Making All Voices Count

Successes and Challenges

We are... working with new methodologies in order to capture data which really empowers the CP’s to have a greater role in both the gathering and capturing of their data. Evashnee Naidu, BS KZN Regional Manager

(2014) The MAVC model has helped to share the responsibility for our citizen-based monitoring strategy with our CBO partners. The Black Sash has been on a sharp information technology learning curve that has provided us with an opportunity to experiment with technology and to shorten the time between collecting and capturing survey date and then to generating site specific and comparative reports. We have centralised information storage and are able to produce site specific progress reports. Data bundles to send questionnaires are loaded centrally and remotely.

We concurrently built the information technology infrastructure (tablets, platform etc.), experimenting with software, and refining the questionnaires to produce better quality reports. We have placed a gender emphasis on all aspects of this project, including the selection of sectors and sites to monitor. We have also challenged seasoned CBOs like Advice Offices to make space for women monitors on a 50% gender basis.

A key lesson from our monitoring projects is that joint monitoring is key, and accountability through service delivery agencies is important. The facilitation of partnerships, especially between facility staff and the community, is important leading to the exploration of communication and joint problem solving between different levels of staff facility management and communities.

(2015) We have improved the turnaround time of data analysis from our CMAP model. CPs can access data (surveys, results, facility comparative analysis) via the internet and not only via the tablets.

Challenges that continue include: training of SASSA staff and the public on Regulation 11 (alternative documentation other than IDs) to ensure better uptake; improved Emergency Medical Services (provincial competency); staff shortages; dysfunctional equipment; unlawful and immoral debit deductions; and the introduction of the new EasyPay card (also known as the green card) by Grindrod Bank/ Moneyline; the implementation of the new SASSA dispute resolution mechanism (also known as the recourse system); tenants not able to access maintenance for the rental stock flats they occupy; and what appears to be permanently unavailable local politicians. It becomes apparent that very little has changed in terms of the substantive issues.

We agreed with our partners that the CBM will take place on an annual basis to give the facility more space to effect implementation. We are exploring how we can improve the Dialogues (content and facilitation) and the functioning of the monitoring /Improvement Committees between the cycles.