Development of a conceptual framework for the capacity enhancement of development workers in Botswana

Van der Merwe, Marietjie (Stellenbosch : University of Stellenbosch, 2009-12)

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Although Botswana is considered by some indices as an economically successful country, poverty is experienced by 30% of the population. This is considered a very high poverty rate especially when it is compared to other countries on a similar level of economic development. Several policies have been put in place by the Botswana government to relieve the consequences of poverty. One of these policies, the destitute policy, targeted those individuals who are disabled and/or unable to engage in sustainable economic activities, causing such individuals to have insufficient assets and income sources. It was found by the Botswana government that the implementation of the destitute policy aggravates dependency of the destitute on government support. As a result, development workers were expected to lead registered destitute to independence through the implementation of a destitute rehabilitation programme. However, literature suggested that approaches that are used by development workers to enable individuals to engage in sustainable economic activities are often detrimental to the very empowerment purposes that such workers set out to achieve. The objective of this research was therefore to develop a conceptual framework for capacity enhancement of development workers in Botswana. This objective was addressed through applying action research in order to gain in-depth understanding of the perspectives, practices and experiences of the key role players involved in destitute rehabilitation. This was done in one urban district, one semi-urban district and one rural district council in Botswana. This research took place in four phases, all of which were informed by the action research approach. The first phase comprised four cycles of action research. Each cycle encouraged reflection and observation on destitute rehabilitation practices and planning towards improved practices, followed by implementation. It became evident to the researcher that only singleloop learning was practiced by the development workers. Therefore, instead of gaining deeper insight into aspects that influence destitute rehabilitation, the same problems related to destitute rehabilitation practices were repeated by development workers. Reflection on this process created understanding by the researcher on why the expected results were not achieved. Based on this reflection, a literature review was carried out in iv Phase II to develop the final theoretical and methodological frameworks for this research. Phase III consisted of focus group discussions to understand the perspectives, practices and experiences of the different role players in destitute rehabilitation. The data produced in Phase III enabled understanding of how development workers’ capacity was influenced by the system within which they are operating. The results of this research showed that development workers saw themselves in the same state of powerlessness as the destitute and as not being able to influence the system within which they are operating. Phase IV comprised the application of the coding principles of grounded theory to make sense of data related to Phases I and III, followed by the application of critical systems heuristics to make further sense of the data. Based on the understanding that emerged through the application of CSH, a conceptual framework was developed for the capacity enhancement of development workers in Botswana. It became evident in this research that the challenge for the government of Botswana is to not only reduce the number of registered destitute, but to redesign the system within which destitute rehabilitation takes place, by using the conceptual framework developed in this research. The purpose of the conceptual framework is to enable policy-makers and development workers to scrutinise the whole system within which destitute rehabilitation is implemented by engaging the key role players in dialogue on adjustments that need to be made to the system to enhance development workers’ capacity in destitute rehabilitation.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Alhoewel Botswana, gemeet aan sekere maatstawe, as ’n ekonomies suksesvolle land beskou word, leef 30% van die bevolking tans in armoede. Dit kan as ’n buitensporig hoë graad van armoede beskou word, veral as dit vergelyk word met lande met ’n soortgelyke vlak van ekonomiese ontwikkeling. Verskeie beleide is deur die Botswana-regering in werking gestel om die gevolge van armoede te bekamp. Een van die beleide, die sogenaamde beleid vir behoeftige persone, is spesifiek gerig op individue met ’n tekort aan bates of inkomstebronne veroorsaak deur gestremdheid en/of ’n onvermoë om aan volhoubare ekonomiese aktiwiteite deel te neem. Die Botswana-regering het egter bevind dat die implementering van hierdie beleid behoeftiges se afhanklikheid van regeringshulp vererger. As gevolg hiervan word daar van ontwikkelingswerkers verwag om geregistreerde behoeftiges na onafhanklikheid te lei deur die implementering van ’n program vir die rehabilitasie van behoeftiges. Die bevindings uit beskikbare literatuur dui egter daarop dat die metodes wat deur ontwikkelingswerkers gebruik word om behoeftiges in staat te stel om aan volhoubare ekonomiese aktiwiteite deel te neem dikwels ’n negatiewe uitwerking ten opsigte van die beoogde bemagtigingsoogmerke het. Die doel van hierdie navorsing was dus die ontwikkeling van ’n konsepraamwerk vir kapasiteitbou vir ontwikkelingswerkers in Botswana. Die mikpunt is benader deur aksienavorsing toe te pas om ’n grondige begrip te verkry van die perspektiewe, praktyke en ondervindings van al die rolspelers betrokke by die rehabilitasie van behoeftiges. Die navorsing het volgens die aksienavorsingsbenadering in vier fases in een stedelike, een newe-stedelike en een landelike distriksraad in Botswana plaasgevind. Die eerste fase het vier siklusse van aksienavorsing behels. Elke siklus het reflektering en observasie met betrekking tot ontwikkelingswerkers se bestaande rehabilitasiepraktyke aangemoedig. Dit is gevolg deur beplanning vir verbeterde praktyke en implementering van die beplande aksie. Dit het vir die navorser duidelik geword dat slegs enkellus-leer deur ontwikkelingswerkers toegepas is. In stede daarvan om ’n dieper insig in die aspekte wat die rehabilitasie van behoeftiges beïnvloed te verkry, is dieselfde problematiese praktyke met die rehabilitasie van behoeftiges telkens deur die ontwikkelingswerkers herhaal. Nabetragting oor die proses het die navorser die redes laat verstaan hoekom die verwagte resultate nie behaal is nie. Gebaseer op hierdie nabetragting is ’n literatuurstudie tydens Fase II uitgevoer om die finale teoretiese raamwerk en metodologie raamwerk vir die navorsing te ontwikkel. Fase III het fokusgroep-besprekings ingesluit om die perspektiewe, praktyke en ondervindings van die verskillende rolspelers tydens die rehabilitasie van behoeftiges beter te verstaan. Die gegewens verkry gedurende Fase III het die navorser insig gegee in die wyse waarop ontwikkelingswerkers se kapasiteit beïnvloed word deur die stelsel waarbinne hulle werk. Die resultate van hierdie navorsing het getoon dat ontwikkelingswerkers hulself beskou as in dieselfde toestand van magteloosheid as die behoeftiges, en dat dit vir hulle onmoontlik is om die stelsel waarbinne hulle werksaam is te beïnvloed. Fase IV het begin met die toepassing van koderingsbeginsels van gegronde teorie ter opklaring van gegewens verkry tydens Fases I en III, gevolg deur die toepassing van kritieke stelsel-heuristiek, ’n stelsel-denke-benadering, om die gegewens van Fase I en III te integreer. Die insig wat verkry is deur die toepassing van kritieke stelsel heuristiek het bygedra tot die ontwikkeling van die konsepraamwerk vir die kapasiteitsbou van ontwikkelingswerkers in Botswana. Dit het uit hierdie navorsing geblyk dat die uitdaging vir die Botswana-regering nie net is om die aantal geregistreerde behoeftiges te verminder nie, maar om ook die huidige stelsel waaronder die rehabilitasie van behoeftiges plaasvind, te herontwikkel deur die konsepraamwerk wat in hierdie navorsing ontwerp is, te implementeer. Die doel van die konsepraamwerk is om beleidmakers en ontwikkelingswerkers in staat te stel om die rehabilitasiestelsel van behoeftiges te bestudeer deur al die rolspelers in dialoog te betrek sodat veranderinge aan die stelsel gemaak kan word vir kapasiteitsbou van die ontwikkelingswerkers.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/1472
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