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Participatory, monitoring and accountability
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Participatory, Monitoring and Accountability (PMA)

Lead: Dr Joanna Wheeler
Project manager: Rory Liedeman
Funders: Government of Korea

Read the PMA report.


SLF have been funded by the Government of South Korea and collaborated with Participate, the Institute of Development Studies, UNICEF and UNDP as part of a new initiative to explore how to develop more participatory approaches to monitoring the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In September 2015, the SDGs replaced the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) as the global framework for development. After a major global consultation and advocacy process to arrive at the goals, the next big question was how the SDGs would be implemented and monitored. In response to lessons learned from the weaknesses of the MDGs, the success of this new framework required citizens to participate in monitoring how SDGs are implemented in their contexts.

Project Overview:

In early 2014, SLF first started working on accountability issues related to safety and security within the community of Delft, but the basis for that work came from contacts and relationships that were built much earlier during our informal township economy work (FIME 2011). Our exploration of this topic began with a six month pilot project that firmly linked SLF to the community through the local Comminity Policing Forum (CPF) and the Neighbourhood Watch Forum (NWF). The main aim of the project was to monitor and document crime more accurately across a number of Delft communities. The project became known as iSafety and was implemented together with the Safety Lab (our project partner at the time). Essentially we were trying to find a safe way for the CPF and neighbourhood watch to document, and then potentially report, on crime and violence incidents i.e. from the perspective of active community members. We used smart phones and mobile applications to collect the data.

The Participatory, Monitoring and Accountability (PMA) work built upon this rich legacy of research and engagement. Between January 2016 and January 2017 SLF led an intensive one year pilot programme in Delft to explore how to improve accountability on the issue of safety in the township. The SLF team engaged a group of highly marginalised citizens who were committed to working towards a safer and more inclusive city. The project promoted a dialogue between these groups and representatives of government about how to address violence, insecurity and safety. Through creative and story-based methods, the pilot generated new insight into how to improve the relationship between citizens and government in the South African context. This action learning case built upon existing SLF relationships within the township, and with various government bodies. SLF also hosted a national engagement event in December 2016, in partnership with UNICEF and SaVI (University of Cape Town), to start the conversation about how citizens can help to monitor the SDGs.

Project Completion:

Over a 15 month period the SLF PMA team worked closely with a good mix of men and women (including youth and mature voices), all dedicated and bound to a common goal of helping to bring about positive change at various levels in Delft. The group’s key goal was to harness the power of individual and collective storytelling, as a tool to be used to bring about an end to state corruption and police brutality in their communities. Key findings of this pilot project:

  1. Gang violence & police corruption are closely linked & increasing.
  2. Levels of police corruption are causing a lack of trust in the police (and by extension, the government). Trust in the police is extremely low in places like Delft.
  3. Existing incentives & structures within the police (including targets & performance reporting) are fuelling corruption.
  4. In Delft, the relationship between Neighbourhood Watch, Community Policing Forum & SAPS has broken down due to corruption.
  5. Growing incidents of armed vigilante groups and bundu courts indicate lack of trust in the justice system and the government.
  6. Youth voices are being left out. They = Key Group that are @ Risk.

Here are some Personal Digital Stories such as “My Nightmare Becomes a Reality”, “Police Brutality”, “The Truth about Delft, the place I called Home”, “Three Brocken Hearts” and “Illovane/Chamelion” helped to inform the collectively made films.

Being Young in Delft – produced by Youth members in the group

Gangsters in Uniform – produced by community leaders in the group

Funders & Partners