INSTITUTION BUILDING

Scat believes that community-based organisations need mentoring and support more intensively while they are in the early phases of their organisational development and in times of crisis. Scat provides this support and capacity building through dedicated fieldwork. We have the following categories for our partners.

  1. Emerging or struggling: Emerging LDAs are those which are newly established and need assistance to set up their constitution, get registered as an NPO and establish their board governance. These LDAs may need assistance with the setting up of bank accounts and to do so will require some funds to open the account. When an organisation approaches Scat for support we assess the level of motivation of the people involved to get started and to make a difference in their communities. Organisations at this stage will receive intensive support with their governance, setting up systems, developing plans and budgets and ensuring that financial record keeping takes place. These LDAs receive monthly grants and are expected to report monthly.

LDAs may progress from emerging to developing and even established and then find themselves in a crisis due to loss of funding or a leadership change. These organisations are categorised as struggling and are given the same kind of intensive support as an emerging organisation until they are back to where they were. There are times when we terminate the relationship with an organisation in crisis because there is a lack of motivation to change the situation and no work is happening in the community.

  1. Developing: These LDAs have their governance and financial management set up but their performance fluctuates due to challenges with board members participation or need assistance with the development of their programmes. They receive less intensive support from Scat than an emerging organisation but we keep a close watch on their progress to ensure we step in when it is needed.

LDAs in this phase receive monthly or quarterly grants from Scat depending on their ability to manage cash flow and report regularly. All efforts are made to move these LDAs from developing to established. Developing LDAs are also starting to raise funds in their local community and from other donors.

  1. Established: These LDAs have all the governance and financial management systems in place. They need limited support from Scat outside of the grant they receive and although the Development Coordinator still visits the organisation the purpose is to learn about the work being done and what has been successful. We maintain relationships with these LDAs for as long as the funding they receive from Scat still makes a difference. LDAs usually graduate from Scat’ s support once they have enough funding to operate without the small grant from Scat. There have been times when established LDAs that have graduated have returned to Scat and asked for assistance due to diminished funding. In some instances they only receive the Fris rewards to assist with cash flow shortfalls or projects they would like to start in the community.

PROMOTING PHILANTHROPY

Ensuring that Scat is a sustainable organisation is achieved through a diverse funding base and careful management of assets. Scat has intentionally broadened its funding base. Scat in turn, encourages LDAs to source income from local and provincial government and seek other potential donors and economic development opportunities to achieve their own financial independence from Scat. In this spirit, Scat rewards local community fundraising efforts through the Fundraising Incentive Scheme. Scat is part of the Funding Practice Alliance (FPA) which includes Inyathelo and CDRA. A small network of NGOs which has been working together to promote better engagement between civil society and funders. The FPA would like to see a transformative relationship between civil society and the philanthropy organisations which provide the funds to do our work.

DEVELOPING INTELLECTUAL CAPITAL

Scat is a learning organisation. As such we use the action, reflection, learning cycle as a way of ensuring continuous learning and opportunities for learning. Scat encourages this model both in the LDAs we support and in all teams within Scat. In 2017 Scat conducted an evaluation using the Appreciative Inquiry approach. One of the important outcomes of this evaluation was the ownership of the process by all who are involved in and affected by SCAT. Another important outcome is the Scat Strategic Plan 2017 – 2020. Through our website, research and evaluation reports are shared with others in the development sector.

BROKERING PARTNERSHIPS

Scat believes that for there to be sustainable development, partnerships between communities, civil society, government and business must be negotiated and nurtured. The Scat development coordinators work with LDAs to promote an understanding of partnerships, to identify potential partners and to make linkages. Partnerships with local government are important contributors to integrated development of the community.

 

SCAT FOCUS AREAS

GENDER

Gender inequality in South Africa, particularly in rural community’s impacts on the development of those communities. In most rural households women deal with health care, education, sustaining the household and ensuring the overall well being of the family. They contribute to enterprise development and fuel local economies. Despite this, women face structural challenges that prevent them from achieving their socio-economic rights.

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Rural women spend more time than men and urban women in reproductive and household work. SCAT believes that investing in women and through increasing the status of women in communities we can contribute to a more equal society.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersexed people are affected by high levels of patriarchy and discrimination especially in rural communities which are governed by traditional values. This makes them vulnerable to violence and isolation. Scat is promoting equality for all people regardless of their sexual orientation and gender to create a society in which all people can prosper. We do this by creating awareness of the rights of all people according to the Constitution and challenging stereotypical attitudes. We encourage our grantees to welcome all people regardless of gender, race or religious beliefs into their organisations.

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ACCESS TO JUSTICE

SCAT has a long track record of funding community based advice offices. These organisations provide a paralegal service to communities where access to information is limited and service delivery is poor. Access to justice is a basic human right. All people should have access to information and an agency which works on their behalf to ensure that their rights are protected.

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In South Africa paralegals are often the poor helping the poor. Lack of funding and a sustainable source of income means that paralegals are not adequately rewarded for the service they provide to their community. Scat ensures that through a small core grant the running costs of the office are covered and the doors remain open. We work closely with Nadcao and ACAOSA to promote the access to justice agenda at the highest levels in government.

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FOOD SECURITY

Climate change and the high costs of food are having an impact on food security especially in rural areas where communities have relied on their own food production to ensure food security. The loss of labour in rural areas due to the migration of men and young people to urban areas and mines has contributed to reduced subsistence farming and a loss of knowledge of traditional farming methods.

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High value is placed on food that is bought from supermarkets in response to marketing and the need for convenience foods as women become the main breadwinners in the homes. This has resulted in a high cost burden on families and economic priorities such as health and education have lost their place in terms of priorities. SCAT is encouraging communities through our LDA partners to promote home grown food production. We support 9 food garden projects where training takes place and seed banks are built up. Food grown at these projects are used for the people working in the organisations, local old age groups and creches and some surplus is sold to keep the project going. LDAs encourage and support home food gardens which ensures that food which is easily grown in a community does not have to be bought. Micro nutrients improve contributing to healthier communities.

One of the biggest challenges faced by these projects has been water with water sources drying up and climate patterns changing. The most vulnerable people are women and children living in rural communities. Soil quality reduces as there is little to replenish the soil with and over-grazing and a lack of crop rotation has caused the nutrients in the soil to be depleted. In response to this challenge we have been training communities in better water management. This is useful for the projects and in the home and ensures that the food garden projects are more sustainable.

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YOUTH

Young people are less likely to find employment than any other group of people now. Young women are the most vulnerable and most likely to become unemployable as they age and they have limited opportunities for employment and education. Families prioritise the education of young men and young women are expected to contribute to the care of small children and the elderly. Limited opportunities to develop skills is a contributing factor as the South African matric does not produce young people with skills that can be used in the marketplace.

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In response to this SCAT Is piloting a Youth Development Fund. Working with a select group of LDAs we will be training young people to run their own committees and raise funds in their community for projects they value. Scat will reward these groups for their fundraising efforts and the youth will decide how these funds can be used to benefit the community. The project will be run through the LDA supported by SCAT and the young people will be mentored by an active person in the LDA. The approach is based on the Youth Bank model and we will be working with Youth Bank International and in South Africa to strengthen our efforts.

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