Dear SLF members, supporters and followers,

As we welcome the arrival of spring and bid farewell to winter, the usual celebration that accompanies spring's arrival was this year subdued by worries over the lack of rain in the Western Cape. The impending water restrictions and anxieties about what’s going to happen in the months until the next rainy season affects everyone, not least the communities in which we work. 

Nevertheless, we have had a busy and exciting quarter, with much to report on. During the last three months SLF has welcomed three new members of staff. Megan Cooke joined us in June as an intern, and she has since become a research assistant. Kayla Brown joined the team in July as a researcher working on urban design issues, as we detail below in the article about the ongoing work in Philippi. And Bongani Macheque joined in August as an "extern". We welcome all of these new team members and look forward to their various contributions. Sadly, we also said goodbye to Caitlin Tonkin, who left to pursue her career in the private sector, and Miriam Waltz, who is going back to university to read for a PhD. We will miss both these staff members and wish them all the best in their endeavours.

As you will read in this newsletter, we have been busy with a variety of projects stretching across the country and even beyond our borders.
In June, SLF director Dr Gill Black facilitated a workshop on participatory visual methods for REACH scientists at the Kenya Medical Research Institute in Nairobi. Dr Andrew Hartnack continued his work on the DG Murray Trust "Addressing School Dropout" project, in which he is a research and evaluation partner. In June/July he again visited a number of NGOs working on dropout across the country. SLF also concluded its Making all Voices Count (MAVC) research with the publication of the final research report in July 2017.

"You strike a woman, you strike a rock” goes the saying. The Citizen Action Group led by Rory Liedeman and Farida Ryklief co-hosted a successful Women's Day event in Delft to appreciate the great work that women do for their communities. The occasion was graced by the MEC Dan Plato and other important dignitaries. While this event was going on, SLF researchers were out in the township of Philippi working with the Philippi Enterprise Development Initiative (PEDI) to understand street trade and put measures in place to enhance the conditions under which street traders operate. The PEDI project is a strategic one since it allows SLF to work in partnership with other stakeholders in developing the township economy, an integral part of the SLF's work.

Read about all of these projects and more below. We wish you all a pleasant few months as the end of the year approaches, and we look forward to sharing more exciting news with you at the end of the year! 

Dr Gill Black, SLF Co-director, facilitates a workshop on participatory visual methods for REACH scientists at the Kenya Medical Research Institute.
June 2017.  

SLF builds capacity for community engagement in global health research
In June, SLF Co-director Dr Gill Black was invited to facilitate a workshop on Participatory Visual Methods (PVM) for global health research at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI). The workshop was organized as part of an international research project exploring resilience, empowerment and advocacy in women’s and children’s health research (REACH), led by Maureen Kelly - Associate Professor of Bioethics at The Ethox Centre, Oxford University. A major goal of REACH is to advance understanding of specific vulnerabilities in context, and to explore research participants’ capacity for resilience, from their own perspectives. Gill’s workshop supported REACH scientists at KEMRI in thinking about new approaches to engaging with particularly vulnerable groups. Drawing on her 6-years of experience with PVM through many health-related projects at SLF, Gill’s workshop described how applied theatre, photography, digital stories and collective video can be used as participatory tools to strengthen medical and clinical research. Gill is the Participatory Research Consultant for the REACH South Africa team.  

Hand mapping with the Delft Safety Group for Building Sustainable Inclusion   

Hand mapping with the Delft Safety Group for Building Sustainable Inclusion
By Rory Liedeman
The SLF Citizen Action team, led by Rory Liedeman, with the support of Farida Ryklief and the Delft Safety Group, have been collaborating with the Participate initiative, the Institute of Development Studies (UK), and a number of partner organisations from India, Ghana, Uganda and Egypt, in an action orientated research project being funded by the British Academy. The project has been piloting participatory methods to engage marginalised and vulnerable communities to build more inclusive, open and responsive accountability relationships with government leaders and duty bearers. A key second quarter activity involved conducting a hand mapping workshop. This process played an important role in galvanising the core group involved in establishing the Delft Safety Group (in early 2016), but also for extending the work beyond to include other community members from all over Delft. The workshop was important for rapport and trust building between those who remained committed to the cause, and the 7 new members. It was a great opportunity to test the hand mapping method that some of the participants had recently been briefly exposed to during the Global Collective Workshop that SLF played host to in March this year. Key themes explored during the hand mapping had to do with participant identities and the experience of inequalities individuals faced, as a consequence of who they were or how others in society perceived them to be. After the 3 days, the group dispersed as friends and were excited about the prospects of helping their community, and especially through continued engagement with SLF. The workshop not only provided valuable insight into the everyday life of someone living in Delft, but also presented participants with a support group, and a sense that others could relate to everyday life in Delft.
A wonderful Women's Day Appreciation Lunch event, held in The Hague Recreational centre. The event was in support of the many brave women working in various safety structures in Delft
SLF co-hosts a Women’s Day Appreciation Lunch in Delft
By Rory Liedeman

SLF co-hosted a wonderful Women's Day Appreciation Lunch event, held in The Hague Recreational centre. The event was in support of the many brave women working in various safety structures in Delft. A good number of well-known government officials turned up to give thanks to the women in Delft, with key note addresses from various officials and stakeholders representing a wide variety of CBO's, CSO's, NPO's and civil society members including MEC Dan Plato, Advocate Lennit Max (former police commissioner and current Minister of Parliament), Lucinda Evans (Provincial CPF Cluster Member - Gang Unit), Councillor Michelle Adonis (CoCT) and Yolanda Botha from the Delft Safety Group and Delft CPF. SLF's Dr Gill Black gave a special thanks to the women, speaking about the importance of showing 'loyalty to others', and praised how women in Delft, and elsewhere, show others a great amount of loyalty each and every day, without concern for their own lives or the need to fulfil self-interests. It is largely because of the efforts of these women that SLF continues to be inspired to do the work that it does in places like Delft. A special thank you to various contributors for making this day possible; we acknowledge the contributions received from the following: Councillor Michelle Adonis, MPL Lennit Max, Anthea Variend (Pearson South Africa), Johnson & Johnson, and the many individuals (young and old) who volunteered of their time to make the event such a success. Thank you also to Aubrey Botha from Zoe's Academy for stepping in on the last minute to be a very entertaining master of ceremonies. Lastly, well done and thank you for the support received from Farida Ryklief, Aunty Koolsum Ismail, Soeraya Davids, Dorina Mcentee, Adiel Tomlinsen, the Delft Safety Group and the Delft CPF. Let’s keep up the good work in our communities and move forward together. We leave nobody behind!

Making All Voices Count Research Report Published
 By Andrew Hartnack

After 18 months of hard and intensive work, we are very proud to announce that our Making All Voices Count research report was published in July by the Institute for Development Studies. The report, called 'Translating Complex Realities Through Technologies', is authored by Felix Bivens, Joanna Wheeler (SLF collaborators), Gill Black, Andrew Hartnack and Miriam Waltz (SLF staff members). It draws on research and engagement that has been conducted at SLF over the past six years and focuses on four case studies which examine challenges faced by marginalised groups and the individuals who campaign on their behalf. These groups include activists against gender-based violence, community care workers and health committee members, informal traders, and Rastafarian ‘bossie doktors’. We have worked with these groups through a range of technology-enabled participatory processes to unpack the dense and complex layers that block government accountability in South Africa. 

You can download the pdf from our publications page at…/literature/slf-publications

Read more about Making All Voices Count at
Also, please visit our Facebook page to ‘like’ and share the news!

Informal traders selling second-hand clothes in Philippi East.

PEDI Informal Trading Strategy
By Anthony Muteti and Kayla Brown

The Development of a Philippi Informal Trading Strategy project, a partnership between the Philippi Economic Development Initiative (PEDI) and SLF, completed the field research component of the project at the end of August. The team of researchers, made up of Anthony Muteti, Nathi Tshabalala, Bongani Macheque and Kayla Brown, was able to conduct 378 interviews with street traders in a precinct in Philippi East. The study focused on people trading on public land such as sidewalks, road reserves and unutilised pieces of land, who are likely to be affected by the future construction of BRT routes. The aim of this project is to contribute towards formulating a street trader plan for the precinct in order to accommodate, diversify and amplify informal trading activities and to create a vibrant economic area.

Read more about this project at:


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