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This article is taken from the January 2000 Phatlalatsa newsletter

 

Community profiles in the three poorest provinces

Nobayethi Dube tells us more about S&T's involvement in this project.

The Department of Public Works, Monitoring and Evaluation Section, commissioned S&T to conduct community profile surveys in three provinces: Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and the Northern Province. These will assist the Department to plan better for future projects and measure the success of past projects.

We used project lists provided by the Department, with project number, District Council, project category, name of the project, project type and budget size. We then stratified our sampling using the project number, District Council, project category and budget size.

To establish starting points we used maps provided by Davies, Lynn & Partners, with project numbers and areas, selected the identified projects and drew a 10 km radius to identify the sample area on the maps. In each of 25 starting points, fieldworkers had to visit four households.

Our training, done by S&T and the Department of Public Works, focused on sampling procedures and administration of the questionnaire. Our fieldwork team in KwaZulu-Natal comprised social facilitators used by the Department to work with communities, chosen because of their long-standing relationships with communities and with the amakhosi. A co-ordinator was based in the province for the duration of the survey.

However, using social facilitators did not prevent the problems that normally accompany field research. Access was a problem in some areas where the amakhosi felt that there was insufficient consultation and they would not allow strangers to ask 'their people' questions. Extensive negotiation was necessary, with District Councils in some instances intervening to meet with all stakeholders. Team leaders were called in to explain at meetings what the study was about and who would benefit. This meant that fieldwork stopped for days whilst access was negotiated.

Fieldwork has been completed in KwaZulu-Natal, work in the Eastern Cape is still in progress and Northern Province will be surveyed in 2000. The results will provide a fascinating look at the benefits of small- and large-scale anti-poverty programmes.

 

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