2020 Annual Report: Decent Standard of Living Colloquium
2020 Annual Report
For SPII as a collection of people it was a difficult year. We anticipated the hard lockdown by working from home in early March as was suggested by the national leadership. While many of our activities could continue thus, the main casualty was our vibrant work with the Chiawelo Budget Coalition that was formed from the Chiawelo Clinic Committee. - Director Report, Isobel Frye.
This however quite easily migrated to the virtual platform of WhatsApp and much information was shared about assistance and support, and solidaristic stories of encouragement were shared. We also proudly pioneered the first virtual submission by SPII with the Coalition to the Gauteng Provincial Legislature on the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement in October 2020.
One of the hardest knocks that we suffered was that due to Covid- 19, our much-anticipated return to field to refresh the Decent Standard of Living Socially Perceived Necessities (SPNs) with partners SAPSRI, LRS and UNICEF could not proceed as focus group discussions did not meet Ethics Committee clearance due to the restrictions on face to face gatherings.
We eventually have had to concede to the use of telephonic survey methodology which we will proceed to do in 2021. The year’s delay was the more frustrating as the DSL itself won significant policy traction within the Department of Social Development as an aspirational level for income cash transfer setting.
Institutionally, we continue to strengthen the Institute with the implementation of the Strategic Plan and the recommendations of our external review. Most specifically we will be appointing more research management staff to broaden our leadership, and to address the huge challenges in youth unemployment we have approached some of our funders to support more short term internships to enable graduates to enter the world of work.
We were pleased to be able to continue to host our annual Decent Standard of Living Colloquium on 13 November 2020. This year’s theme was “Embedding Multi-Dimensional Poverty Measurements For Covid-19 Structural Recovery” and was well attended in its new virtual state.
The webinar was opened by the UN Country Representative, Ms Nardos Bekele- Thomas and Mr Godfrey Mashamba, Deputy Director General, Planning in the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation. SPII’s Director, Isobel Frye, and Christine Muhigana, UNICEF representative in South Africa closed the event.
We have to conclude with a sombre warning that much of the smoke and mirrors of the recovery stimulus so proudly announced by Papa (President Ramaphosa) on various occasions has not in fact been delivered. From support to informal traders, to loans to small businesses and income support to workers in affected workplaces and comprehensive social income support: the bulk of the resources have been targeted to big business.
For the full report, click here SPII11-ANNUAL REPORT 2020-FINAL-SPREAD