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This article is taken from the September 2002 Phatlalatsa newsletter

 

ZIVUSENI - S & T involved in Gauteng's major Poverty Alleviation Programme

ZIVUSENI - S & T involved in GautengMoagi Ntsime describes S&T's role in Gauteng's leading anti-poverty programme.

The Gauteng Executive Council, in response to the need to provide short, medium and long-term job creation opportunities in the province, initiated a major poverty alleviation programme. The programme is to be implemented over a five-year period and is called Zivuseni, a Zulu word for uplift, develop or improve yourself

In order to implement, manage and monitor the programme, the Provincial Department of Public Transport, Roads and Works (responsible for overseeing the programme) contracted the Independent Development Trust (IDT) to manage the implementation of the programme. In order to carry out this mandate the IDT in turn contracted service providers to assist with implementation. Strategy and Tactics was contracted by the IDT firstly to develop and targeting expenditure formula to spread the budget allocated equitably, and secondly to provide on-going monitoring and evaluation services during the implementation process.

What is Zivuseni?

Zivuseni has two main objectives 
  1. To alleviate poverty by promoting self-reliance through activities that emphasise renewal and maintenance of community assets

  2. Building or developing local capacity through transferring skills by training local communities

Zivuseni is aimed at addressing poverty in Gauteng. The programme aims to achieve this by mobilizing the public and private sectors alongside community-based resources. Furthermore, the programme aims to develop small and emerging contractors who have the potential to grow into viable and sustainable businesses with potential to generate long-term job opportunities.
Gauteng province is predominantly urban with many poverty pockets.

The programme is also targeting some of these poverty pockets as focal areas that require special intervention strategies in order to address unemployment. The geographic target areas in Gauteng includes three Metropolitan areas and six municipalities: Johannesburg Metropolitan Council, Tshwane Metropolitan Council, Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Council, Sedibeng District Municipality, Metsweding District Municipality and West Rand District Municipality.

The poverty pockets prioritized for the programme are:

  • COSMO CITY,
  • WEST RAND (IN PARTICULAR KAGISO),
  • SEDIBENG (IN PARTICULAR HEIDELBERG; HEIDELBERG FARMS; AND SEBOKENG),
  • JOHANNESBURG (IN PARTICULAR SOWETO, ORANGE FARM, ELDORADO PARK AND PARTS OF JOHANNESBURG WEST),
  • TSHWANE METROPOLITAN AREA (SOSHANGUVE AND PRETORIA NORTH),
  • EDUCATION ACTION ZONES (GAUTENG ON-LINE SCHOOLS), AND
  • NEW AND INFORMAL SETTLEMENTS IN THE PROVINCE.

S&T's role in Zivuseni

As already indicated, S & T was commissioned to develop a poverty index to profile the level of poverty in the six municipalities listed above. Secondly, on the basis of the poverty index and population figures for each municipality, we were asked to develop a budget allocation model to guide budget allocation to each municipality for the implementation of the programme.

Programme/policy design

Parallel to the process of developing an expenditure model for the programme, S &T partners Moagi Ntsime and Ross Jennings assisted the programme manager with developing some of the implementation policy guidelines. A number of research design inputs were needed during the planning phase of the programme, which drew on local and international experience and practice.

For example, before decisions were taken regarding employment targets, project types, the number of women to be employed and so on, specific desk top studies and face-to-face discussions with relevant stakeholders were undertaken to ensure that appropriate policy decisions were made with regard to Zivuseni.

Baseline data

Zivuseni's focus is on poverty alleviation and most of the strategies are based on the status of current poverty pockets. In order to effectively evaluate the programme, it was important that appropriate data were collected and analysed as the basis of the implementation strategy. One of S&T's deliverables is to conduct a brief and focused baseline study for the programme.

Currently, existing (baseline-relevant) data are being analysed, including October Household Survey data, as well as in-depth interviews with key policy makers involved in the programme. The purpose of this exercise is to ensure that the province and poverty pockets are profiled in terms of poverty indicators.

Designing a monitoring system

The programme has identified certain areas of focus, finalised organisatioinal arrangements and reporting lines during implementation. These include indicators to be monitored during implementation. In order to report consistently about the progress and performance of the programme at each level, it is important that monitoring arrangements are designed and maintained.

Another of S&T's deliverables in the programme is to ensure that there is a monitoring system in place and that it is maintained. Also, as part of on going reporting monitoring data would have to be analysed regularly and where problems are identified through the system we have to ensure that managers can implement corrective measures immediately.

Case studies and diagnostic evaluations

The role of M&E is central to the efficient and effective implementation of the programme. With an effectively functioning monitoring system the programme team will be better equipped to monitor activities related to the programme. It is for this reason that some short turn -round evaluation exercises, for example, case studies and diagnostic evaluation exercises, are planned for the implementation phase. However, it is important to note that these rapid evaluative activities will not necessarily be representative. Quick turn-around exercises are normally focused around emerging key development trends and challenges facing the programme.

Programme management and support function

The Programme Management Team (PMT) within the programme office was established to manage the implementation of the programme. The Department of Public Transport, Roads and Works and the IDT constitutes the PMT. Representatives of outside service providers contracted by the IDT to render on-going support and assistance to the Programme Manager are also represented in the PMT (those responsible for social facilitation and so on).

As one of these service providers, S & T serves on the PMT. This is to ensure that there is close linkage and synergy between implementation and policy. It is important that the role of monitoring of the activities of the programme is part of all levels of programme management. For example, when there is a need to steer the implementation process in a certain direction, this will be better understood if the ongoing analysis of monitoring data were factored into all key operational discussions within the programme.

Furthermore, S&T (represented by Moagi Ntsime) serves in the Programme Steering Committee. The PMS is responsible for broad strategic issues within the programme. It is within the PMS monthly meetings that key policy issues and frameworks are discussed and where appropriate corrective actions are suggested. As such, members of the PMS are expected to advise the programme on critical issues that impact on implementation. This role is an important part of the programme support and guidance.

S&T has consistently worked both sides of the line - undertaking applied, policy and other research as well as evaluations on the one hand, and serving on implementing teams for development programmes on the other. It is by getting our hands dirty in this way that we can fuse our different functions and stop either from losing focus.

 

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