- Reflecting on the change that is happening in and around programs makes it possible for organisations to adapt and remain relevant to the constituencies they serve. Too often organisations are caught up in delivery and as a result do not take time to reflect on their practice and on the changing environment. How do our planning, reflection and learning processes connect? What value could there be in spending time ‘navel gazing’? How do we create the time and space for reflection and what do we do with what we learn?
- A range of services and programs are made available to HIV positive people and/or people we assume to be HIV positive. They are however, not the only people in need of services who come into contact with our organisations. What programmatic obligations, if any, do we have towards HIV negative people given that their socio economic positions are indistinguishable from their HIV positive peers?
- Development practitioners, particularly those located in communities, are often confronted with serious ethical dilemmas in the allocation of their resources, their commitments to beneficiaries and their individual sense of right and wrong. How do organisations and individuals respond to these challenges? How do organisations, in the face of seemingly impossible decisions, continue to act and function effectively?
- Organising at a community level is often difficult without collaborative relationships with major social actors in that particular community. Community service forums provide a useful way of building collaboration and ensuring broad representation but they are difficult to set up and manage. How have organisations gone about setting up forums of this nature? What lessons can we draw from their experiences? What potential do structures like these have for advancing the development agenda?
- Food security at a household level is dependant on access to nutritious food either through purchasing or agriculture. How have organisations worked to increase household food security? What have the successes and failures been? What learning can we take back to our programmes?
- Addressing women’s strategic interests is critical to shifting power relations. Much of this work requires that women themselves are provided with the opportunity to act in their own interests. However, because of their particular vulnerability, many women are in need of basic services and support before any more long term work can take place. How do we work with women who are highly vulnerable, in ways that provide them with safety, security and support? How do we meet the basic needs of women while at the same time advancing a more progressive, self enabling agenda for women?
- Much of the development work in South Africa is characterised by welfare based approaches – meeting basic needs for food, clothing, health services, etc. How do we integrate work more effectively to ensure that in addition to meeting basic needs, civil society organisations are also able to impact on the long term, structural development problems? Is there a role for welfare in a developmental approach? If there is, what is it?
- Increasingly organisations are being called upon to engage the media in order to change public perceptions, to promote their organisations and to comment on ‘burning issues’. This session will look at how we can better engage with and use the public media.
- The current public debate around the decriminalisation of sex work is an important test of the South African rights framework. The debate crosses the complex territories of rights, morality, tradition, culture and sexuality. What are the current positions in the debate? How do the issues impact on the delivery of our programmes?
- The Draft Community Health Worker Policy is now a public document open for comment by civil society. Very little, if any, civil society led work is being done to make meaningful input into this policy development process. Where is the policy now? How can we engage with it? What are the issues and burning questions that it poses for civil society organisations working in the sector?