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Facilitating Active Civic Engagement - From Consultation to Participation: Learning from local communities through work with Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in South Africa and Zambia

June 6, 2016

This publication is a reflection on approaches that stimulate responsiveness in citizens and communities - based in their strengths - and enable more confident expressions of their civic voice and agency. This is done through the lens of the Australia Africa Community Engagement Scheme (AACES), a community-led water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) initiative implemented in South Africa and Zambia by Oxfam Australia and Oxfam Great Britain, respectively.This report is the second volume in a series of publications focussed on identifying principles and practices for effectively facilitating the active civic engagement of communities and civil society organisations. The first volume, Facilitating Civic Engagement through Consultation: Learning from local communities through the NHI-Accountability Project in South Africa, published by Oxfam Australia in February 2016, draws directly on the experience of the organisations and communities that participated in health policy reform in South Africa. 

Facilitating Civic Engagement through Consultation: Learning from local communities through the NHI-Accountability Project in South Africa

June 6, 2016

This publication is closely based on a technical report examining public consultation in the National Health Insurance (NHI) discourse. The report, Governance and Accountability in the Health Sector: A People's Policy for Health in South Africa was prepared in 2015 for the Oxfam-Monash partnership, following the conclusion of its project.It is hoped that this content builds on this work and offers insight to programmers and policy-makers about practices and principles that stimulate responsiveness in citizens and communities, especially amongst those who are traditionally marginalised owing to socioeconomic and political status.This publication is the first in a series exploring the principles and practice of approach for successfully and responsibly facilitating active civic engagement, this time through the example of participation in health policy formation.

Listen, Pay Attention: Our approach to developing capacity and documenting our work

June 6, 2016

This reflective piece focuses on two core intertwined threads of Oxfam Australia's work in South Africa: the capacity building initiatives undertaken to strengthen and support partners and programs, and documenting of the work of Oxfam partners and the communities they serve.Through interviews with Oxfam staff and partners, this content unpacks  the approach used as well as its evolution over the years. It also presents the key principles, lessons and challenges experienced by Oxfam and partners. Critical discussions on power, partnership, interpersonal relationships and responsiveness provide a unique perspective on these aspects of development. 

Value for Money Assessment Oxfam in South Africa: Australia Africa Community Engagement Scheme (AACES) Capacity building component

June 3, 2016

Oxfam Australia sought to progress its understanding of Value for Money (VfM) and how it can be practically applied within its programs. In 2015 it engaged an independent consultant, to work with three program teams to reflect on, and assess, their programs in terms of VfM.This document presents this process for Oxfam in South Africa's Australia Africa Community Engagement Scheme (AACES) capacity development support to partners.

An Ecological Approach to Partnership

June 3, 2016

This learning paper explores insights and questions on partnerships from the perspective of the Oxfam Australia (OAU)-led program in South Africa. It examines four issues: power, contestation, trust and adaptive practice. It also presents an emergent partnership model drawing on this learning.

Reflections and Learning from Practice: Oxfam Australia in South Africa

June 3, 2016

The Oxfam Australia (OAU) Country Office in South Africa, located in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, has promoted and supported an integrated programming approach called 'No Longer Vulnerable' (NLV). This has been pioneered as a new and effective way to enable positive change for the people with whom the organisation works. In these learning papers, Oxfam team members explore key emerging areas from the No Longer Vulnerable Program, namely the Integral Framework, Integration, Responsive HIV and AIDS programming, gender and vulnerability, and trust building and contestation. 

Nurturing Through Nature: The socio-economic impact of Umzi Wethu on rural Eastern Cape communities

March 4, 2016

This study seeks to determine and document the socio-economic impact of the Umzi Wethu programme, which uses nature as a basis to nurture, educate and prepare young, vulnerable people for employment.Umzi Wethu, a programme conceptualized, managed and implemented by the Wilderness Foundation, is actively using biodiversity conservation as a basis for educating and nurturing young people. The programme seeks 'to fulfil the employability potential of resilient, motivated youth displaced by HIV and AIDS and poverty by using the power of the wilderness, promoting personal wellness in a nurturing home context, providing credible training, and securing sustainable job placements in hospitality and ecotourism environments - while extending the programme's social outreach to others'. Few programmes provide a holistic approach that augments relevant skills training with life skills and wellness support, which is especially beneficial for youth who have been made vulnerable by an inherited disparity, poverty and the HIV and AIDS crisis.The significant socio-economic impact of the Umzi Wethu model is documented in this report. The programme has brought about positive socio-economic development within rural communities in the Eastern Cape. It has resulted in increased levels of education and training and circulation of income within rural regions, youth employment and the general improvement of the socio-economic status of rural communities.This document is one of a number of publications highlighting NGO good practice and emerging issues from partner organizations supported by Oxfam in South Africa.

Inequality in South Africa: A two part document on the current understanding and dimensions of inequality in health, gender and livelihoods

July 7, 2014

Recognising that inequality is at the heart of the South African ‘development problem', Oxfam commissioned this research from the Health Economics and HIV and AIDS Research Division (HEARD) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. The report, supported by 91 references, is in two parts, with an executive summary. Part 1 covers the current understanding of inequality in South Africa, reviewing definitions, types, and ways of monitoring inequality, and offers a set of measures for Oxfam to use. Part 2 focuses on the dimensions of inequality in three main areas of Oxfam's programme in the country: Health, Gender, and Livelihoods, in the context of Oxfam's ongoing programme work.This document is one of a number of publications highlighting NGO good practice and innovations from partner organisations supported by Oxfam in South Africa.

Community Engagement: Documenting strategies of the Australian Partnerships with African Communities Program partners

May 13, 2014

The Australian Partnerships with African Communities (APAC) Program set out for men and women in 132 southern African communities to lead their own development, to address the impacts of HIV and AIDS, to have increased food security, and to secure access to basic social services. Structurally, the APAC program had three objectives:Achieve food sovereignty and security through building community capacityBuild a network to improve the quality of the responses to HIV and AIDSCreate a more enabling environment for HIV and AIDS programs.This report explores theoretical approaches to community development focusing on community engagement, and highlights emerging best practice in community entry strategies for HIV and sustainable livelihood development projects. It considers community engagement strategies undertaken by the seven partners working on the APAC program in South Africa and Mozambique and identifies the approaches that they use; sections highlight the strengths and challenges encountered in their strategies, and discuss common trends that have emerged from a study of the various approaches.The report also provides lessons and recommendations that emerge from the findings to inform further community engagement practice.

Durban Lesbian and Gay Community and Health Centre: Gender HIV/AIDS analysis

May 13, 2014

The Durban Lesbian and Gay Community and Health Centre (Community Centre) in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, aims to empower the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community by providing services, support, and training to enable this community to claim their rights to equality, dignity, and freedom within the context of transformation. The Community Centre is one of the civil society initiatives supported by the Joint Oxfam HIV/AIDS Program (JOHAP) in South Africa. JOHAP contracted an external researcher and an academic to undertake an HIV and AIDS gender analysis of the Community Centre's work in relation to their beneficiary communities. The analysis draws out key lessons on how the Community Centre approaches gender and HIV/AIDS, and how these are incorporated into the Community Centre's work. The report documents valuable experience informing work on gender mainstreaming in the field of HIV/AIDS.This document is one of a number of publications highlighting learning during the second phase of JOHAP (April 2002-March 2005).

A Gender Analysis of Targeted AIDS Interventions (TAI)

May 13, 2014

This report looks at the work of the Targeted AIDS Intervention (TAI) Project, an NGO in Pietermaritzburg, Kwa Zulu-Natal, South Africa, which is dedicated to HIV education and training, especially with men and boys. It looks at the impact of TAI's work on both changing risk behaviour to reduce HIV, as well as the role their work plays in creating personal change toward broader sustained gender equality.TAI is one of the civil society initiatives supported by the Joint Oxfam HIV/AIDS Program (JOHAP) in South Africa.The report demonstrates that TAI's focus on boys is an appropriate, novel and progressive approach to dealing with HIV and AIDS. This review clearly shows the value of a partnership of academic institutions and NGOs in dealing with social crises, such as the HIV pandemic.This document is one of a number of publications highlighting learning during the second phase of JOHAP (April 2002-March 2005).

On the Home Stretch: Why Australia must use its final months on the UN Security Council to advance the rights and safety of civilians

May 13, 2014

This report reflects on Australia's achievements on the UN Security Council to date and the areas on which Australia should focus over the next 8 months in order to leave a positive and lasting impact. It focuses particularly on Australia's efforts in advancing the protection of civilians and promoting the control of small arms and light weapons. It considers Australia's role in helping to broker a diplomatic breakthrough on humanitarian access in Syria, and acknowledges its efforts to promote women's rights in the most recent resolution on the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan. In spite of these achievements, 'On the Home Stretch' highlights the rapid deterioration of security in a number of countries over the past year and a continuing gap between the Security Council's stated commitments to the protection of civilians and the appalling reality on the ground. The report recommends how Australia can use its final months on the Council to address this implementation gap and make a real difference for people caught up in conflict.'On the Home Stretch' follows on from the 2012 Oxfam Australia report 'Off the Bench', launched just after Australia won its Security Council seat.