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How are poor communities building their own futures? Barriers and triggers to participation

09 November 2012
11:15 - 13:30

Date : 09 November 2012

Time : 11:15 – 13:30

Location : Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town (Videoconferencing facilities: see below)

Presenters : Melani Prinsloo, Founder: Centre for Democratising Information (CDI)

How are poor communities responding to support from community development specialists and inclusive business designs? How can community development specialists in conjunction with private enterprise help poor communities lead broad-based local development?

This seminar presents emerging insights from an on-going Community Capability survey, which includes 190 community focus groups and 3450 community household surveys. Our findings are helping community development specialists to better understand the context within which communities are operating, people’s sense of agency and how they convert resources (money, education, health, technology, information, environment and more) into different futures. The evidence also offers insight into the resources and capabilities (coupled with conversion factors) required in communities to help them access and or optimise opportunities created through development initiatives.

The intended outcome of the project is to shed light on the realities of middle and lower-end economic communities in order to identify opportunities to develop programmes, policy, products and services suitable to these communities or suitable to the stakeholders influencing the development of these communities. The context or wide angle design of the study (paying attention to the environment, education, health, technology, media, money, culture and tradition, democracy and worklife/unemployment) mitigates the risk of subject-specific studies, where the selected topic (e.g. health or education) of the study limits the identification of alternative opportunities and broad-based risk analysis.

South African Community Capability Project partners: Department of Science and Technology (DST), Department of Basic Education (DBE), TIPS / Community Work Programme (CWP), Kumba, SAP and Vodacom.

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Kindly RSVP by 21 September2012

This seminar may be attended via video conference in Pretoria, Cape Town and KwaZulu-Natal. Details as below.  

Cape Town: HSRC, 12th Floor, Plein Park Building (Opposite Revenue Office), Plein Street, Cape Town. Contact Jean Witten, Tel (021) 4668004, Fax (021) 461 0299, or

Durban: First floor HSRC board room, 750 Francois Road, Ntuthuko Junction, Pods 5 and 6, Cato Manor, Contact Ridhwaan Khan, Tel (031) 242 5400, cell: 083 788 2786 or

Pretoria: HSRC Video Conference, 1st floor HSRC Library Human Sciences Research Council, 134 Pretorius Street, Pretoria. Arlene Grossberg, Tel: (012) 302 2811, e-mail: