By Walter Monyela (on behalf of FEDUP and CORC/uTshani Fund)
uTshani / FEDUP received a Star award (Silver category) from Impumelelo Social Innovations Centre. The award ceremony took place on the evening of the 6 September 2012 at Baxter Hall in Cape Town. Marlene Don (FEDUP) and Walter Monyela (CORC/uTshani Fund) represented federation and support NGO respectively.
Impumelelo Social Innovations Centre’s vision is to build capacity for service delivery. Ceremonies are taking place every year to give recognition and to encourage and motivate NGOs that are dedicated in empowering poor communities and helping these communities fight poverty, and improving and or making basic services in the poor communities available. This recognition becomes a platform for those NGOs that received Platinum awards as they are then recognized at international level. Twenty one NGOs got recognized by receiving certificates that were really well framed and a small, an unframed copy of the certificate, a trophy and amount of money that goes with a category of the award just to say thank you to recognized NGOs. The award nomination went through four main phases, according to the Impumelelo website:
Phase 1: Applications are invited from all government departments, civil society organisations, special interest groups,and the private sector. Submissions are screened and assessed against the award criteria, leading to the selection of finalists for evaluation.
Phase 2: Professional teams are convened to assess finalists by means of site visits, interviews and relevant data gathering. A report is generated on each finalist and presented to Impumelelo’s National Selection Committee. Exhibit materials are prepared by each project in anticipation of the next phase.
Phase 3: The National Selection Committee gathers for the screening and adjudication of the finalists. This meeting culminates in an gala awards ceremony, where the winning projects are announced. An Innovations Exhibition is also held to showcase past award-winners and current finalists. Other local and international projects may also be invited to display new ideas and exciting innovations.
Phase 4: Impumelelo partners with the award-winning projects to spread information using various media to disseminate their social innovation to the public in general and government in particular.
Projects are evaluated according to the impact on the following categories:
Innovativeness: The extent to which creative and new procedures have been developed to address poverty-related issues.
Effectiveness: The extent to which the Project has achieved or is on the way to achieving its stated objectves and other socially desirable outcomes.
Poverty Impact: The demonstrable effect of the Project in improving the quality of life of poor communities and individuals.
Sustainability: The viability and sound functioning of the Project within constraints that include funding and staffing.
Replicability: The value of the Project in teaching others new ideas and good practices for poverty-reduction programmes.
This year, five organisations received Platinum, between five and ten received Gold, and the rest received Silver, which is the category FEDUP was recognised.
In building capacity for service delivery, the investment in community structures and support organisations are essential. Government, especially through the National Planning Commission’s National Development Plan (also known as “Vision 2020”), is promoting the ideas of “active citizenship”. FEDUP has been demonstrating alternative development paradigms that are rooted deep in the grassroots. By mobilising communities around their own assets, and forming collective saving schemes that concretise these networks and builds social capital, FEDUP has been in the forefront of finding innovative solutions to urban poverty.