Evaluation of the poverty relief programme in the Limpopo Province within the context of the reconstruction and development programme : a social work perspective
Author(s)Mamburu, David Nyadzani
KeywordsPoverty relief programme (prp)
Limpopo Province, South Africa
Reconstruction and development programme (rdp)
Programme evaluation research
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AbstractThesis (DPhil (Social Work))--University of Pretoria, 2006.
Poverty is the most problematic social problem facing the South African society today. Its causes have been associated with many factors such as the high rate of unemployment, HIV/AIDS, low educational backgrounds of people and others. In order to reduce poverty and other conditions of exclusion, government has introduced the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) which is concentrated on the mobilization of resources from government institutions and non-governmental organizations towards the improvement of the quality of life of the communities, especially those which were historically disadvantaged. The RDP is realized through a number of different programmes which are conducted by different government departments and nongovernmental organizations. One of these programmes is the Poverty Relief Programme (PRP) which was formulated by the Department of Social Development and implemented and evaluated by some of the provincial departments of Health and Welfare. This study is about the evaluation of the formulation, implementation and evaluation of the PRP in the Limpopo Province within the context of the RDP from a social work perspective. In order to successfully evaluate the PRP, the researcher has categorized this study into three objectives, which form this report. The first objective was to conduct an extensive literature investigation regarding poverty as a social problem, public policy and the RDP and the PRP. Poverty was identified as a social problem because it is a condition of deprivation which affects a large number of people and communities due to the previous South African apartheid dispensation. Poverty is said to affect the poor due to their cultural orientation because they are lazy to work, they fail to suppress their immediate gratification, they consume large amounts of substances, they keep large family households which have the highest incidents of domestic violence and child and wife physical and sexual abuse, they do not obtain the opportunities available to them for their development and they have high rates of divorce. The second analogous view of poverty is that it is caused by the inadequate social policies and social programmes, which are developed to assist the poor. This view explains that poverty is evident due to the reason that the social policies and social programmes are weak in eradicating it. At this level, the researcher attempted to distinguish between the concepts public policy, social policy and a social programme. The public policy is every policy which is developed by cabinet, which when closely viewed, it has types such as the social policy, economic policy, defense policy, foreign policy and the environmental policy. The RDP is a social policy which is realized through a number of social programmes, one of them being the PRP. This study conceptualized the public policy through discussions of its theoretical models, namely; the descriptive and prescriptive models regarding public policy making. The former is aimed at explaining the public policy making process whilst the latter explains the outcomes or the impacts associated with public policy making. This study suggested that public policy making is made possible when it is conducted through a specific process which has five phases, namely; the policy agenda, policy formulation, policy adoption, policy implementation and policy evaluation. The RDP has already been mentioned as a social policy, which could be realized through social programmes, one of them being the PRP. The PRP is a social programme, which has an aim of alleviating poverty within South African communities. It is effective in achieving its mission through conducting a number of projects which are as follows: food security initiatives, community development structures, development of the self-help organizations, the aged and child care, the disabled, youth who are deviant, financial planning and management and monitoring and evaluation. This study was aimed at evaluating whether the objectives of the PRP were adequately formulated, implemented and evaluated towards the eradication of poverty in the South African context. The second objective of this study was to conduct an empirical investigation with regard to the formulation, implementation and evaluation of the PRP in the Limpopo Province. The researcher utilized the exploratory research design because the evaluation of the PRP in the Limpopo Province has not been done before. The research project utilized the quantitative and qualitative research methodologies, which were combined into a mixed methodological design model. The populations for the study were a PRP framework, the key-informants who participated during the implementation of the projects and the community development officers who participated during the formulation, implementation and evaluation of the PRP. This also called for a variety of the sampling methods, namely; the judgmental sampling method, the stratified random sampling method and the simple random sampling method which were used to select the key-informants, and the systematic random sampling method which was used to select the community development officers. The research data were also collected through a variety of data collection methods, namely; content analysis was used to collect quantitative data regarding the formulation of the PRP as document; semi-structured interviews were utilized to collect both quantitative and qualitative data regarding the implementation of the PRP from the key-informants; and the self-administered questionnaires were used to collect the quantitative and qualitative data regarding the formulation, implementation and evaluation of the PRP from the community development officers. The data for this study were analysed through two methods, namely: the quantitative data were analysed manually and were expressed into tables and figures and the qualitative data were analysed through the coding process which was contributed by Creswell (1998). The empirical investigation for this study purported the following important research findings regarding the formulation, implementation and evaluation of the PRP in the Limpopo Province: (i) the content analysis revealed that the PRP has objectives which are not related to the reduction of poverty in the communities, such as the community development structures which are not an objective but rather a prerequisite for every project, youth who are deviant, the aged and child care which could be effective if developed into programmes already available in the field of gerontology and the child support grant, financial planning and management, monitoring and evaluation which is a phase of the community development project. (ii) the semi-structured interviews revealed that community development projects and community needs are being identified by the community development officers on behalf of communities and that most of the projects are inadequately funded and as such they fail to sustainably develop communities. (iii) the self-administered questionnaires revealed that most community development officers hold standard ten as their highest educational qualification which is highly available in the communities they serve, they do not have a professional background and are not registered with the professional council which is recognized in the country, the PRP was formulated centrally at the Department of Social Development and is being implemented and evaluated by some of the provincial departments of Health and Welfare and that the funding for the community development projects is insufficient. The third objective of the study was to make conclusions and recommendations based on the research findings with regard to the effective formulation, implementation and evaluation of the PRP in the Limpopo Province. It has been concluded in this study that the poor implementation and evaluation of the PRP in the Limpopo Province is due to the absence of a specific framework, and the researcher recommended that such a document must be developed. Poor implementation and evaluation of the PRP in the Limpopo Province is due to the centralization of the programme and therefore the researcher recommends that the department of Social Development must be decentralized to the provinces. The researcher concluded that the grassroots are denied an opportunity to actively participate in the formulation, implementation and evaluation of the PRP, and he therefore recommended that the grassroots must be involved in the identification of their community needs and projects, their planning, implementation and evaluation. Another limitation of the PRP was mentioned as poor funding of the community development projects, and the researcher maintained that if the projects are adequately funded, they will sustainably develop communities. The researcher is of the opinion that community development practitioners must hold high educational qualifications which are not available in the communities they serve and that immediately such practitioners interact with the communities, they must be required to be registered with a recognized professional council.
Mamburu, D 2004, Evaluation of the poverty relief programme in the Limpopo Province within the context of the reconstruction and development programme : a social work perspective, DPhil thesis, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://hdl.handle.net/2263/23171 >
Copyright/License© 2004, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.
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