The key aims of the DGMT Social Capital Development strategy is to
- build the capacity in planning, management, monitoring and networking of local service organisations and societies that support the marginalised populations targeted in the Inclusion Portfolio
- mobilise locally co-ordinated action by key community partners through support to specific programmes and interest groups
- develop collaborative partnerships between key groups nationally.
We aim to do this, by
- increasing access to resources among our grantees
- building agency within our grantee organisations to effect systemic change in communities
- facilitating connections across key stakeholder groups
- building influence of community organisations through direct support to strategic advocacy initiatives.
In 2011, we focused on understanding models of support for children in places of safety, particularly interventions with a strong focus on family reunification and strategies for reintegrating (and continuing to support) children back into communities. Through the grant made to Give-a-Child-a-Family in KwaZulu-Natal, we are testing an integrated model of Foster Care Placement and Support. A strong focus of this programme is to demonstrate how Foster Care placement can be managed as an alternative to long-term institutional placement for children – one of the key principles of the new Children’s Act.
We were also particularly interested in programmes aimed at limiting children’s exposure to risk, particularly for children in high risk communities. Some of the models supported during 2010 included after-school programmes, structured supervised homework classes, school holiday programmes, Saturday academic support classes as well as a community-based counseling service offered to learners in schools in Hanover Park. Understanding the impact of such programmes is difficult and we have pushed all of our partner organisations to be clear about their programme objectives, related activities and strategies for measuring outcomes. Our team struggles with the demand for building this capacity within organisations and we interested in how we might connect organisations who do innovate work with mentoring partners.
We have tested our capacity to facilitate networks across stakeholder groups through a grant made to the Network Action Group (NAG) in KwaZulu-Natal. NAG represents a group of roughly 120 community-based organisations in-and-around the UGU district. As part of our Social Capital Development strategy, we worked extensively with NAG to conceptualise a programme that would develop a group of young people as future leaders of network partner organisations. With this grant, the young leaders will be mentored, supported to work together to drive community development in the district, and trained to gather reliable data on service delivery as well as key issues facing Community Based Organisations and their communities. A strong focus of this grant will be on the analysis of data which will allow us to map institutions involved in the delivery of services to targeted populations in the area, to understand the relationship between state structures and local community-based organisations in the district, and to stimulate community action on the basis of solid experiential data.