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 mapped local community perceptions and knowledge surrounding the sudden closure of the regional Bhubezi Healthcare Clinic. We employed 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 was 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 worked in Utha community bordering South Africa’s Kruger National Park (KNP). Many Utha residents and their families were forcibly removed from their land in what is now KNP. The project relied on the social and cultural insights of local young people, who recorded the lived experience of older generations, to build narratives and an archive for community development purposes. A project 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 hosted networking workshops at the University of Pretoria and Lupane State University 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. This workshop facilitated 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.