Examining the Impact of COVID-19 on In-school Nutrition Programmes

The University of Johannesburg’s (UJ) Centre for Social Development in Africa (CSDA) and the Food Evolution Research Laboratory (FERL) hosted a webinar on The Effects of COVID-19 on In-school Nutrition. The webinar, held on May 24, 2023, presented the research findings related to the impact of the pandemic on in-school nutrition programs. Importance and Scope … Continued

UJ’s Centre for Social Development in Africa recognised at HSRC/USAf CEOs’ Awards

The Centre for Social Development in Africa from the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Johannesburg (UJ), was selected as a finalist for the team award at the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) and and Universities South Africa (USAf)  ceremony held on Thursday, 13 April 2023, at Maslow Time Square in Menlyn, Pretoria, This … Continued

ICSD Africa colloquium explores social development approaches to Climate Change, Crises, and Gender Equality

On March 14 and 15, 2023, the African branch of the International Consortium for Social Development (ICSD) conducted its inaugural colloquium in Johannesburg. The theme of the event, which was hosted by the University of Johannesburg (UJ) Centre for Social Development in Africa (CSDA), was “When Crises Collide: Social Development Responses to Intersecting Crises in … Continued

Social Grants and Livelihood Activities of Beneficiaries webinar held on 21 February 2023

On 21 February, the CSDA hosted its first webinar of the year; with the highly anticipated theme of “Social Grants and Livelihoods Activities of Beneficiaries”. Leila presented the findings from a research brief that sought to understand how grants are used to support livelihood activities. During the webinar she presented quantitative data that provided an … Continued

Fourth industrial revolution technology enhances social inclusion for those with visual impairments

The advent of the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) has seen technology evolving at an unprecedented rate. One of the benefits of this transformation, is that it has made life so much easier and accessible for people with visual impairments like CSDA MPhil graduate, Tunusha Naidoo. When I was completing high school in the late 1990s, … Continued

Introducing Prof Tanusha Raniga, the Interim DST/NRF South African Research Chair in Welfare and Social Development

The CSDA is excited to welcome Prof Tanusha Raniga as the Interim DST/NRF South African Research Chair in Welfare and Social Development, and looks forward to working on a range of exciting new research projects with her. Here we introduce Prof Raniga and outline her research focus for 2023. Professor Tanusha Raniga trained as a … Continued

Prof Leila Patel SARChI Chair Announcement

Professor Leila Patel, the founder of the Centre for Social Development in Africa (CSDA) at the University of Johannesburg, has stepped down from her role as South African Research Chair (SARChI) in Welfare and Social Development. Leila has held the Chair since 2016 and has, in the past seven years, used the position to build on … Continued

Assessing the social value of work in public work programmes

Congratulations go to Lauren Stuart on the submission of her PhD dissertation titled “The Social Value of Work: A Case Study of Public Employment Programmes in Orange Farm, South Africa.” Lauren’s study explored the social value of work as experienced by public works programme participants and community members who live in Orange Farm, Johannesburg. The … Continued

Urban farming and the attainment of Sustainable Development Goal 2 (Zero Hunger) in Zimbabwe a paper presented by Dr Constance Gunhidzirirai

Introduction Over three billion people live in urban areas worldwide, accounting for 55% of the world’s population. Furthermore, 68% of the world’s population is expected to live in urban areas by 2050 (United Nations, 2018). This makes one question whether we can meet the demands for healthy food. The increase in urban population has led … Continued

Dissertation in the spotlight – Dr Somaya Abdullah

Somaya Abdullah recently completed her doctoral degree titled “Developmental Social Welfare and Indigenous Knowledge Systems: Kinship Care of Muslim Older Persons in South Africa” under the supervision of Prof Leila Patel. She researched the kinship care of Muslim older persons as an indigenous practice in South Africa in relation to developmental social welfare in the … Continued

Visiting Professor of the CSDA Trudie Knijn’s keynote presentation at the 20th Annual ESPAnet Conference

Trudie Knijn; Emeritus Professor of Utrecht University and Visiting Professor of the CSDA, University of Johannesburg. The 20th Annual ESPAnet conference was held in Vienna, from 14-16 September 2022. ESPAnet is the European Social Policy Analysis network that offers young and upcoming social policy scholars –master students, PhD’s and postdocs – an opportunity to present … Continued

How special Covid grant helped informal traders to stay afloat

Informal traders are a ubiquitous sight on the streets of South Africa’s towns, cities and villages. Some sell fresh fruits and vegetables; others offer snacks and hot food while still others give passers-by a convenient spot to buy loose cigarettes, items of clothing and household items like dish cloths and pot scrapers. These traders are … Continued

Graduating students

Two CSDA and South African Research Chair in Welfare and Social Development students, Edwin Mtambanengwe and Jenita Chiba, have completed their PhD dissertations and have graduated! “We congratulate both Edwin and Jenita! They have both worked very hard and we are pleased that they will be awarded their doctorates in the coming months,” says Prof … Continued

Two post-Doctoral Research Fellows to stay on at CSDA

The CSDA is proud to announce that two post-Doctoral Research Fellows Dr Constance Gunhidzirai and Dr Emmanuel Rowlands have had their PDRFs renewed for another year. This is an indication of the efforts they and their supervisor Prof Leila Patel have made in publishing their research and the engagement they have had with CSDA projects. … Continued

CSDA’s CoP produces benefits not just for children but for practitioners too

South African social services for children and families are often hampered by fragmentation and lack of coordination of services as well as limited resources. The needs of children are however multi-dimensional, and a holistic approach is needed at a local level, where services work in concert to ensure better outcomes for children. The CSDA led … Continued

Reflecting on the rights of homeless women

On 9 August 1956, about 20 000 women marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria in protest against legislation aimed at tightening the apartheid government’s control over the movement of black women in urban areas. Women’s Day marks the anniversary of the great women’s march of 1956 and while we celebrate the thousands of women … Continued

Virtual symposium spotlights the value of collaboration in improving children’s lives

Tangible, sustainable change is possible in the lives of children and their caregivers when teachers, social workers, nurses, parents and children work together with a common purpose and in a dedicated, solution-focused way. This is the key message that emerged from a two-day virtual symposium organised by the Centre for Social Development in Africa (CSDA) … Continued

Mosiwa joins the Basic Package of Support team in Orange Farm

Mosiwa Malula has joined the Basic package of Support team as Site Manager in Orange Farm. Mosiwa is an experienced youth facilitator and life coach. He believes his flexible and versatile nature and his ability to maintain a sense of humour under any pressure will be an asset to the programme. He is also easily … Continued

CSDA welcomes Youth Employment Service programme intern

Vangeli Dlamini recently joined the CSDA team to gain valuable work experience. She is a participant in the Youth Employment Service (YES) programme and this is an exciting opportunity for her to gain experience in the academic space. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Johannesburg. Vangeli studied psychology because she … Continued

MPhil in the spotlight

Trauma a major cause of mental health challenges among school learners Mokolo Maponyane researched the experience of adolescent learners access to psychosocial support services in South Africa. She found that although South Africa has made great strides in improving the lives of all children since 1994 there remains a need for sustained and targeted Psychosocial … Continued

Book Launch: Tessa Hochfeld Granting Justice: Cash, Care and the Child Support Grant

The Centre for Social Development in Africa (CSDA) in partnership with the HSRC Press and Governing Intimacies at Wits hosted a hybrid book launch for Tessa’s book Granting Justice: Cash, Care and the Child Support Grant on a cold highveld winters evening in Johannesburg on 21 June. Srila Roy (Associate Professor in Sociology, University of … Continued

The CSDA contributes to growing expertise in the social development sector

We are very excited to announce that this year 13 students graduated from the Interdisciplinary Masters in Social Policy and Development. “A huge congratulations to all these students. This is an amazing achievement but it is even more exceptional considering that these students completed their MPhils under immense pressure and the challenging circumstances that the … Continued

MPhil in the spotlight: How rural women secure their livelihoods

Wendall Westley recently completed her MPhil with a dissertation titled “Understanding the experiences and pathways of rural women towards sustainable livelihoods.” Her study sought to understand the experiences and pathways of women in rural areas in KwaZulu-Natal as they seek to secure their livelihoods. Her study sought to understand the experiences and pathways of women … Continued

CoP team provide training on teaching foundation phase maths and literacy

In early April the Communities of Practice for Child Well-being hosted a Teacher’s Maths and Language workshop. 36 teachers from all of the schools participating in the CoP attended the workshop at the Funda UJabule school on the University of Johannesburg’s Soweto campus. The workshop featured 2 sessions. Dr Hanrie Bezuidenhout provided training on how … Continued

A true account of the cost of looking for work

On 5 May, Youth Capital launched their report, “Beyond the Cost: what does it really cost young people to look for work?”. Insights from the report were discussed in a panel discussion with Youth Capital’s Kristal Duncan-Williams, CSDA Researcher Senzelwe Mthembu and financial journalist Duma Gqubule. The report built on the CSDA’s Siyakha Youth Assets … Continued

Atlantis Basic Package of Support pilot site already at full capacity

The Basic Package of Support Atlantis office opened its doors in the second half of January 2022; in less than three months, 132 young people have enrolled for this innovative youth coaching and support programme. Of these, 109 are eligible for the programme (meaning they are from the area, aged 18 to 25, and currently … Continued

Communities of Practice: what have we learnt about implementing intervention research in the time of Covid?

The CSDA’s Communities of Practice(CoP) Project is a multi- and trans-disciplinary collaboration between researchers and practitioners across different sub-fields, including social work, sociology, psychology, education psychology, education, mathematics and language curriculum, mental health, nutrition, primary health care, community nursing, public health and school health care services. In the CoP study, we target children and their … Continued

Communities of Practice for Child Wellbeing project nears completion

The CSDA’s Communities of Practice (CoP) Project is a multi- and trans-disciplinary collaboration between researchers and practitioners across different sub-fields, including social work, sociology, psychology, education psychology, education, mathematics and language curriculum, mental health, nutrition, primary health care, community nursing, public health and school health care services. In the CoP study, we target children and … Continued

Prof Lauren Graham presents at Youth Unemployment Imbizo

Prof Lauren Graham presented as a panellist at the Youth Unemployment Imbizo hosted by Economic Development and Wellbeing Research Group (EDWRG) on 12 April. The Imbizo tackled the serious problem of unemployment and youth unemployment in South Africa. Currently youth unemployment sits at 65%, the Imbizo sought to detail the causes for this and find … Continued

Second Prof Tessa Hochfeld Memorial Bursary recipient announced

We are excited to announce that Yibanathi Mabunda has been awarded the Prof Tessa Hochfeld Memorial Bursary. Yibanathi is the second recipient of the bursary and will begin the MPhil in Social Policy and Development this year. Her interest in the MPhil course aligns with her interest in children, their wellbeing and social justice. She … Continued

CSDA welcomes two new team members

In March we welcomed Jade Pieterse to the CSDA family. Jade will be the CSDA’s communications officer and she brings with her a wealth of strategic communications knowledge and expertise. Jade holds a Bachelor of Arts in Community Development from UNISA and she recently completed a course in Digital Communication for NGOs with the DG … Continued

16 March Webinar | Context Matters: child growth within a constrained environment

On 16 March the CSDA hosted the first webinar of the year. This webinar was titled “Context Matters: child growth within a constrained environment” and formed part of the Community of Practice for Social Systems Strengthening to Improve Child Well-being Outcomes (CoP). Prof Shane Norris, from the Centre of Excellence for Human Development at Wits … Continued

Vulnerable children bore the brunt of disrupted school nutrition programmes

The South African state has recognised the effects of childhood poverty and since the early democratic era has invested in the National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP) as a mechanism to alleviate the hunger that many children face. The NSNP feeds over 9 million children each school day and the programme is intended to meet 30-40% … Continued

CSDA team grows

Lebo Sello is an accomplished Project Manager with over 20 years work experience of planning, managing, implementing, and monitoring various projects including those in research focused on young people and children. Through these different roles, Lebo has experience developing projects scope, kept projects moving, submitted deliverables on time, and ensured a seamless experience for all … Continued

Basic Package of Support Atlantis Site doors are open!

We are excited to announce that the Basic Package of Support’s first pilot site in Atlantis in the Western Cape is now open. The CSDA together with the Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit (SALDRU) at UCT and the DG Murray Trust have been working on the Basic Package of Support project for many … Continued

Children’s Vision for a Post-Pandemic Future

In this multi-country, multi-disciplinary study Dr Sadiyya Haffejee focused on children’s experiences during the pandemic. Five countries were selected (Pakistan, Turkey, Kenya, South Africa, and Brazil) and within each country, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) acted as local project lead. These lead NGOs were identified through existing global youth mental health networks by the central research … Continued

Mapping Safety Study

While there is increasing awareness of the central role that neighbourhoods and environmental factors have on child safety, few studies have examined children’s perceptions of the natural and built environment, especially those children living in challenging circumstances. To address these issues, Dr Sadiyya Haffejee explored children’s perceptions and experiences of their challenging physical and natural … Continued