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Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe

versión On-line ISSN 2224-7912
versión impresa ISSN 0041-4751

Resumen

BOSHOFF, Shanie  y  ENGELBRECHT, Lambert K.. Capacity-building of informal community-based organisations in the South African welfare sector: The contribution of established social service organisations. Tydskr. geesteswet. [online]. 2016, vol.56, n.2-2, pp.592-607. ISSN 2224-7912.  http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/2224-7912/2016/v56n2-2a5.

Large-scale poverty and increasing needs prevail in South Africa. The National Department of Social Development has the constitutional mandate to provide sector-specific national leadership in social development. Despite the Department of Social Development's intention to restructure the social service delivery system since 1997 and although established social service organisations, as well as informal community-based organisations (CBOs), are regarded as being valuable resources of service delivery to communities at risk, all these organisations are threatened by serious challenges. Established social service organisations that provide and maintain a significant portion of the social welfare services in South Africa, are at present - despite their efficient management - engulfed in a grim battle for survival. CBOs which form an integral part of communities at risk are still excluded from state financing because they do not comply with the basic requirements of management. The Policy on Financial Awards for Social Service Providers (2012a) of the Department of Social Development indicates that the State aims to redirect its financing from established social service organisations to CBOs and to demand that established organisations build the capacity of CBOs in addition to their own direct service delivery to those at risk. An investigation into the capacity-building of CBOs within the South African context is therefore at the same time both relevant and important. The purpose of this study is to develop an understanding of the contribution that established social service organisations in South Africa already make to the capacity-building of CBOs. The investigation not only provides information on the nature of this capacity-building, but also focuses attention on the successes and many challenges experienced by established social service organisations in their capacity-building of CBOs. Qualitative research was chosen as the approach to explore the contributions of established social service organisations to the capacity-building of CBOs in the social welfare sector and to establish the link with the social development approach as it is applied in South Africa. At the same time capacity-building of CBOs by established social service organisations is analysed and described. An instrumental case study was used as the research strategy by using NACOSS (National Coalition of Social Services) as a discussion forum of established social service providers in South Africa. A purposive non-probability sample selection was used to select participants, Nine NACOSS members indicated in a survey that they are already involved in the capacity-building of CBOs and agreed to participate in the study. Data was collected on three levels: (a) Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 9 chief executive officers of 9 established social service organisations, (b) 15 social workers who are already building CBOs' capacities, and (c) 9 representatives of the CBOs whose capacities were being built by the participating service organisations. Based on this study, the following main findings and recommendations are made: • Capacity-building of CBOs, as it is currently operationalised in developmental social work by established service organisations, is an inherent part of social development. Therefore, capacity-building of CBOs is rather more a social work intervention than exclusively one of organisational development and is currently being interpreted and applied in this way by established service organisations. The focus of capacity-building of CBOs as a social work intervention is therefore on informal systems or bodies within communities at risk. • Capacity-building in practice is far more elementary than what is assumed to be the case in theory and policy. • CBOs ' urgent need for continuous practice-oriented support from service organisations is evident, thus confirming the necessity for this kind of support to form an integral part of the capacity-building process. In this respect established social service organisations are excellently positioned to make a valuable contribution to the capacity-building of CBOs. • Due to the challenges of service delivery, the State should rather view the service organisations as resources in the restructuring of the South African social service delivery system than considering the redirection of financing from essential services by established service organisations to the informal sector. Urgent consideration should be given to providing state funding for the capacity-building of CBOs. Constructive discussion between the Department of Social Development and established social service organisations is crucial for the advancement of an effective social service delivery system.

Palabras clave : Capacity building; established social service organisations; informal community-based organisations; social development; social work.

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