter of South Africans are estimated to be HIV+, youth – notably young African women – are those most likely to be infected with the virus.

 

Evaluating the Community Based Public Works Programme

S&T Senior Partner David Everatt summarises the complex set of services that S&T will be providing to the National Department of Public Works.

The Community Based Public Works Programme (CBPWP) is one of government’s leading anti-poverty programmes. It targets poor areas, and provides a wide range of services to communities, ranging from directly productive assets to community halls to roads.

The programme uses a labour intensive approach to maximise employment creation, and is underpinned by a participative approach. S&T partners have been involved in the CBPWP for many years and in different roles including evaluators, serving on the National Programme Management Team, policy development, and others.

S&T recently won a tender to provide a set of services to the National Department of Public Works. These include evaluating the CBPWP for the 1999/2000/2001 years; updating the Quality of Life instrument use by the Department; facilitating a policy review and producing a CBPWP Policy Guide; and editing the Programme Management System that governs the programme as a whole.

 

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