Creative Consulting & Development Works

We are a research, evaluation and communications consultancy, servicing nonprofits, governments and donors with innovative solutions within the development context.

BOOK YOUR SEAT TODAY! Creative data visualisation workshop at SAMEA

6 September 2017

The SAMEA 6th Biennial Pre-Conference Capacity Building Workshop Series will precede the 6th Biennial SAMEA Conference with the theme ‘‘Purpose-driven Monitoring and Evaluation’’ and features workshops by distinguished M&E professionals. CC&DW is proud to be selected as an M&E thought-leader and will host a 1-day workshop covering Data Visualisation.

Dates: 23 October 2017

Level: Beginner

Presenter: Sophia Van Rensburg and Susannah Clarke

Who should attend: This workshop is designed for individuals involved in presenting data, including researchers, M&E practitioners and programme officers.

Skills requirements: Participants should be competent in Microsoft Office, including Excel.

Data visualisation is a tool to transform information that is buried in complex reports and statistics, into innovative visual products that communicate concepts in a clear and actionable manner. This workshop introduces participants to techniques to improve standard data visualisation (diagrams and charts) and to create innovative visual products that can facilitate the communication of complex stories and ideas. The focus is on developing conceptual skills and critical thinking through participatory methodology. Participants will have the opportunity to engage in practical learning activities to explore creative data visualisation.

At the end of the workshop participants will be able to understand the power of creative thinking and strategic data visualisation; maximise the visual impact of standard graphs and diagrams and create simple infographics

Spaces are limited so book your seat today!

Be a Part of our Customised, Practical and Engaging Technical Assistance in M&E Design

7 August 2017

We recently held a technical assistance session on M&E Design in Cape Town in July 2017.

Have a look at what facilitator Dr Donna Podems highlighted as the main aims and objectives of this training:

“Since every organisation is unique, we understand that generic training is not always the most useful approach in building M&E skills. That’s why we’ve made sure that the technical assistance we provide is flexible yet guided to ensure core M&E concepts are understood and can be applied.

We engage with participants’ M&E needs and challenges. Participants actively apply their learnings about problem statements, activities and results to their own organisational programmes. This means that you walk away with a tangible product, in the form of an M&E framework, and can continue building this at your organisation.”

Here’s what participants had to say:

Policy and strategy officials should attend this training as they are usually the people who develop indicator frameworks based on problem statements provided to them. Sometimes they have the correct problem statements but derive the wrong indicators and use incorrect data sources.

I’m more on the monitoring side and I’ve heard so much about evaluation. I was wondering how to connect the two and that is what this clarified for me. This filled the gap between monitoring and evaluation for me.

Donna put a great perspective on the way she explained core M&E concepts and the way that she placed less focus on the labels used.

 

Here’s how participants will apply what they learnt to their work:

“The session gave me the foresight to be able to see what needs to be done in my organisation to make these changes happen back at the office. There is definitely some direction I will take using what I have learnt here at my organisation.”

“These exercises have pointed out that we need to make sure that we have the skills to do what we need to in order deliver results.”

Let us know if you would like us to provide customised technical assistance in M&E design for your organisation – contact Itumeleng Ramano today on (021) 4482058 or itumeleng@developmentworks.co.za

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela: Dignity personified

24 July 2017

“A society that does not value its older people denies its roots and endangers its future. Let us strive to enhance their capacity to support themselves for as long as possible and, when they cannot do so anymore, to care for them.” ~ Nelson Mandela in a message announcing 1999 as the United Nations International Year of Older Persons, 17 December 1998 #InternationalDayOfOlderPersons

THE RIGHT TO A DIGNIFIED LIFE

Three loaded words: dignity, vulnerability, abuse – what is the connection?

Our rights are protected by local legislation and structures that link up with international human rights frameworks, treaties and conventions. In South Africa, the Chapter 2 of the Constitution contains the Bill of Rights which applies to everyone who lives in South Africa. These rights are comprehensive and include the right to equality, human dignity, as well as access to information, adequate housing, sufficient food and water, health care services, social security and adult education. Our Constitution and Bill of Rights is truly something to be proud of.  A comprehensive set of laws and strategies which give effect to these constitutional rights exist, for example, the Older Persons Act, the Mental Health Act, the National Disability Strategy and the Gender Mainstreaming Strategy.   

These rights apply to men and women of all ages, irrespective of their level of functionality. This means that older men and women have the same rights as anyone else. Disabled men and women have the same rights as anyone else. Men and women who suffer from mental illness have the same rights as anyone else.

Older persons’ rights are human rights. Anyone who denies you your rights is breaking the law. – South African Human Rights Commission

Being older, disabled, mentally ill or poor does not mean that a person has less value, or deserve less respect. It does, however mean that a person may be more vulnerable, and may need more support, protection and care. It also, unfortunately means that men and women who are vulnerable because of any one or combination of the following – age, level of ability, health status, economic position, geographical location – may not be able to claim their rights. Men and women who are vulnerable need assistance to claim their rights. The question is whether the required assistance is forthcoming as and when those who are vulnerable need it. If vulnerable men and women do not receive the support, protection and care they require to realise their hard-won constitutional rights, the scenario becomes one where the primitive law known as “survival of the fittest” applies.

A “survival of the fittest” situation implies relations of power, where those who are stronger have power over others, and use that power to their own benefit and to the detriment of others. In nature and sports dominance in the form of a “win-lose” game is required to ensure survival and victory. In a rights-based society, it is an implicit expectation that there will be tolerance for the rights of others, and that a concerted effort will be made to create a society where the rights of all can be realised, also through collaborative efforts where vulnerable groups are assisted.

It is generally accepted, for example, that children, who are not fully able to claim their rights on their own, must be assisted and supported to claim their rights. Similarly, older men and women also needs assistance to claim their rights. In many instances, older men and women do not receive such assistance and support. The sad reality is that vulnerable older men and women are at risk of being neglected and abused.

The words “neglected” and “abused” are emotionally charged, and often conjures up images of a physically abused, dishevelled, weather-worn person in torn clothing, living in dismal circumstances. This is a stereotype. Stereotypes are problematic on various levels, including that they tend to obscure the complexity and nuances. Irrespective of now unsettling a mental or visual image of a physically abused older man or women may be, it could be necessary to suspend that image for a moment to be able to see and understand the true nature of elder abuse.

Abuse is any conduct or lack of appropriate action occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust, which causes harm or distress or is likely to cause harm or distress to an older person, and includes: physical abuse, sexual abuse, psychological abuse, and economic abuse. – Older Persons Act, 2006 (Act 2006 of 2013)  

The four forms of abuse are:

  1. Physical abuse is the most obvious, and involves acts of violence against older persons.

  2. Sexual abuse can be described as “any conduct that violates the sexual integrity of an older person”.

  3. Psychological abuse can be very subtle, but equally or more damaging than physical abuse. Repeated insults, ridicule or name-calling is a form of abuse. So are repeated threats, or threats aimed at causing emotional pain. Also, invasion of an older person’s privacy, liberty, integrity or security constitutes psychological abuse.
  1. Economic could take the form of depriving an older man or women from the financial resources they are entitled to, unreasonable deprivation of economic and financial resources which an older person needs, or disposal of property that belongs to the older person without their consent.

All four forms of abuse take place in our society, often on a daily basis.

Many people have attitudes and hold views regarding older persons that may be a breeding ground for disrespect and even abuse. Think about statements that insult, humiliate or berate older persons, name-calling and names used for older persons. Think about actions that tells an older person that they do not matter, for example, by excluding them, by not respecting their privacy, not considering their level of functionality, or compromising the security of an older person.

A related concerning factor is the apparent limited understanding amongst the general population of how ageing affects human beings – physically, psychologically and mentally. Age-related disability is a stark reality of older persons. According to StatsSA’s Disability Profile derived from the 2011 Census shows a positive correlation between disability and old age. By age 60, only 18.7% of the population has some form of disability. This figure increases significantly as people age, to the extent that 53.2% of people have some form of disability.

Disability refers to both physical and mental disability, and age-related mental disability is an uncomfortable and misunderstood reality that society often does not know how to respond to. With increased emphasis on de-institutionalisation of care, more disabled older men and women will live in communities. For them to realise their rights would require that their immediate families and communities understand their condition, limitations and needs. This, however, may not happen. Lack of understanding of the ageing process could lead to intolerance and even threats to older persons. For example, older persons suffering from Dementia or Alzheimer’s may be accused of witchcraft, instead of being supported or being assisted to access appropriate care.

The population of older persons in South Africa is gradually increasing, and this, together with the apparent weak societal understanding of and tolerance for older men and women and their diverse needs, calls for dedicated efforts to promote the rights of older persons in our country. While government, Chapter 9 Institutions and Non-Government Organisations all have a responsibility in this regard, every ordinary person living in this country similarly have a responsibility to ensure that they actively work towards the ideal of honouring every man and woman’s rights, irrespective of age, functional ability and economic status. Bold acts of respect for human rights and visible compassion for vulnerable groups such as older persons can save us from a scenario where only the proverbial “fittest” can claim their right to dignity and respect.

10 Inspirational quotes to celebrate Mandela Day

18 July 2017

Nelson Mandela’s birthday is celebrated today and in honouring his legacy we are encouraged to recognise our own ability, and responsibility, to make this world a better place.

Mandela Day commemorates the 67 years of public service that Nelson Mandela spent making a difference to South Africans and the world. The United Nations declared Nelson Mandela International Day in November 2009, inspired by his 90th birthday celebration in Hyde Park in 2008 when he said: “It is time for new hands to lift the burdens. It is in your hands now”.

Mandela’s legacy of service motivates us to recognise our individual power to promote peace and equality. Here are a few of our favourite quotes that inspire us to lift the burden:

I am inspired currently by the courage of ANC Member of Parliament, Dr Makhosi Khoza. She is speaking truth to power and her bravery in speaking up about what is corrupt and wrong with our leadership in South Africa today is so inspiring. She was one of the panellists on the Legacy Project last night and loved her contributions, along with Sipho Pityana and Solly Mapaila. Although she has received death threats for her outspokenness and her honesty she has still continued to call on other MP’s to be ethical and vote with their conscience on 8 August. She is willing to risk so much to remain true to Madiba’s dream for South Africa. She is my inspiration this Mandela Day. – Lindy Briginshaw

 

A truth that encapsulates and represents Madiba, for he was this formidable combination in every way possible. We are reminded of his greatness in the simple yet truthful words of wisdom which he shared with us during his time with us. – Susannah Clarke

 

This quote serves to remind me that although we have a way to go in realising the emancipation of womxn in South Africa, there are men who stand as feminists and challenge the conventions of patriarchy. Mandela frequently spoke out against rape and sexual abuse of womxn and rejected the idea that these social atrocities were for womxn alone to solve. The inclusion of men is womxn’s issues is vital for progress to be made in the realisation of gender equality. In the same way that Madiba spoke openly and shamelessly about these issues, we need to encourage more men to perform publically witnessed instances in which they break rank with patriarchy.  – Leanne Adams

Giving all people the right to live with dignity and the ability to truly achieve their full potential is perhaps one of the most challenging but noble tasks required. To be reminded that this is what it means to be part of humanity, and not simply an act of charity, is a simple way we can understand how far we’ve come and what work still needs to be done – Fatima Mathivha

This quote lies close to my heart because I know that older men and women are not always valued in society. We hear much too often about pensioners who are robbed or conned out of their old age grants. We cannot comprehend how a grandmother can be raped by her own grandchild. The level of violence against older persons in domestic situations and where other crimes are committed is beyond disconcerting. The fact that apparently nobody noticed that a significant portion of the men and women who died in the Esidimeni tragedy, was over 60 years of age, is chilling.

My wish for all older persons in our country is that they should be respected and honoured for the mere fact that they are human beings and that all human beings are entitled to dignity and respect, irrespective of their situation. Nelson Mandala must have been one of the most respected older persons in the world. When he was released from prison in 1990, he was already well into the age category we know as “older persons”.  Let us treat our older persons like we would have treated our beloved Madiba who exemplified respect for the human race. – Fia van Rensburg

This quote for me is a constant reminder that whatever obstacles/challenges one is facing today, there is a brighter day tomorrow if they keep on persevering. – Mkhululi Mnyaka

This quote is endearing to me – to me it not only encompasses the importance of formal education for which our government has the duty to ensure we all have access to, but it speaks to our own role and responsibility in educating others around us who are uninformed, sheltered, or ignorant. When atrocities are spoken, inequality and discrimination are encouraged, and when others’ human dignity is denied, one’s response with silence can serve as submission. We should continuously be encouraged to use our own informed voices and courage of conviction to educate the ‘uneducated’, and hearten the ignorant to open their minds. – Jenna Joffe

Looking at the current status of KZN where political leaders are killed especially ANC counsellors and President Madiba never promoted such and I agree with Lindy on Dr Makhosi’s bravery as well as Solly Mapaila (SACP) for revealing the truth about the current president’s lies to the public. – Koena Ngoepe

This rings so true to me – making a meaningful contribution is something (I think) to which we all strive, however having the skill to use one’s words to champion the plight of others or to forge opportunities where there may have been none is special and necessary particularly in a time when words are cheap and the populace so easily fooled by gilded promises. – Chloe Liebenberg

This quote reminds me of the resilient spirit of the South African people. A people who have been through so much but continue to overcome each and every obstacle. We are a unique, strong, and determined people who refuse to accept the status quo – we are change makers, life givers, nation builders and we shall overcome!! – Itumeleng Ramano

Join the M&E Design workshop this month

6 July 2017

We chatted to Dr Donna Podems recently to get you some insider info on our upcoming M&E Design training happening this month:

Who is the course designed for?

Donna: Its for people who have a background in M&E and or project management and this course will help them to apply what they have leaned to their own project or intervention. The workshop is designed to be very interactive and hands-on.

What makes this workshop different from others:

Donna: What makes it different is that we wont be using case studies, and this course enables the participant to leave with their own understanding of their organizations theory of change, their own logic and how that relates to measurements and their own M&E and how to move forward with their own M&E.

Click here to book your place on the M&E Design course today.

Sectors: Uncategorized.