News in South Africa


News in South Africa

Integrated Developmental Approach

 


 

Integrated Developmental Approach: Social & Human Capital

by Melissa Johannes, HIV Prevention Programme Manager

1. Introduction

Faced with the failure of development programs in the 21 Century, billions of USAID funds have been invested in South Africa and minimal outcomes and impact is documented and presented, especially in the crisis of HIV/AIDS infection. Foreign Aid donors are challenging the statement that - “HIV Prevention programs in SA are not working”. Elaborate strategies and welfare approaches have been instituted to mobilize community’s to drive the development process. Consequently, South Africa still has the highest HIV infection rate with a growing number of orphans and child-headed households. What are we missing in the last 50 years of community development and social change strategies? Emergency relief has its place in social change but is infact not the ‘be all and end all’ of social and economic transformation. A call to a deeper understanding of the environment and the power offered by the context of communities is at the tipping point of uprooting public ills. A silo interventionist approach is not only outdated, but ineffective and a technical[1] approach to very complex and adaptive social problems such as: HIV/AIDS, orphans & vulnerable children, domestic violence, and abuse of multiple layers i.e. sexual/verbal/physical etc. South African communities have resources and a paradigm shift is imperative to tap into those resources are at the forefront of an integrated development approach to ‘enabling sustainable community development’[2]. These community level resources form part of the value stocks in society.

2. Societies Value Stocks[3]

According to Clutterbuck (2005) society is compromised of Value Stocks. Value Stocks are the capital that is invested in communities. A combination of ‘capitals’ are needed for sustainable development to occur.

Fig 1. Value Stocks

Natural capital 

Physical capital  

Financial capital

Human capital 

Social capital

The capitals/value stocks of society can be described as follows:

*      Natural capital : atmosphere, environmental resources

*      Physical capital : buildings, equipment, tangible goods

*      Financial capital : money available

*      Human capital : knowledge, skills found in individuals

*      Social capital: the relationships, networks, values & networks people have that facilitate collective action.

Any organization or program dealing with an adaptive problem who seeks to enable sustainable community development, understands the importance of these value stocks all being present to ensure that the organization functions in an effective and efficient nature. Therefore an integrated approach to organizational development is a core priority for the sustainability of programs in relation to community need.

For example, one of the sites where the prevention program operates has its offices in Khayelitsha[4]. HOPE worldwide SA based in Khayelitsha cannot meet the entire needs of the community and vigorously seeks to strengthen the networks and relationships with key drivers of community development, such as the SA government, NGO’s, FBO’s, CBO’s, civil society and the private sector.

For this provincial branch e.g. in Khayelitsha, the investment in human and social capital is the bedrock on which the integrated developmental approach rests. Strong emphasis is placed on capacity building and network formation internally and externally. Although social capital has recently become the buzz word in South Africa as a development state, its roots have been accessible in African cultures. Social capital (SC) embraces the spirit of ‘Ubuntu’[5]. It plainly refers “to the quality of relationships between individuals that affect their capacity to address and resolve common problems that they face”.[6]  

Because it is easier to work in an environment where social capital flourishes (i.e. there is a sense of reciprocity and trust among the group/community members), and where the human capacity (HC) is nurtured, an integrated programmatic framework needs to be developed.

Fig 2. An Integrated Programmatic Framework

Below the integrated framework for the current programs, depicts the interrelatedness and the support that programs give each other.

Care and Support (CAS): Target audiences are PLWHA.

Orphans & Vulnerable Children (OVC): Target audiences are orphans infected & affected by HIV/AIDS.

Prevention: Target audiences are youth at risk of HIV/AIDS & parents of those youth.

Abalingani Gender Program (AGP): Men in the general population.

Voluntary Counseling & Testing (VCT): The general public.

What holds us together diagram

It is attainable to achieve broader economic, environmental and social goals where social capital is higher. An integrated programmatic framework addresses the need for foundations that ground a framework. Collins (2008) theorizes that to stimulate progress, you need to “preserve the core”. Consequently, preserving the core speaks to an unshakeable foundation or bedrock on which an organisation is laid. According to a sociologist Eva Cox[7], social capital needs to be the foundation for a truly civil society.

  
  
  
  
  
3. Challenges for Integrated Developmental Approach

*       PARTNERSHIP DEVELOPMENT

o   Understanding collaboration across programs (internally at HwwSA)

o   Synergizing with other non-profit organizations (NPO’s)

o   Meeting the defining points of leverage with Funders

o   Linking regarding Private sector & social responsibility

o   Bridging with local & provincial government

*       INTERNAL RESTRUCTURING

o   High turnover in staff compliment results in weakened bonds

o   An enabling environment for internal social capital to flourish

o   Enhancing & investing in human capital

*       TIME & SPACE CONSUMPTION

o   Informal relationship ties cost time

o    Bonding, bridging & linking social capital requires essential space

o    Time & space promotes dialogue

§  Dialogue promotes depth, which in turn enhances generalized trust

4. SC & HC Interventions will result in:

 

*       IMPROVED ACCESSIBILITY TO SERVICES & INFORMATION:

o    Language accessibility

o    Flexible working hours

o    Internal communication

o    Strengthening of networks in communities

*      SAFER COMMUNITIES:

o   Youth empowered to access adulthood

o   Reduction in HIV/AIDS infection rate

o   Turn-around strategy for safer-sex practices

o   Reduction in domestic violence

*      CITIZENS WITH A STRONGER SENSE OF WELL-BEING:

o   HIV/AIDS programs in schools & church’s

o   Small scale primary health care e.g. VCT

o   Improved utilization of healthcare workers e.g. mobile clinics for HIV/AIDS testing

o   Youth with positive sexual lifestyles

o   Youth empowered to enter adulthood e.g.  peer education and teenage support groups

o   Home Community Based Care

o   Disintegration of Child-headed households as children are supported

*      CITIZENS ARE CIVIC MINDED:

o   Social & community development workers

o   Instilling a sense of personal pride

o   Increase of Volunteerism

o   Regeneration of Ubuntu

o   Youth leadership programs

o   Development of Social Cohesion

*      STRONG FAMILIES AT THE CORE OF DEVELOPING COMMUNITIES

o   Enhanced family dialogue between parent & child

o   Decline of cross generational sex & transactional sex, as families are at the forefront of community development.

5. Conclusion

In conclusion, social capital (sc) and human capital (hc) interventions are critical value stocks for an integrated development approach, as it is rests on core values of generalized trust; accepted social norms; internal networks and informal relationships. These are inexpensive capitals to nurture and contribute to local development as communities lobby and extract these readily available resources. For an integrated framework to function effectively it is imperative that the stock of social capital should be high followed by a conscious investment in human capital. 


 


[1]

Technical & adaptive leadership approaches: http://www.cambridge-leadership.com/adaptive/index.php4

[2]

Enabling Sustainable Community Development, HwwSA’s hedgehog concept developed September 2007

[3]

“Societies Value Stocks” have been adapted from a presentation done by Peter Clutterbuck (Executive director and independent consultant of the Social Planning Network of Ontario [SPNO] 2005).

[4]

The largest informal settlement in the Western Cape which compromises 1/6 of the WC’s population size - with an HIV/AIDS infection rate of 34%.

[5]

‘a person is a person because of other people’.

[6]

Andrew Norton, 2000 in his article on “Social Capital and Civil Society: Some Definitional Issues”.

[7]

“Her current work is focused on Social Capital and Political Culture and arose from her ABC Boyer Lectures, the text is published as ‘A Truly Civil Society’ (ABC 1995). These dealt with the necessity for seeing social cohesion and co-operation as keys to both democratic and civil society”.


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