The closure of the Bhubezi Healthcare Clinic and the establishment of a new local clinic: An investigation into local knowledge, global challenges, and lessons learned (GCRF QR Funding)

This research maps local community perceptions and knowledge surrounding the sudden closure of the regional Bhubezi Healthcare Clinic. We are employing qualitative interview methods to ascertain local understandings of the clinic and its closure, the resulting unmet needs, and appropriate means of servicing those needs. The research is designed to address the community-defined need for exploring the closure, and to inform the building and operation of a new local clinic: a new clinic was the single greatest need identified in 2018 in a comprehensive needs analysis conducted by partner Pala Forerunners.

Mapping community heritage with young people in rural South Africa (AHRC GCRF Network Plus ‘Changing the Story’ Funding)

This project works in rural communities bordering South Africa’s Kruger National Park (KNP), which were established in the 20th century by people who were forcibly removed from their land in what is now KNP. The project is training and supporting local young people to act as interviewers, in order to record the lived experience of older generations who remember the forced displacement, and thus to build narratives and an archive for community development purposes. The young interviewers and the research team are together mapping perceptions among older interviewees of development concepts including home, land, heritage, conflict, displacement, old age, and youth. One objective is to define local perceptions of development concepts that would otherwise be defined by the global North. Another objective is to establish a sustainable archive, supported by local young people, with help from two major international research universities. Throughout the project, we assess the linguistic, cultural and historic landscapes surrounding the work. This co-produced research identifies issues and solutions, with a view to negotiating historical conflict, and building local consensus on future livelihood and well-being.

Networking for community-led development interviews in Zimbabwe (GCRF QR Funding)

We are hosting a networking workshop at the University of Pretoria with new collaborators from academia and NGOs in Zimbabwe, to explore potential for expanding our work from South Africa into Zimbabwe, a lower income DAC country. In South Africa, we have developed and tested new community-led qualitative interview methods to identify locally-defined and previously unrecognised community needs, and to map local perceptions of development concepts such as work and livelihood in communities bordering Zimbabwe. This workshop facilitates significant expansion of our work, with significantly broader impact.


Gender and well-being in rural sedentary South African communities (GCRF QR Funding)

This project employed interdisciplinary perspectives to fundamentally re-map approaches to the development concepts healthwell-beingwork, and livelihood among women and girls in rural sedentary communities surrounding Kruger National Park (KNP). The project built on Pala Forerunners’ established quantitative needs assessment interviews, which interview every adult in each community to identify, in a grassroots way, the community’s biggest development needs. This project adapted those methods, and the established framework, towards qualitative interview methods, and conducted essential design and scoping work for investigating lived experience and local knowledge of women.