Updating the Atlantic Philanthropies' 'Annual Review'S&T has a long-standing and fruitful relationship with Atlantic Philanthropies (AP), as readers of Phatlalatsa will know. Earlier this year, we were asked to update the Annual Review for AP, a first edition of which had reviewed 2002. For the 2003 update, the Review had to cover not just socio-political, economic and human rights issues, but was extended to cover key issues in the public health sector.
S&T partners David Everatt and Matthew Smith co-authored the study. Once again, we brought together a group of analysts to brainstorm issues and give us guidance regarding content and approach. These included Cathi Albertyn of the Centre for Applied Legal Studies, Geoff Budlender of the Legal Resources Centre, Steven Friedman of the Centre for Policy Studies, as well as AP's Gerald Kraak, Mike Savage and Zola Madikizela.
After the brainstorm session, a wide range of primary and secondary data were analysed, in order to try and capture the vibrancy and bustle of South Africa as well as the key fault-lines in our society — and all of that in a brief report!
The first part of the review argues that South Africa is a very young democracy, still yet to reach 10 years of age. Yet it is nevertheless a complex society, stretched between a damaged past and an uncertain but more positive future, constrained by local and global forces but bursting with vitality — and paradoxes. The growing pains of democracy are reflected in the intense debates that attend virtually every aspect of transforming society from apartheid to democracy. It is important to retain the capacity to see beneath posturing and disputation and identify the real issues at stake.
In the second half of the Review, we explored how the present government is faring in terms of addressing the burden of disease (namely chronic diseases — of which HIV/AIDS is the most prominent — poverty related conditions and trauma related injuries); implementing policies which will ensure the provision of equitable health care to all; and resuscitating and replacing human resources in the public health system. We also comment on the ever-increasing divide between the public and the private sector.
The Review was completed in time for the international teams visiting AP this year, as Atlantic finalises its South Africa programme.