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How can Sector Budget Support embrace Civil Society and what can be achieved? How can such support offer an effective way to strengthen sector capacity and governance? In this first of a two-part series on capacity4dev.eu, Jozet Muller from the EU Delegation to South Africa shares her experience of engaging with civil society in ways that are helping to promote transparency and accountability.
teacher with pupil
A crucial element in creating an inclusive education system is training its teachers – which is where the bulk of the EU’s budget support for education in South Africa goes. One teacher education programme in Soweto is experimenting with a new model, bringing primary school children onto a university campus. It creates a much-needed quality primary school in an under-served area, and bridges theory and practice for the student teachers.
“Education is one of the foundations for development and Erasmus Mundus addressed the needs of developing countries in higher education. We tend to focus on basic education in our development programmes but this is not enough. We need to invest in a continuum of education and Erasmus Mundus provided this opportunity for students and for institutions to increase their capacity,” said Veronique Lorenzo, Head of Unit for Education at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development.
While industrialised nations have traditionally taken the lead in coordinating development, emerging powers like South Africa, Brazil and India are increasingly assuming a role as providers of technical cooperation, too. Is this a welcome conversion? We’d like your views.
vocational ed South Africa
Many children fall through the gaps in South Africa’s education system. Only half of learners in Grade 1 make it to Grade 12, and many fall short of exam requirements. The EU has been supporting South Africa’s Departments of Basic Education and Higher Education and Training since 2004 to move towards inclusive education for all, with specific measures to support learners with disabilities and from disadvantaged backgrounds. Capacity4dev hears about a programme providing books for every child; the rise of full-service schools; and improving vocational education.
 When you think about development challenges, a lack of trained accountants might not immediately come to mind. Yet poor public sector financial management is often at the root of patchy service delivery in other sectors, from health and education to transport. South Africa recognised this underlying issue, and with EU support embarked on a capacity development programme.
Randomised control trials in South Africa have repeatedly shown that in-cash social transfers made to families with young children can have significant long-term positive impacts on the lives of those children and the future economic prospects of a country. Children in households receiving payments are typically taller, healthier and better educated and as a result grow into economically more productive adults.
Development projects and programmes aim to change lives around the world using various methods from technical assistance to capacity development. But what actually happens when a project ends and the money is withdrawn from one day to the next? What legacy does the EU leave behind? Dr Ramneek Ahluwalia, Country Director and Head of the Higher Education and Training HIV/AIDS (HEAIDS) Programme in South Africa shares his experiences, including how he overcame financial cutbacks and near collapse, to oversee one of South Africa’s best success stories. 
Joblessness is a longstanding challenge for South Africa where the unemployment rate is 26% - officially. Off the record it’s closer to 40%, according to Milly Chesire at the EU Delegation in Pretoria, and hits 70% among historically disadvantaged persons (HDPs). This group is made up of black South Africans, women and people with disabilities, and it is these people the EU is helping the South African government to reach with funding for small and medium-sized enterprises via the Risk Capital Facility. Capacity4dev visited Americandy, a confectionary business in Johannesburg, to see how it works.
Amouzou Bedi created a new WIKI page 14 February 2015

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