Reana RossouwWritten by

Trends in social and community development: Major implications for practitioners

Research and development| Views: 70

The following provides insight into research conducted and follows on previous work presented (in 2013, 2014 and 2015). The aim of this research is to understand how the practice of community/social investment and development changes over time and how it influences the work of practitioners.

 This year we have done extensive work to understand:

  • The impact of climate change on investment and development portfolios.
  • Which investment portfolios are growing or declining in importance.
  • What new development and investment models are emerging.

From our research it is evident that:

  • South Africa and Africa mirrors similar global mega forces and trends and this has an impact on developmental outcomes.
  • Within the South African economy it is very important to understand the priority and focus of government in a development context.
  • Equally important is to understand South Africa’s share of the global development market and funding mechanisms.

Evidence suggests that:

  • In the two most important development and funding portfolios, namely education and health, government spending has gone down in lieu of increased spending on social grants. This has a major impact on the development sector!
  • The prevailing trends from previous research is very much still evident and these include:
    • the continuation of resource scarcity (declining budgets)
    • the upward spiral of need (increased expectations from a range of stakeholders)
    • increased scrutiny of costs, compliance, governance, risk management and reporting in particular evidence of development outcomes (measuring impact)

In conclusion, we recommend that practitioners:

  • Reconsider current efforts (both in practice, i.e. development portfolios, and in development theories).
  • Reconsider current portfolios (investment focus and grantmaking criteria as well as new consideration for new organisational structures, i.e. social enterprises).
  • Let go of practices as well as programmes with little or no impact.
  • Redevelop new strategies for higher impact.

The following presentation is available for download.  We would love to engage with all practitioners on this presentation and welcome feedback.

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