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  • “What does ‘going to scale’ mean in poor communities in South Africa” - IBP-SA’s Albert van Zyl explains OSF-SA Open Society Foundation for South Africa

“What does ‘going to scale’ mean in poor communities in South Africa?” – IBP-SA’s Albert van Zyl explains

Albert van Zyl, Director of the International Budget Partnership (IBP) South Africa, recently wrote an article examining how progress goes to scale through activities undertaken by the organisation in South Africa: “Among development’s chattering classes, scale is a hot topic – what’s the point of supporting small pockets of progress, unless we can scale them up to the country/population at large? In the shanty towns of South Africa, we’ve seen our work go to scale, sometimes by intent, but often by accident. Both channels matter.”

The article unpacks the work that was done last year by IBP-SA in collaboration with Planact and the Social Audit Network (SAN), which entailed conducting a sanitation social audit in Wattville, a township located east of Johannesburg in the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality. The project achieved significant results when faulty portable toilets were improved, and additional toilets were delivered. This was the first social audit to be successfully conducted in partnership with the local government. A short film regarding the project can be viewed here. Albert goes on to explain how criticism posed against the project regarding scale, led to another social audit covering the same service and the same sanitation contract, but involving an additional 10 informal settlements across all five of the poorest parts of the Municipality. The scale-up of the project achieved similarly positive results. The Ekurhuleni Supply Chain Management and Water and Sanitation Departments are now using the audit findings to inform the drafting process of new sanitation contracts.

This article forms part of OSF-SA’s social audit work in support of promoting access to service delivery through empowering community-based monitoring and participation. Social audit work is currently located in our Justice, Equality and Rights Programme. Planact and SAN are also OSF-SA grantees.

Be sure to read the full article here.