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March 2002

Mission accomplished! - S & T now a black-owned, managed and operated company

Mission accomplished! - S & T now a black-owned, managed and operated company imageWe are proud to announce that Jowie Mulaudzi has been appointed as a partner in S&T.Jowie has been our Research Manager for 18 months and was unanimously (and enthusiastically) appointed to partner level with effect from March 1st 2002.

S&T is fully owned by its partners, of whom there are now six: Nobayethi Dube, David Everatt, Ross Jennings, Jowie Mulaudzi, Moagi Ntsime and Matthew Smith. As a result, S&T has transformed itself from a 'black empowerment' company to a fully black-owned, operated and managed company. In our view, this represents 'mission accomplished' indeed!

The 'Ramaphosa' Commission on Black Economic Empowerment defined a black-owned company as one that is "50.1% owned and managed by black people". S&T has allocated share ownership accordingly. We have moved from being a successful black empowerment company that won an Impumelelo Empowerment Award in 2000, to a black company. We are also an 'engendered company', with more than 30% representation of black women in our management structure and share ownership. Given our significant role in youth research, it is worth noting that we are 50% youth owned, operated and managed

S&T was founded in late 1998 in order to locate development research as close as possible to the point of implementation. We have achieved this by refusing to be pigeon-holed - we do research, but we also design and implement monitoring systems; we facilitate and manage implementation; and we provide a range of services needed by development programmes such as evaluations, targeting, budget allocation methodologies, policy and Business Plan development, and so on. Each of our different roles and functions informs others that we perform

The approach seems to be appreciated. Our client list reads like a Who's Who of the development sector, including all spheres of government in South and sub-Saharan Africa, independent institutions and public entities, donors, private sector implementing agencies, NGOs, CBOs and others. Our developmental approach to fieldwork (discussed in the last edition of Phatlalatsa) has seen us create some one and a half thousand fieldwork jobs in two years. Our services are in growing demand, and we welcome Jowie to the company at this exciting moment in our own development.

Research and facilitation to put Africa first!


S&T & Higher Education

A number of partners at S&T are involved in a wide range of projects in the higher education sector, which Matthew Smith reviews here.

Student attitudes to higher education reform

Over the years Matthew has been involved in studies focusing primarily on the issue of access and admission to institutions of higher education, but this is changing as S&T rapidly expands into other topics of importance in the higher education field. Matthew and Jowie recently completed two studies in the Eastern Cape. These were part of a study commissioned by the Eastern Cape Higher Education Association (made up of all the heads of higher education institutions in that province) to explore the key components of the Minister of Education's proposed plans for higher education in that region.

Readers will be familiar with the Minister's desire to merge various institutions in the Eastern Cape and close others. S&T was asked to gauge student opinion towards the mergers, and also to develop an understanding as to why students had chosen to study at the institution they are currently enrolled at. The findings from these studies raise several important points.

  • Firstly, the cost of higher education influences not only the decision to continue with post matric studies but also where one would pursue further studies. For example, students at Fort Hare (where tuition fees are lower than at Rhodes University) listed cost as an important factor for choosing to study there whilst for Rhodes students the thing they least liked about their institution was cost. Again, most students were more likely to have applied to institutions within the province based on proximity to their homes and attendant lower accommodation and travel costs, especially for African students.
  • Secondly, the academic reputation of an institution featured mostly in the decisions of university students as opposed to technical skills and therefore "better" employability, which featured highly in the choice of an institution by technikon students. Both cost and academic standing were given as reasons why students who terminated their studies at tertiary institutions did so.
  • Lastly, with regards to student opinions on mergers, it was clear that more needed to be done to make students aware of the rationale behind them and engage them in the processes around possible mergers. In the main students were not averse to mergers provided these did not result in steep increases in tuition fees and/or a drop in academic standards. University students were more likely to be wary of a merger with a technikon, equally true of students from historically advantaged institutions regarding a merger with a less-resourced institution (university or technikon).

Effective governance of higher education

S&T recently completed an evaluation of the CHET/ Department of Education's Effective Governance Project and an evaluation of the University of Cape Town's Equity Development Project (EDP) in the Micro and Cell Biology Department. The latter study is part of a much wider study that S&T has been commissioned to perform by The Atlantic Philanthropies (TAP).

For the next 3 years S&T will be tracking EDP students/staff at the University of the Witwatersrand, the University of Cape Town, the University of Natal and Free State University in order to establish how successful these programmes are in producing academics from historically disadvantaged backgrounds.

5-continent comparative study for SA Vice Chancellors

The South African Vice Chancellors Association (SAUVCA) has asked Matthew to do a comparative study of admissions systems on five different continents. The countries Matthew will be exploring include New Zealand, China, Ghana, Tanzania, Egypt, Slovenia, Norway, the UK, Brazil, Chile and Canada.

Matthew has also been asked to organise a series of focus groups across South Africa for the American Council of Education, who wish to gauge the public's perception of higher education in South Africa. Finally,
in conjunction with UCT, Matthew recently visited Norway to explore developing a series of comparative studies on higher education in the two countries.


A tracking mechanism for equity development programmes at selected South African universities

S&T partner Ross Jennings describes a major three-year partnership between S&T and The Atlantic Philanthropies.

S&T is designing a mechanism that will enable The Atlantic Philanthropies to monitor and evaluate its funding of staff equity development programmes at selected South African universities. S&T has been contracted to implement and maintain the mechanism for the next 3 years.
The broad objectives of the project are to:

  • Track what happens to students who participate in the staff development programmes.
  • Assess whether or not the programmes meet the stated goals of developing new academics.
  • Investigate whether these new academics remain in academia when they have completed their contractual obligations.

As part of Phase One, S&T has already facilitated a national workshop with The Atlantic Philanthropies, the relevant universities and key stakeholders. This national workshop is currently being followed up with a series of workshops at each of the institutions in order for all participants and stakeholders to have a say in the design of appropriate indicators around which the database will be developed.

There are 3 distinct phases to the project:

Phase One: the development of a database of programmes supported by The Atlantic Philanthropies and design of a tracer study to track participants in these programmes. One of the key outputs of this phase is a set of appropriate impact indicators to measure the success or failure of these programmes.

Phase Two: maintenance and analysis of data contained in the database with regular feedback to The Atlantic Philanthropies and the concerned institutions.

Phase Three: to evaluate the impact of the programmes at the end of the 3 years based on the data collected in the previous phases. This will also involve the identification of best practices, which could be emulated at other institutions.


Review of a UCT Equity Development Programme

Matthew has recently 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 the 3-year S&T tracking project for The Atlantic Philanthropies.

In consultation with the funder of the MCB EDP, it was decided that the review, whilst focusing 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.
Although the findings of the report are confidential it may interest readers to note the following:
  • The report feeds into the much larger South African Universities project discussed in the article above.
  • 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.

S&T leads an audit of sports, recreation, arts & culture facilities

S&T partner Moagi Ntsime describes a multi-agency audit of facilities for the Gauteng Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts & Culture.

The Gauteng Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture (DSRAC) has funded a number of initiatives to build infrastructure and provide a wide range of services, in order to help address past imbalances. Most of the funding has been administered through local government and has included upgrading existing facilities and constructing new sports, recreation, arts, heritage and library facilities. However, the Department lacked systematic information regarding infrastructure both inherited from the past and commissioned post-1994. The Department commissioned an audit of services in order to fill the information gap and inform future planning.


Initially, the Department wanted an audit as well as a planning study and impact evaluation - conducted within tight timelines and an even tighter budget. The Department wanted to identify where the greatest need lies, where more resources needed to be channelled, and to establish if existing facilities served their intended purpose. However, in close discussion with the Department, the scope of the project was narrowed, and it was agreed that an audit was a necessary first step. Even here, the audit had to cover a wide range of issues, from utilisation to funding to future planning.

Given the very tight timeframe, the need for full provincial coverage and the complexity of required information, the Department commissioned four consulting firms (S&T, Mahube Development Services cc, Gandhi Maseko Architects Lingelihle cc, and Lehlabile Development), each responsible for a specific region.

S&T was appointed as project manager, with responsibility for co-ordinating the activities of the other three companies. In other words, S&T was responsible for the overall management of the audit process and consolidation of the final composite audit report, as well as ensuring that the companies delivered as per their scope of work. S&T was also responsible for auditing facilities in the West Rand and Johannesburg areas.
After lengthy discussions, the focus of the audit was settled:

  • To establish the precise spatial location of all facilities,
  • To assess the physical condition of facilities,
  • To assess the utilisation of facilities generally and by the target community,
  • To establish whether the facilities serve their intended purpose,
  • To establish where more resources need to be channelled, and
  • Analysing the above to develop appropriate recommendations for the Department.


After finalising the focus areas for the audit, we were confronted with one fundamental challenge - the Department did not have an existing database or list of assets for which it was responsible. There was no register of facilities under the DSRAC in Gauteng. Registers or lists were said to be with local municipalities, often not updated or properly stored.

Obviously this created huge problems for the partners - we could not visit any facility in the province before generating a list of facilities indicating location and names, lest we audited incorrect assets. It was difficult to know how long fieldwork would take, how many fieldworkers were needed, or how much it would cost!

As a result, in carrying out the audit we followed two research methods. Firstly, we reviewed all existing documentation to try and generate a comprehensive list of all facilities under the auspices of the Department in each region within the province. Each research team responsible for a specific region had to ensure that such a list was generated. This was done with the assistance of local government offices.

Secondly, upon generating a comprehensive facility list, a semi-structured questionnaire was developed in conjunction with the Department to survey facilities throughout the province. We also used a snowball approach whereby if facilities were identified during our fieldwork but not included in the initial list, these were added to the list and also audited.


It is important to note a number of hurdles that were encountered by the research teams. As indicated above, the Department did not have a comprehensive list available to be used immediately to visit or survey facilities. The research teams spent a great deal of time - even with the assistance of the Department - in generating lists.

Secondly, the study was commissioned during the November/December period. Most participants key to the study within local government structures had either gone or were about to go on leave, adding time to the project. The fieldwork phase had to be delayed; where possible it was carried out over the holiday period, often with limited success. This impacted directly on the initial timeframe agreed to with the Department for this exercise.

The third obstacle was in terms of lines of accountability. While S&T had to co-ordinate the work of the other consultants, this was not made clear in their contracts or scope of work. This had to be resolved before S&T could proceed with the job - we had to have the requisite authority to do the job the Department wanted us to do.

Finally, while the timeframe was tight, it took considerable time to (a) agree on budgets with the client and (b) get signed contracts in place before commencing with the exercise. Some consultants commenced with the exercise in the hope that budgets would be negotiated and contracts signed. In the case of S&T, we decided that unless we had agreed with the client (a) the scope of work, (b) resources or budgetary implications, (c) methods of disbursement, and (d) a common understanding of the expected deliverables, we were not able to go-ahead with the project. While this was ultimately resolved, it impacted on the timeframe and the implementation plan. S&T nonetheless deployed appropriate resources and produced high quality data in good time.


Most development projects present challenges you are expected to deal with and resolve. But this also includes trying to resolve problems where the client is unclear on their needs. Therefore, it is important that you enter a process of identifying and then agreeing on the best options to serve the needs of the client. Positive results are not always guaranteed: often the misunderstandings deepen and the project fails. This is a critical lesson for both the service provider and those who are in need of the service. It is important to raise your debates above your own deep-seated paradigm and personalities.

Stemming from this point, having clearly defined the needs, scope of work, time implications, resource implications and so on, it is important to ensure that the ToRs are simple, clear and unambiguous; most importantly, they must reflect both your understanding and interpretation and that of the client. Only on having signed and agreed to the ToR are you able to operate within a concrete framework. This protects both client and service provider, and enhances the prospect of producing good quality outputs, in turn helping the Department to deepen its impact among the poor.


Targeting for the Zivuseni Poverty Alleviation Programme

S&T partner Ross Jennings is an expert in targeting for poverty alleviation programmes. Here he describes a recent Gauteng-based targeting exercise.

Targeting for the Zivuseni Poverty Alleviation Programme image

The Gauteng Executive Council, in response to the need to provide short, medium and long-term job creation opportunities in the province, is embarking on a labour-intensive job creation programme, the Zivuseni Poverty Alleviation Programme. The main objectives of the programme are to alleviate poverty and address the high levels of unemployment in the province. To maximise the impact of the Programme requires detailed information on poverty and unemployment in the province for the programme to target areas and groups of greatest need.

S&T was commissioned to develop a targeting strategy and formula for the Programme.


  • The development of a poverty index to profile poverty in the six municipalities: Johannesburg Metropolitan Council, Tshwane Metropolitan Council, Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Council, Sedibeng District Municipality, Metsweding District Municipality, and West Rand District Municipality.
  • On the basis of the poverty index and population figures for each municipality, the development of a budget allocation model to guide allocations to each municipality for the implementation of the programme.

To profile poverty in each of the municipalities, poverty-relevant data were taken from the 1997 October Household Survey. A poverty score for each municipality was calculated using a range of items that included rates of unemployment and literacy, as well as residents' access to basic services and food security. A high score corresponds to high levels of poverty.

Average levels of poverty across the six municipalities differed markedly, with levels of poverty highest in Metsweding and Sedibeng District Municipalities. If the allocation of the Zivuseni budget was based solely on poverty levels, Metsweding and Sedibeng District Councils would receive the largest proportions of the allocation.

However, these municipalities have very small populations when compared with some of the other areas, and an allocation of the budget based solely on these poverty scores would be inappropriate.

For a more appropriate allocation of the budget, the poverty scores were weighted by the population figures for each municipality. Population figures for each area were obtained from the Municipal Demarcation Board. The combined poverty/population score - which takes into account levels of poverty as well as numbers of people living in each area - was then used to apportion the budget for the Programme. As the graph shows, this combined poverty/population score resulted in Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Councils receiving the largest allocations.

It is important to realise that this model guides allocation of resources to municipal level. For the Zivuseni Poverty Alleviation Programme to be effective and efficient in targeting poverty in the province requires that within each municipality, an integrated development plan or process identifies poverty pockets for the Programme to target.


The Kellogg Pilot

The Kellogg Pilot imageReaders of Phatlalatsa will know that S&T has been providing monitoring and evaluation services to the WK Kellogg Foundation Africa Programme for two years. This has included designing a multi-country baseline survey; S&T partner Nobayethi Dube describes the pilot phase, which she managed.


As part of the continuing support that Strategy & Tactics (S&T) has been giving to the Kellogg Foundation, S&T helped design a baseline survey questionnaire and managed a pilot of 100 households in the Mount Frere area.

Mount Frere is a rural area, 98 km from Umtata. The pilot was undertaken with the help of Isinamva Community Development Centre, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) which is funded by Kellogg Foundation. This organisation facilitated access to the communities we visited, namely Mbodleni and Mhlokwana. They also recruited the twelve young people who were used as fieldworkers during the pilot.

The Kellogg Foundation invited four of their District Facilitators from Lesotho, Limpopo and Zimbabwe to observe the training and assist in the field, because the baseline survey itself will be implemented in all the countries where Kellogg is implementing its integrated rural development programme.


Training for the pilot took place over two days. The training was based on how to administer the questionnaire as well as on sampling methods. The first day was spent going through the questionnaire in detail and addressing each question carefully. We then staged role-playing exercises with interviewers using scenarios that may come up in the field. The purpose of role-play was also to come up with translations for some of the concepts used in the questionnaire.
The second day was spent training fieldworkers in sampling methods - this was important since this was a dual-level survey which included household information from the head of the household, and attitudinal and other information from a randomly sampled household member.

To select the household, we used a public place (schools, shops) as a starting point, moving towards the concentration of houses. Because the villages that we visited had very scattered homesteads, we administered the questionnaire at every third homestead/stand.

The second stage of sampling involved identifying the head of the selected household. For the pilot, the head of household was identified by asking simply who headed the household, and in their absence (where it was long-term) we followed up by asking who made important financial decisions for the household and could respond to questions about the household. This became the respondent for Section A of the questionnaire that covered household-level information.

The third stage of sampling involved identifying the second respondent - who answered questions in Section B of the questionnaire relating to attitudes, values, gender & youth, and related matters - for which we used the birthday rule. This simple randomisation rule selects the person whose birthday is next in the household as respondent. It should be noted that in some instances the head of household could also respond to questions in Section B, by virtue of being the one who celebrates their birthday next.

The second day also involved going out to the nearest village to administer the questionnaire - to pilot the pilot, as it were. The purpose for this exercise was to see how long the questionnaire took to administer, if respondents understood the questions, and if there were any other problems. This also allowed us to have a feedback session where we further developed translations.


The actual fieldwork began on the third day. The fieldwork team was welcomed by the community but there were the usual problems where potential respondents felt that 'filling these papers is a waste of time'. In some instances we could not get access to respondents because they were working in town, or conducting their daily chores such as fetching water from the river. This meant that we had to arrange for second or third visits. The exercise also highlighted that rural communities have busy lives and are not just readily available. The pilot took four days to be completed.

S&T will analyse the data in order to assess the extent to which the survey measures Kellogg's indicators. Nobayethi will draft a fieldwork report, fleshing out the issues raised above. Thereafter, Kellogg and its partners will decide how to move ahead with the baseline survey.


Unemployed youth in the Eastern Free State: implications of an integrated youth development approach to youth SMME learnerships

In Volume 3 Issue 1 of Phatlalatsa, we reported that S&T had won a tender to help profile the youth target market in the Eastern Free State for an SMME learnership. S&T partner Jowie Mulaudzi presents some of the findings and some of the implications.

Profiling the target market

The profiling exercise comprised (a) re-analysing Census '96 1 data to draw a composite picture of general living conditions in the target area - Maluti-a-Phufung District Council (combining Harrismith, Bethlehem and Qwaqwa), the specific circumstances of youth in the area and (b) conducting focus group discussions with young people in the respective areas.
Notwithstanding the limitations of the data - re-analysing census data which is not youth-focused, and the qualitative nature of focus group data - we were nonetheless able to gain insights into the general life situation of the youth as well as their experiences in small, micro and medium enterprises (SMME).


  • The target market lived in households that were slightly larger than the national average and a significant number lived in traditional dwellings.
  • On the whole, and reflecting the rural nature of the target area, most households were poorer than the average South African household. Access to sanitation, water and refuse removal services was limited. The use of candles for lighting amongst the majority of households was significant for the Learnership, as it pointed to other services and facilities that the Learnership may have to make provision for or facilitate.
  • Formal employment has been declining with mines closing down and/or shedding jobs.
  • Very few youth - male or female - have post matric qualifications.
  • High levels of frustration exist over the inability of those with post-matric qualifications to access the labour market and militate against a strong belief in education as the key to success.
  • Some youth had experience of business. For example they indicated that some of their failures were caused by over-saturation of the "market" or lack of cash flow management etc. - but most had no exposure to the labour market at all.

Work experience

The situation of young people in this region does not differ significantly from that of youth in other areas. Lack of appropriate experience in the market place is a serious disadvantage that young people face when they seek to enter the labour market. Diminishing intake of students in institutions of higher learning is borne out by trends in statistics that suggest a drop in the proportions of young people acquiring further training and skills.

Designing and delivering training courses that provide young people with skills and certificates may be a viable solution to the problem of skills acquisition. The challenge is that merely providing young people with certificates and qualifications without looking into and addressing their other needs has proved to be unsustainable.

The lack of technical skills is but one in a myriad of factors that puts many youth into the marginalised category. Programmes that aim to give young people skills should also equip them to deal with non-technical challenges in order to be better able to engage in productive community life. Life-skills become a critical component of any youth programme. Life-skills do not comprise a homogenous programme (although this impression is often given); rather, as with any other skills programme there are different levels reflecting the competencies of the group concerned.

Perceptions of young people in relation to programme design

Another important factor in the design of an integrated youth development programme is the designers' perceptions about young people. The critique levelled against a community development approach that treats beneficiaries as passive recipients should also be heeded in youth programmes. There seems to have been an on-going underlying assumption that youth development is about pouring resources into young people who are ignorant of their needs and unable to act appropriately to secure them. This assumption is not only wrong, it can also lead to fundamental flaws in the design and delivery of youth development programmes.

In other words, your starting point may be to see young people as empty vessels needing to be "trained"; or you may see young people as possessing skills and knowledge that need to be enhanced, redirected or refined as part of the learning process. The same skills might be provided in both instances - but the result would be different.

  • The former may lead to well-intentioned programmes that patronise and undermine the young persons' prior experience and learning. At best, the programme trains a young person who has the technical skills but lack the know-how in applying the skills acquired or coping with life pressures and challenges.
  • The latter incorporates the young person's prior learning and experiences and also seeks to address - directly or indirectly - needs in other spheres of their life and development. Acknowledging and affirming prior learning and using such experiences as a frame of reference in training is more likely to facilitate the learning process.

Integrated youth development and its implications for the learnership

While youth practitioners have various approaches to design and programming there is growing consensus on the need for an integrated approach to youth development. This would combine both the imparting of skills and competencies to young people with provision (direct or indirect) of support that addresses non-technical needs of participants.

For the Eastern Free State learnership programme, the challenge is in targeting and channelling young people into the programme. Should the programme recruit more young women with the responsibilities they have, hoping to touch more lives this way? Or should it be have more young people from rural areas where productive formal economic activities are almost non-existent? These are questions that the designers of the programme should decide on.

An integrated approach to youth development dictates that prior experience of young people should be acknowledged and harnessed in the provision of business development skills and experience. As indicated before, young people have had some experience in survivalist enterprises. The challenge is for the programme to harness these in the teaching and delivery of business skills through the learnership.

The programme should also develop strong and functional relationships with support structures that will work together with the young people to sustain benefits/gains from the programme within communities and help them better cope with challenges brought on by the environment they will be operating in.

1 Census 96 data was used because it is the only recent data-set where analysis can be done at a regional level.


S&T continues to provide high-level support & analysis to the Department of Labour

S&T continues to provide high-level support & analysis to the Department of Labour imageS&T's long and successful involvement in the Labour Market Skills Development Programme is deepening, explains Cape Town partner Matthew Smith.


S&T continues to work closely with the Department of Labour in its endeavours to deliver the National Skills Development Strategy (NSDS). Matthew is currently involved in two separate projects that form important components of the NSDS.
This study is currently being written up and will be published by the Department, and available on the S&T website

In the first, Matthew is the Provincial Technical Advisor in the Western Cape. Much of his work involves giving assistance to management as it refocuses, re-orientates and transforms the services presently offered by the Department to ensure that these services are in line with the NSDS. Much of this work has involved redefining services, then developing manuals for the services, strategising and planning their delivery, and developing systems to monitor the delivery of these services.


The second project Matthew is involved in is called "learning pays". The Department of Labour has commissioned Matthew to evaluate how companies are using the Skills Levy (a key component of the National Skills Act) to enhance their businesses.

The overall aim of the project is to illustrate the benefits that can derive from the NSDS, and in particular to demonstrate to employers the business benefits of workforce skills development. Key questions the study focuses on include:

  • What are the main drivers for training and development?
  • What is the impact of training on the individual and the company?
  • Does training impact on productivity and performance?
  • Is it possible to trace the direct relationship between financial performance of the business and investment in training?


Kapula Pyrotech South African Breweries
A small candle making company that has grown from a two person business to employing over a 100 candle makers, all of whom have learnt the skills whilst working for the company. A medium sized printing company that has re-trained their printing staff to ensure they have the skills to deal with the ever-changing world of high tech printing.
A global player, recently voted by the Financial Mail as the best company to work with in South Africa. In part, this reflects the fact that each year more than 85% of Breweries' workforce attends skills development courses, ranging from a few days to several months.


Profiling pilot sites for the Goelama Project of the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund

S&T has an on-going relationship with the Fund. As reported in the last edition of Phatlalatsa, Nobayethi Dube and David Everatt evaluated the 'Winterveldt Alliance', a youth development project supported by the Fund, while Jowie Mulaudzi is currently managing a scoping exercise for the Fund focusing on provision for children and youth at risk.

The Nelson Mandela Children's Fund is about to begin piloting its 'Goelama Project', which targets orphans and vulnerable children through innovative community support and economic strengthening strategies. The pilot phase will be conducted in ten pilot sites located in four provinces.

David Everatt was approached to provide detailed profiles of the municipal areas where the pilot projects will be implemented, using available material.

The Fund needed demographic information for the municipal areas in general as well as specific age cohorts. It also needed information on food security, HIV prevalence, civil society structures and so on. The data collection phase was an eye-opener as to the availability of information required for planning and design.

The Municipal Demarcation Board website is a very rich data source, with demographic, poverty and other data available at Ward level. Complemented by Gaffney's local government yearbook, we were able to glean a considerable amount of what the Fund needed. Even here, however, it was impossible to access data on the 14 to 35 age cohort. This is the official definition of 'youth' in South Africa, but Statistics SA and others continually fail to provide data for this cohort.

On the other hand, we could not find any local-level data regarding key issues such as food security, the presence of non-governmental organisations, HIV/AIDS prevalence, and so on. Moreover, a number of state agencies and government departments are less than willing to part with information about the location and progress of their programmes at local level, or other important information. And, of course, researchers are expected to pay for information - such as Census '96 age cohort data - already paid by us through our taxes!

Despite the information gaps and blockages, S&T prepared detailed profiles of the pilot sites for the Goelama Project, which promises to be an important intervention in the youth and HIV/AIDS arena.


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