MAKING ALL VOICES COUNT WITH TSHWANE NORTH OUTREACH

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MAVC TNO 2015

Another successful citizen monitoring Dialogue  was organised by Black Sash partner, Tshwane North Outreach (TNO) in Gauteng province on the 18 March 2015.It was attended by 80 community members including these stakeholders: the  Clinic Committee Emergency Service unit (that assisted the clinic), the Ward Councillor, and Community Development Workers.

The first photo shows the presentation of the report done by Nelson Mahlangu who is one of the TNO monitors, and the second photo shows the community in a commission prioritising issues on the report which lead to the draft of the Action Plan to deal with identified problems.

The event was a first learning phase for our partners and the positive response from the facility was welcomed by all parties who graced the event. Hopefully this step will come with positive results for the entire community.

TAC and Love Life members assisted our partners in collecting monitoring statistics.

MAVC DIALOGUE WITH TSHEDZA DEVELOPMENT PROJECT

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2015 MAVC Tshedza GRO

A Making all Voices Count (MAVC) Dialogue was held with Tshedza Development Project and community was held on 8 October 2015 in Mamelodi East, Pretoria.

The event was attended by more than 40 participants, of whom the majority were older people.

They made a significant contribution during the proceedings by using their daily experience when they visit the local SASSA office.

MAVC: MONITORING SERVICE DELIVERY IN MPUMALANGA

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MAVC MPU 1014

Letter from the field from Thulane Ndhlovu

"The training of citizen monitors in Mpumalanga and our monitoring process are hindered by protests from civil servants in Kwa-Mhlanga (include Sassa officials). They are protesting against the Municipality for not providing them with water in this Government Complex, citing that
they can't use bathrooms, let alone water to drink, so they only open from 8:00 am to 10:00 am, then close offices to protest outside the Government Complex in the main entrance.

We've got permission to monitor, and the senior officials have no problem, but the situation here is worse than what I have imagined, so we came early, interviewing beneficiaries while they are busy, then when they close we continue for a while. It's not convincing enough that they say they are still going to continue this week, but I'm sure we will meet the deadline.

Even though the situation is bad here, but I managed to build a good relationship between us and the officials. They even asked us to help them with illegal deduction (from social grants) as they have no idea about what's going on.

I'm still convinced that I will reach the set target in time. Regarding our safety, I think it's safe inside as long we listen when they warn us to leave the premises."

The fact that officials themselves warned our monitors when to get out and when it was safe to proceed with monitoring shows that their grievance was against the Municipality, and not beneficiaries or our monitors.

KZN REGIONAL OFFICE ENGAGES AT 4 MAVC MONITORING SITES

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KZN MAVC 1014

The KZN Regional Office staff were privileged to visit our partners Folweni Community Resource Centre, Network Action Group (NAG), Philakithi Community Services, and Suid-Afrikaanse Vroue Federasie (SAVF) - clockwise in collage - from 6 - 8 October at their respective MAVC monitoring sites. These sites were Folweni Clinic, Umzinto SASSA Local Office, Q Clinic in Umlazi, and the Utrecht SASSA Local Office.

Driving over 1 200kms to visit the various sites in KZN, while exhausting, proved very rewarding as we visited the individual sites, met the relevant office Managers, watched the Monitors as they captured the necessary data and engaged with service users and officials to get a sense of what their perceptions about our Community-Based Monitoring project were.

The officials were very engaging and helpful and respected the work of the Monitors. Some service users were a bit sceptical but when the Project was explained to them and what the outcomes would be they were very willing to participate and have a share in improving service delivery at the respective sites.

The Community Based Partners have excelled in their commitment and passion to Make Human Rights Real, and are eager to see the outcome of their monitoring in the Reports which will be generated at the end of October 2014, and which will be shared with all partners, all sites and the service users of those sites.

MAKING ALL VOICES COUNT -WITH FOLWENI

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MAVC FOLWENI 2015

Making all Voices Count: Black Sash works with our community monitoring partners to prepare for the upcoming Dialogues between our partners and community stakeholders & government facilities.

In KZN, our Black Sash staff joined with our partner Folweni Community Resource Centre to review the results of the citizen monitoring process conducted in 2014, validate reports drawn from these monitoring processes, identify key successes and challenges, and then finally planning for a way forward (how would issues be solved, by whom, and by when).

Mama Magubane, the Deputy chair of the clinic committee attended and promised to take forward questions and concerns during the clinic committee meeting.

MAKING ALL VOICES COUNT -WITH PHILAKITHI

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philakithi 3 march 2015 Copy

In our Making all Voices Count Project, Black Sash continues to prepare with our community monitoring partners for the upcoming Dialogues between our partners, community stakeholders and government facilities.

In KZN, our Black Sash staff joined with our partner Philakithi to review the results of the monitoring process conducted in 2014, in order to prioritise problems that came up, and to work out how these problems will be tackled. Part of this process was to validate reports drawn from the monitoring process, identify key successes and challenges, while planning for a way to move forward (how these issues would be solved, by whom, and by when).

QEDUSIZI HBC IN MPUMALANGA MAKES ALL VOICES COUNT

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A facility Dialogue was held at KwaFene community hall in Mpumalanga in March. SASSA Manager and two staff members, COGTA representatives, ward committee members, Black Sash and Qedusizi HBC members were present. A Dialogue with the community also took place held at B1 Tweefontein community in Mpumalanga. Many members of the community attended and actively participated in the discussions. A SASSA representative helped to unpack some of the questions and issues people had with undefinedthem.undefined

MAVC RESUMES IN KZN AND MPUMALANGA

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2 kzn mavc cycle 2 Copy

KZN Regional Office MAVC Partners commenced Cycle Two community-based monitoring at service sites across Kwa-Zulu Natal and Mpumalanga during the first week of July. We hope to fulfil our target of 300 questionnaires for beneficiaries, and 20 for frontline staff by 31 July.

MAVC Cycle TWO allows partners, beneficiaries, facility staff and other stakeholders to measure progress since the completion of Cycle One in March of this year and monitor whether issues agreed to with the development of a Joint Improvement Plan have been finalised or not.

This will also allow us to confirm whether or not issues picked up in Cycle One have been attended to and improved by the various sites.

 

 

MAVC: MONITORING SERVICE DELIVERY IN LAVENDER HILL

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MAVC LHill 1114

 

Black Sash partner, Women Hope 4 the Nation, has started monitoring Local Government in the City of Cape Town.

They are monitoring the Metropolitan Municipality until 17 November, as part of our Making all Voices Count (MAVC) project.

Monitoring local government is a new area of monitoring for us and we are happy to be piloting it with this remarkable group of women.

 

MAVC: CARE COMPANY MONITORS IN MONTAGU

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MAVC Montagu 1014

As part of the Black Sash Making all Voices Count citizen based monitoring project (MAVC ), a group of community monitors from the Care Company conducted two monitoring sessions at the SASSA pay point in Montagu, Western Cape.

They completed 300 questionnaires in October, talking to beneficiaries about their service delivery experience, and about possible experiences of unlawful deductions from their SASSA accounts.

The information from these questionnaires will be compiled into reports that will be disseminated to all stakeholders, including the facilities that were monitored.

 

MAKING ALL VOICES COUNT: TRAINING TRAINERS

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MAVC trainingBlack Sash has embarked on a series of 2-day "Making all Voices Count" (MAVC) training-of-trainers workshops across the country.

These workshops, conducted with partner organisations, will capacitate local monitors to monitor service delivery across selected sites in areas such as social grants and primary health care.

Pictured are workshops conducted in the Western Cape (above) and KZN (below).

Trained monitors are using technology to collect and transmit monitoring data. Monitoring has started at various sites in the Western Cape and data has started to come in reflecting information about service delivery at selected sites.

The project is part of a global initiative which aims to empower CBOs to take ownership of and participate actively in citizen-based monitoring.

MAKING ALL VOICES COUNT - COMMUNITY DIALOGUE IN LAVENDER HILL

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"WOMEN HOPE FOR THE NATION" CONDUCT DIALOGUE IN LAVENDER HILL

MAVC Dialogues Lavender Hill 20150318 02395 CopyIn March, 2015, Women Hope for the Nationinvited stakeholders from Lavender Hill and Local Government officials, represented by the City of Cape Town and two Councillors, to a Making all Voices Count (MAVC) Community Dialogue.

They presented the report on the MAVC monitoring they did in Lavender Hill in November 2014. The survey conducted was to evaluate the community’s experience and feelings of Local Government. A way forward 

MAKING ALL VOICES COUNT WITH WOMEN HOPE 4 THE NATION IN LAVENDER HILL

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MAKING ALL VOICES COUNT community dialogue held in November in Lavender Hill, Cape Town with Black Sash partner organisation Women 

2015 MAVC Lavender Hill DialoguesHope 4 the Nation.

Aysha Davids facilitated a Making all Voices Count dialogue with members of the Lavender Hill Community.

Community members represented different Court Committees, sport organisations, Community Based Organisations and ordinary residents who wanted to hear what the monitoring was all about.

They also discussed the results of the monitoring conducted in 2014.

An improvement noted from the first cycle of CBM is that some Community Partners were able to establish better working relationships with the management and staff of the local facilities, particularly in the case of SASSA.

Some Community Partners also reported changes in staff attitude, and recorded improvements at a local facility. In some areas, there were reports of improvements contributing to better service delivery: SASSA officials wearing name tags, staff adhering to the working hours, and additional staff appointed to ease the workload. 

The difficulties of rural beneficiaries accessing services has been addressed by the increase of satellite grant application sites, new born registrations at hospitals, and improved service delivery by rural outreach service.

It became apparent that dialogue as a methodology works well to surface and triangulate the service delivery issues generated during the survey and monitoring phase. It also establishes common ground and service delivery priorities between the local residents and government officials.

Although an Improvement Committee is established to track progress and ensure delivery, the challenge is often the actual implementation.

Service delivery challenges as a result of systemic, policy or legislative issues; budgets; and outsourced contracts that facilitate unlawful and immoral debit deductions, often reside with officials higher up in government bureaucracy at a national and/or a provincial level. Advocacy strategies and action then kicks in to assert pressure to ensure delivery, either led by the Black Sash in collaboration with the Community Partners(CP's) and/or alliances of civil society organisations.

The 'Expanding the Presidency’s community based performance monitoring project to improve service delivery in South Africa’ project saw massive improvements in the use of technology, which led to faster collection of imformation. The IT platform was expanded to include more CPs and it was automated. In an almost seamless fashion new CPs were registered and new monitoring sites were added. Support from OpenUp (previously Code4sa) to Sash staff and CP monitors ensured data gathering was conducted as planned and results were produced early in February, in time for Dialogue preparations scheduled for February 2017. The automation of the IT platform has, to a large degree, limited the mistakes that were picked up in the previous MAVC project reports. Summary reports were able to be produced both provincially and nationally.

 CPs found it relatively easy to navigate the surveys on the platform, capture the data and load it onto the platform. Some of the CPs used their smart phones to gain access to the platform and load the data. All the CPs were assigned email addresses and those with working Tablets used them for organisational email communication. WhatsApp groups were used for easy communication amongst CPs and with BS to share learnings, meeting alerts and useful information about SASSA.

The project implemented was effective and efficient with the majority of targets being realized within programme and budget. The methodology of using CBOs is extremely effective and empowering and starts to give the sector a meaningful role in society. It could also be the basis for enabling improved funding into the sector.

Read the MAVC Interim Narrative Report February 2017MAVC Interim Narrative Report February 2017