SANGONeT, 9 April 2008.
The National Welfare, Social Service & Development Forum (The Forum), a NGO working for a just and accessible developmental social welfare system for all, has released its 2005-2007 report.
A report on the activities of The National Welfare, Social Service & Development Forum (The Forum) in 2005-2007 is now available on the organisation’s website.
Since its inception in 1994, The Forum has been working for a just and accessible developmental social welfare system for all. With a membership base of organisations and individuals now approaching 3,500 the organisation has emerged as a voice of and for civil society in the policy-making process and as a space for meaningful dialogue on social service, welfare and development policy.
The Biennial Report 2005-2007 documents The Forum’s work in the following programmatic areas: policy engagement; capacity building, human rights advocacy; wellness, and membership.
The Forum National Coordinator, Rajesh Latchman, notes that, “The period has seen increased recognition of The Forum’s role as a link between government and civil society in social welfare policy and programming.” Latchman states that, “This is exemplified by the co-hosting by The Forum and the Gauteng Minister for Social Development of the Gauteng Welfare Summit in 2006. “
He further argues that another key feature of the period is an increased emphasis on the crucial role of community-based organisations (CBOs) in addressing structural inequalities in South Africa. This is reflected in particular in The Forum’s capacity building work, which aims to improve welfare service delivery at grassroots level by strengthening and supporting CBOs.
The process of mainstreaming human rights into its policy engagement- and other work was started during the review period and is being intensified during the current period. Work also began on a fully verifiable membership database and is set to be completed in the present year.
As well as reporting on activities, the Biennial Report launches an examination of the theme “The post-apartheid policy environment for social welfare – are we winning?”
This topic was further addressed at The Forum’s 2008 General Assembly by such eminent speakers as Professor Fikile Mazibuko, Deputy Vice Chancellor & Head of the College of Humanities at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, and Professor Leila Patel, from the Centre of Social Development in Africa (CSDA).
For full text on each address, click here.