Browsing by Author "Nilsson, Warren"
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- ItemOpen AccessA health information platform for Case Managed Neglected Tropical Diseases - A case study from Mozambique(2020) de Kruijff, Arie; Nilsson, WarrenLeprosy, as one of the neglected tropical diseases, is an ancient disease that requires a slow and patient approach for its diagnosis and treatment involving various actors along the way. This care system has traditionally been supported by a paper based health information system still in use today in many endemic countries. In Mozambique, various attempts at modernizing the system have failed. The continued transmission of the disease is again highlighting the need for sharper strategic approaches supported by detailed information and better coordination between the various care actors in the system. This study coincided with the design and implementation of a new health information system for the case managed neglected tropical diseases (NTD) care sector in Mozambique. A Soft Systems Methodology (Action Research) approach was followed during this implementation process in an attempt to incorporate the perspectives of various actors and many institutional relationships that have an impact on the outcomes of this complex disease. The aim of the study was not only to identify factors that would contribute to the successful introduction of the health information system, but also to contribute to better knowledge management within this specific NTD care context. The study utilized group work, rich picture creation and individual interviews to build conceptual models for knowledge management in this context. It also tried to ground this by analyzing lessons from previous unsuccessful NTD information systems as well as the experiences from other countries in Africa where a similar infrastructure was implemented successfully.
- ItemOpen AccessA phenomenological study of the lived experiences of social housing residents in relation to their digital exclusion(2019) Williams, Jonathan; Nilsson, WarrenThere is no more significant threat to a prosperous South Africa than the persistent socioeconomic exclusion and continuous spatial segregation of South African society. Social housing and digital inclusion both play a critical role as inclusionary interventions for the socioeconomic advancement of the previously disenfranchised and the reintegration of apartheid-era segregated communities. Access to ICTs provides marginalised communities with platforms and tools to amplify their voices, gain access to information and reaffirm their citizenship, thereby allowing for more vigorous participation in the national discourse. “The goal of ICTs is not to necessarily solve the digital divide but rather to further the process of social inclusion.” (Warschauer, 2003) Furthermore, these technological platforms provide access to life chances, capital enhancing activities, information and the possibility of building networks outside of individuals' modest social networks. This study seeks to understand how digital exclusion influences the experience of overall inclusion in South African social housing. This dissertation is a qualitative study employing a mixture of phenomenological and ethnographic methods to document and make sense of the lived experiences of participants in relation to their exclusion. The study uses of semi-structured interviews, focus groups and surveys to explore participants' adaptation and integration into local formal institutions and the host community of Blue View Terraces, a mostly white, middle-income neighbourhood located in Cape Town. The study discovered the coexistence of many different and competing forms of exclusion. Firstly, a key finding during the process of residential desegregation or spatial inclusion was participants' pervasive experiences of power dynamics. These power dynamics manifested as discrimination and marginalisation that was partly caused by the absence of relocation support, public awareness programs about social housing and a failure by the social housing institution to adequately address more forms of inclusion than just spatial. Secondly, the findings showed the design of the housing development to be hopelessly inadequate to support newcomers' actual lives. Necessary infrastructure was omitted in favour of a lower build cost. This led to a higher cost of living that is unaffordable for social housing residents and negates the benefits of lower cost rental accommodation. Lastly, findings showed that digital exclusion negatively influences the adjustment of low-socioeconomic status children into high-socioeconomic schools and leads to forced assimilation when learners come into daily contact with schools in their locality. The findings signify that social and economic inclusion efforts and even building projects can and should not be considered in isolation. Each form of exclusion competes with another, often exacerbating its effects. Also, of significance is the default approach to integration in South African schools of assimilation rather than multiculturalism. The outcomes of this study highlight the importance of considering multiple forms of exclusion together rather than in isolation, especially in the context of social inclusion projects.
- ItemOpen AccessA Phenomenological Study of the Lived Experiences of Social Housing Residents in Relation to their Digital Exclusion(2018) Williams, Jonathan; Walton, Marion; Nilsson, WarrenThere is no more significant threat to a prosperous South Africa than the persistent socioeconomic exclusion and continuous spatial segregation of South African society. Social housing and digital inclusion both play a critical role as inclusionary interventions for the socioeconomic advancement of the previously disenfranchised and the reintegration of apartheid-era segregated communities. Access to ICTs provides marginalised communities with platforms and tools to amplify their voices, gain access to information and reaffirm their citizenship, thereby allowing for more vigorous participation in the national discourse. “The goal of ICTs is not to necessarily solve the digital divide but rather to further the process of social inclusion.” (Warschauer, 2003) Furthermore, these technological platforms provide access to life chances, capital enhancing activities, information and the possibility of building networks outside of individuals’ modest social networks. This study seeks to understand how digital exclusion influences the experience of overall inclusion in South African social housing. This dissertation is a qualitative study employing a mixture of phenomenological and ethnographic methods to document and make sense of the lived experiences of participants in relation to their exclusion. The study uses of semi-structured interviews, focus groups and surveys to explore participants’ adaptation and integration into local formal institutions and the host community of Blue View Terraces, a mostly white, middle-income neighbourhood located in Cape Town. The study discovered the coexistence of many different and competing forms of exclusion. Firstly, a key finding during the process of residential desegregation or spatial inclusion was participants’ pervasive experiences of power dynamics. These power dynamics manifested as discrimination and marginalisation that was partly caused by the absence of relocation support, public awareness programs about social housing and a failure by the social housing institution to adequately address more forms of inclusion than just spatial. Secondly, the findings showed the design of the housing development to be hopelessly inadequate to support newcomers’ actual lives. Necessary infrastructure was omitted in favour of a lower build cost. This led to a higher cost of living that is unaffordable for social housing residents and negates the benefits of lower cost rental accommodation. Lastly, findings showed that digital exclusion negatively influences the adjustment of low-socioeconomic status children into high-socioeconomic schools and leads to forced assimilation when learners come into daily contact with schools in their locality. The findings signify that social and economic inclusion efforts and even building projects can and should not be considered in isolation. Each form of exclusion competes with another, often exacerbating its effects. Also, of significance is the default approach to integration in South African schools of assimilation rather than multiculturalism. The outcomes of this study highlight the importance of considering multiple forms of exclusion together rather than in isolation, especially in the context of social inclusion projects.
- ItemOpen AccessAn exploration of the relationship between financial inclusion and the wellbeing of youth in South Africa(2021) Wilson, Shamilla; Nilsson, WarrenIn South Africa, where 55.2 percent of youth are without a job, financial inclusion has been put forward as a way to tackle unemployment and the grinding poverty and inequality that come with it. The salient features of the discourses on financial inclusion tend to focus on increasing the accessibility and usability of financial services and products for those who are un- and/or under-banked, due to its promises of economic empowerment. Whilst there is an acknowledgement that a youth specific focus is needed there is a lack of scholarship on this demographic. Interventions for youth have tended to focus on banking youth early in life as well as increase their financial literacy and savings behaviour. The literature affirms that the objectives of youth specific financial inclusion efforts are meant to assist them in achieving their aspirations, and enable them to participate more fully within society. However, the heterogeneity of youth and the complexity of social and economic realities challenge assumptions that financial literacy and improved savings behaviour could support the multitude of youth in South Africa, especially as their realities manifest at the systemic rather than the individual level. This research study, therefore, set out to explore the relationship that youth have to the formal financial system and their wellbeing. The study employed qualitative research methods such as interviews and focus groups as a means to gain deeper insight into youth financial behaviour as well as their perspectives and experiences of both their financial and overall wellbeing. The study found that it is necessary to expand the narrative of youth financial inclusion beyond an interaction with financial services, products, and interventions. It proposes that an expanded narrative starts with an in-depth understanding of the different layers of youth experiences, as they play out through the personal, relational (social and cultural), and contextual (economic and political). In addition, there is a need to take the dynamicity of different life circumstances and the external environment into account. In this way, a consideration is allowed of the external structures that may, or may not, enable individuals to exercise financial decision-making in pursuit of their overall wellbeing goals. This journey must be walked in order to move away from reductionist wellbeing assessment approaches and resulting in narrowly focused interventions. An approach that centres wellbeing would ultimately take into account the priorities and aspirations of the different stakeholders within an ecosystem, thereby putting in place institutional arrangements that enable solutions that are consistent with broader principles of social and economic justice.
- ItemOpen AccessCircumstantial social entrepreneurship: Exploring inclusive, social innovation in the transition from shadow to mainstream economic spaces. A case study of informal sector recycling activities in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe(2018) Ndlovu, Sinqobile Sichelesile; Nilsson, WarrenAs global solid waste management systems evolve to include wider elements of sustainability, developing countries are struggling with how best to work with a growing informal sector. This research seeks to investigate how developing country mainstream solid waste management systems can harness the opportunities presented through the informal recycling sector. This research explores the dialogue around „formalisation of the informal‟ and „integration of informal recycling sector into mainstream solid waste management systems‟, approaching this from an informal sector perspective. The research endeavours to offer insights to this discourse from an inclusive, social innovation approach. The research looks at what business models the informal recycling sector use as they adopt or adapt industrialised practices and how these harness inclusion and social innovation. The research area is Bulawayo, Zimbabwe with the informal recycling sector as case study. The main research question is “How can we harness inclusion and social innovation as the informal sector transitions into mainstream economic spaces?” The research employs an inductive qualitative approach through a rapid ethnography, focus group discussions and semi-structured key informant interviews. Key concepts explored in this research include „circumstantial social entrepreneurship‟, „generational informality‟, „value chain alliances‟, „public, private, community and informal sector partnerships (PPCIPs)‟ and „inclusive development as a pre-requisite to formalisation‟. By unpacking the business models employed by the informal recycling sector and how inclusive, social innovation opportunities inherent in these can be harnessed during the transition from shadow to mainstream economy spaces, this research intends to offer progressive approaches on how to unlock shared value during the graduation of the informal recycling sector from shadow to mainstream socio-economic spaces. Additionally, the outputs of this research aim to contribute to context-specific knowledge on types of non traditional social entrepreneurial activity within informal spaces and how these push boundaries of inclusive, social innovation.
- ItemOpen AccessCombatting Intimate Partner Violence Modelling Scalable Pathways for Sustainable Interventions in South Africa: The private sector as a critical ally to promote women's well-being, economic empowerment, and inclusion in the advancement of gender equity(2022) Farhana Parker; Hall, Martin; Bonnici, Francois; Nilsson, WarrenIntimate partner violence (a subset of violence against women) is a large-scale and complex social, public health, and economic problem that has existed for many decades, primarily enabled by systemic gender inequality and rooted in patriarchal gender norms. This study focuses on the design and scalability of interventions that address intimate partner violence targeted at mothers. The emphasis on mothers was chosen given the high prevalence of intimate partner violence perpetrated by men against women across the social spectrum and the more significant impact and sustainability intervening at this level presents to advance social and economic progress in South Africa. The existing interventions and funding to address violence against women are predominantly directed to post-violence responses related to the effects of violence. Despite these efforts to tackle violence against women in South Africa, the challenge persists, and many gaps remain, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The equal demand, importance, and effectiveness of pre-violence prevention interventions were evident in this study. However, the demand for and the dominance of the post-violence position underscores prevention as a critical priority. The study, therefore, revealed a limitation in the thought processes that inform the design, sustainability, and scalability, of prevention interventions which impedes the capability to bring about the large-scale systemic improvements and changes to combat violence against women in the medium to longer term. There has been minimal evidence of strategic, innovative, sustainable, long-term, and workable prevention pathways. This has made evident the significant need for alternative pathways and innovative business models to build additional designs and scalability pathways to address the problem. Therefore, the study endeavoured to identify alternative scalable pathways to prevent violence against mothers in Cape Town. In the context of this study, social and inclusive innovation principles and practices have been used to foreground this study to inform a new narrative to address the challenge more efficiently and effectively. Social innovation has been used as a lens to inform scalability and sustainability as well as inform the building of new innovative pathways and business models in the violence against women prevention ecosystem. The study adopted a qualitative research approach. Data was collected via semi-structured expert interviews and meetings on the topic area and analysed using content analysis. The study's findings revealed two fundamental priorities that include seven key practices. They are integral to influencing the design and scalability of interventions to catalyse large-scale change and bring about substantial systemic improvements in this ecosystem. These priorities encourage a new narrative to approach intimate partner violence and are indicative that violence against women can be changed if we approach it with a new intelligence. The fundamental priorities outlined in the findings include: (i) Reframing mental models to address violence against women. (ii) Developing scalable pathways and business models to influence systems change and combat violence against women. The two fundamental priorities outlined in the study's findings point to the need for a necessary social innovative legislative change in the private sector's role in supporting sustainable and scalable pathways to combat intimate partner violence and advance social and economic progress
- ItemOpen AccessCreating shared value: Investigating how micro-property developers in townships can collaborate with impact investors(2022) Ngakane, Boipelo; Nilsson, WarrenMicro-property developers are social entrepreneurs operating in townships and offer high quality rental units that upholds the dignity of community members. Although they are making a valuable contribution they are also faced with many challenges and the biggest being access to funds. This study looks at how impact investing, an emerging funding model can be used to address this challenge. Impact investing can be described as a cross-sectional initiative that involves the professional participation of various stakeholders; to drive social entrepreneurship to a level which can drive the socio-economic impact within communities, to create a social good that optimises financial, social and environmental returns ( Annual Impact Investor Survey, 2019). This research study seeks to explore and understand collaboration strategies that can be employed by micro-property developers in the context of South African townships. This study investigates how micro-property developers, through institutional systems and a multi-stakeholder approach can collaborate with impact investors by applying the concept of collective impact effort in township areas. Further on, this study highlights the importance of impact investing and unpacks the successes and challenges in township areas by illuminating how risk-taking, organisational values and funding contribute to corporate considerations in generating measurable, social and environment impact combined with financial return. Through relevant literature consulted and the use of in-depth interviews this study adopted a qualitative research methodology. Research participants included micro-property developers, impact investors and intermediaries. The research findings indicate that in the corporate ambit of social entrepreneurship and impact investing; variables such as income, risks, impact measurement, the situated area of human settlement and investor readiness are key considerations in the successful acquisition of funding opportunities. In addition, although impact investment in township areas is still an untapped market in South Africa, community leadership and partners should equally advocate the need of inclusion and innovation to steer sustainable impact investment opportunities in such communities. This study suggests that impact investors and funders should work toward cross-sectional initiatives that are scalable and inclusive, and that can create a positive impact in township communities. This study also recommends that a level of deeper knowledge is required through informed research, to understand the value and the impact of impact investments in township areas. This way, scientific data can override all stereotypical notions linked to township investments, as stigmas of crime and risks still hinder investment opportunities in townships compared to their urban counterparts.
- ItemOpen AccessCrisis as opportunity? Emergent groups, crisis relief, and social innovation in response to Covid-19(2022) Soderbergh, Jenny; Hamann, Ralph; Nilsson, WarrenThe Covid-19 pandemic brought the world to a halt in early 2020. In South Africa, as in many places around the world, the government instituted a strict national lockdown beginning at the end of March 2020 which catalyzed interconnected social and economic crises. However, the lockdown also catalyzed a proliferation of emergent crisis response groups and initiatives aimed at alleviating suffering. This qualitative case study follows the emergence and progression of eight such emergent response groups located in the Western Cape to explore the relationship between crisis response and social innovation. Over the course of one year, crisis responses are detailed across three temporal brackets: Emergence (initial crisis response), Plateau (sustained crisis response), and Evolution (differing response paths). These temporal brackets contain key themes within them, as well as enablers and barriers for transitioning between short-term crisis response and longer-term systemic change ambitions. The findings show that emergent response groups do persist in efforts well past the initial onset of a crisis and that they make intentional decisions around how to transition from crisis response towards longer-term change ambitions. Taking an institutional work lens to social innovation, this study shows that emergent response groups engage with and challenge multiple performative institutional dimensions in their work and that they have the ability, and often the desire, to affect more systemic change over time. This work aims to bring the academic conversations of crisis response and social innovation closer together, with a focus on individual and informal group agency, while also providing practical implications for supporting emergent response groups and social innovation in the face of future disruptions and crises.
- ItemOpen AccessEnablers and barriers to the implementation of inclusive enterprise and supplier development in South Africa(2022) Raziya, Ntombezintle; Nilsson, WarrenDespite the South African government's efforts to achieve inclusive growth, inequality persists. Enterprise and Supplier Development (ESD) was introduced to promote economic transformation for small, medium, and micro-enterprises (SMMEs). The conceptual framing of ESD is consistent with Social Innovation and Inclusive Innovation frameworks which advocate for inclusive innovation that disrupts social practices and relationships. There is a dearth of research on the implementation of ESD. This study asked: What are the enablers of, and the barriers to the implementation of inclusive ESD initiatives in South Africa? This qualitative study involved interviews with seven transformation managers, and five BBBEE consultants respectively. Key enablers to ESD implementation included visionary leadership, a visible shift in mindsets amongst some corporates', and an enabling legislative and policy environment. Barriers to ESD implementation included the legislative burden associated with B-BBEE, and lack of capacity amongst ESD actors. Evidence of ESD as an inclusive innovation initiative emerges through the strategic inclusion of beneficiary entities into corporate supply chains, and the pursuit of co-creative and symbiotic relationships. The study highlights the need for further research on leadership styles and monitoring and evaluation as enablers to the successful implementation of ESD. Practical recommendations include framing B-BBEE as a private equity fund and developing supply chains more strategically in an inclusive approach.
- ItemOpen AccessExploring the social innovation orientation of corporate social responsibility practitioners(2014) Wilson,UnaTessSade; Nilsson, WarrenThe purpose of this study was to conduct a qualitative examination which explored the Social Innovation Orientation (SIO) of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) practitioners as part of a broader contribution towards developing an augmenting and or an alternative mechanism to address the challenges faced by CSR practitioners and companies in fulfilling societal expectations in developing countries. The study sought to answer the question: In what ways are CSR practitioners building an SIO? The study also aimed to answer questions on whether any profound change or challenge was posed by CSR practitioners to the current systems through basic routines, authority flows, beliefs and resources (Westley and Antadze, 2010). The status of CSR advancement by companies was also explored. These questions were answered in the context of a developing country, more specifically South Africa. In order to set a relevant contextual background, the literature review covered two main broad variables, CSR and social innovation, as well as a detailed description of an SIO through four facets, namely: social experimentation, collaboration and inclusivity, scale mind-set, and institutional impact. The sample comprised CSR practitioners who met the sampling criteria. Information was gathered from these CSR practitioners using a semi-structured interview protocol. An analysis of the data gathered led to the description of the patterns which emerged, which presented across a continuum both narratively and graphically those CSR practitioners who were making the strides on the SIO continuum and those that were not. The study found that even with the CSR practitioners' strong desire to be viewed as delivering results, they needed to manage the expectations of stakeholders, particularly within their own companies, regarding what success was and what it was not. It was discovered that being more deliberate contributes to the building of an SIO. Through a focus on not repeating past mistakes while still working together with stakeholders in a manner which is proactive instead of defensive, CSR practitioners could be building an SIO. The results showed that fostering a participatory and inclusive environment from an early stage was beneficial in the development of an SIO. Another discovery was that the size of an intervention was of less importance than the significance of its potential impact. Practical contributions are proposed for companies and CSR practitioners as a result of this research, some of which are: a support approach to existing mechanisms, a component to be used in recruitment and performance appraisal, and a view to understanding social innovation and what it can mean for the company-centric perspective. Overall, the study revealed that CSR practitioners are building an SIO. Social experimentation, and collaboration and inclusivity were found to be more prevalent than the scale mind-set and institutional impact. SIOs were not void of the latter elements. These two elements should not be discarded. Whilst the SIO elements have been positioned as non-linear, it was revealed that some categorical features and linearity did exist.
- ItemOpen AccessFlourishing in fragility: how to build antifragile ecosystems of learning, that nurture healthy vulnerability, in fragile environments in the Western Cape (South Africa) with at-risk learners(2019) Youngleson, Penelope; Nilsson, WarrenThis research is a qualitative, autoethnographic study of antifragility in fragile spaces. It was written using data from Applied Theatre workshops, rehearsals and exercises; as well as questionnaires, semi-structured interviews and open discussions in focus groups with at-risk learners from Quintile 1-3 high schools, their educators, senior management staff, parents, caregivers and peers. Methodologically, social constructionism functioned as the schematic map that positioned the writing/writer between the self and others, and provided the philosophical scaffolding necessary to elucidate data analysis and interpretation. Institutional theory and organisational culture centered the analytical framework once thematic analysis had been conducted across the data sets. This reflexive, feminist paper exhumes and explores fragile spaces in Western Cape Quintile 1-3 schools, using drama and conscious, performed acts of vulnerability (on and off stage) as a means of activating antifragility in the performer and the observer. The data collection took place in the Western Cape in South Africa, and specifically refers to learners and their networks and blended learning ecosystems in that context. Noted conversants include Brown, Taleb and Butler. The findings of this study include a shift in how we define “success” in a fragile environment and an acknowledgment of antifragility as a strategy that is always in motion. Static achievement and a singular definition of learner excellence are shown to be the undesirable opposite of iterative antifragility and adaptive, holistic executive function and socio-cultural competence; and learner wholeness (as experienced and embodied by the learner themselves) is referred to as “flourishing”.
- ItemOpen AccessFrom Shock to Awe: The Awe of Organisation: How do Community-Based Festivals do Institutional Work?(2020) Turner, Fergus; Nilsson, WarrenThis thesis is based on an action research project with festival organisations and festival organising and is interested in key insights and practice models for changing meaning-making, routines, roles and resource flows and effectively doing what scholars of institutional theory call institutional work. The project is located in a central case study, the Muizenberg Festival, where I haved played a role as a coordinator, and have co-designed the festival process and platform between 2014 and 2019. It is further bolstered by research with several social-purpose festivals, from local and international case studies. The present socio-economic development discourse and practice prevalent in South Africa, and the developing South more generally, has been bounded and constrained by strategies that fail to address a milieu of institutionalised issues. If people cannot exercise agency on underlying institutionalised issues, alternative vehicles for organising in order to do such work are necessary. Festivals exhibit large-scale participation around specific themes in a concentrated time frame. Festivals are known to produce an array of social and economic goods including, amongst others, sense of community and social capital. This study will explore new theoretical perspectives on organisations and institutional work through action research with community-based social-purpose festivals. The study aims to provide cogent theoretical and practical frameworks for the study and practice of festivals as organisations and social phenomena that are pertinent to the study of institutional work, offering a model of development with important learnings for addressing intractable socio-economic issues in innovative ways. The research is embedded with the backdrop of literature that specifically looks at, however not exclusively, institutional theory and festival studies. Three years of action research data, in the form of observation, dialogue interviews, working journals, meeting notes and reports will be used spanning from 2015 until 2017. From this learning, the case will be made for festival organising models as offering new insights for transformative development and provide strategies for deploying tactics of community-based festivals as compelling new approaches to institutional work, from the ground up.
- ItemOpen AccessHow can mobile technology enhance students' learning in technical vocational training in South Africa?(2020) Moses, Lea-Anne; Nilsson, WarrenEducation and skills training are proven remedies in overcoming poverty and unemployment and creating equitable, prosperous and sustainable economies. The government has recognised the critical role post-school education plays in ensuring South Africa realises Vision 2030 which has set a lofty target of 1.25 million student enrolments in Technical and Vocational Education and Training institutions by 2030. While considerable success has been achieved in enrolment rates, student throughputs at these institutions are weak; on average, only 20% of all students who enter these institutions graduate with a qualification. However, despite all these challenges, there is also reason to be optimistic. The dramatic impact of technology on the world today; how we learn and connect with others and the affordability and accessibility of mobile devices have meant that knowledge acquisition is now available to almost everyone. The purpose of this case study is to explore how mobile technology can be used to enhance the learning experience for students at post-school institutions such as Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges. Research participants are drawn from False Bay College in the Western Cape. These 50 young people ranged in age from 18 to 29 years and are split across two study disciplines; namely, Travel and Tourism, and Hospitality. A qualitative case study is conducted, using an inductive approach in a constructivist paradigm. Different data sources (observations, interviews, and WhatsApp group chats) were used to provide an understanding of how mobile technology made the learning experience richer and more rewarding to participants. Data were analysed using Thematic Analyses. The findings indicate that participants feel positive about the use of mobile technology for learning as well as its contribution to the enrichment of their overall learning experience. The accessibility of the technology used in the study, as well as the accessibility afforded by the technology (access to experts, rewards, support services, and industry information) were considered by participants to be the main contributory reasons for the positive enhancement of their learning. However, factors that detract from the use of mobile technology for learning are also listed. Given the increased focus on improving TVET graduate throughput rates, against a backdrop of cost-cutting and demands for a workforce armed with 21st Century skills, educational leaders need to further explore and better understand how ubiquitous technology, like mobile phones, can be used to enhance learning for students to be better equipped to meaningfully participate in the knowledge economy.
- ItemOpen AccessImpacts and issues of a social innovation approach to development finance: a case study of Zoona(2014) Phiri, Lelemba Chitembo; Nilsson, WarrenThis paper seeks to orientate research on the issues and impacts of pursuing a social innovation approach to development finance and the extent to which it impacts the development of economic, personal and social capital in developing countries. It draws on conceptual ideas around the evolution of development finance from a pure aid perspective to more innovative approaches that seek to increase uptake of development funds where they are needed most (at the base of the pyramid) and reduce fungibility. The paper provides an exploratory case study analysis of attempts by Zoona, a socially innovative private organization in Zambia that is leveraging mobile technology to increase access to finance and financial services to small and micro businesses and the unbanked in Zambia using an agent network. The research was qualitative study and gathered insights from 11 agents and 8 employees through 19 personal interviews. A hybrid approach to thematic analysis was employed in the research and results revealed that whilst Zoona's work was enabling economic and personal growth for the agents it was not necessarily building social capital within communities. The paper concludes with some recommendations on how the concept of socially innovative approaches to development finance, as supplementary forms of distributing development funds to traditional forms, can be improved on when applied by private organizations and local networks to enable the development of economic, personal and social capital and develop the capacity of communities.
- ItemOpen AccessMindfulness training for individuals in organisations: application, adaptation and perceived value(2018) Kantor, Linda Sara; Nilsson, WarrenRecently, mindfulness training has garnered increasing interest from organizational practitioners and scholars. This research explores participants’ applications, experiences, and perceived impact of mindfulness for those who have undergone training outside of the workspace. Kabat-Zinn’s approach to Mindfulness-Based Interventions (MBIs) underpins and informs this research. I conducted semi-structured interviews with 53 participants working in a variety of organisational contexts. Participants had trained in one of three different MBIs: an 8-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Programme (MBSR), a two-year Mindful Leadership Programme as part of an Executive MBA programme, or a two-year Mindfulness Certification for professionals. Using an interpretive phenomenological approach and thematic analysis, I explored ways in which participants applied and shared mindfulness practice at work and home. I present the results in the form of an inductive model of mindfulness in the workplace. I distinguish some key individual meta-capacities (awareness of the wandering mind, embodiment, equanimity and kindness) and capacities developed (resilience, sense-of-self, multiple perspectives and possibility). I highlight how mindfulness enhanced the ability to work with difficult emotions, thoughts and sensations, opening participants up to new modes of relationship and new framings of productivity and power in the workplace. The transformation in the areas of productivity, power and relationality, could be tied in with the Buddhist concept of three poisons; greed (excessive productivity), hatred (competitive and aggressive workplace behaviours) and delusion (use and abuse of power at work). Mindfulness provides an antidote. The voices of participants highlight the intra and interpersonal effects and the potential and challenges of mindfulness practice in organisational contexts. This research offers some hopeful data and a deeper understanding of the potential of mindfulness training as a modality for transformation in the workplace. It offers this at a time where some critics question whether the use of mindfulness to improve work-life might lead to dilution and misappropriation of the practice. The model developed in this study contributes to Positive Organisational Scholarship (POS) literature and provides a map of how mindfulness might be of value in the workplace in the service of wisdom and compassion.
- ItemOpen AccessThe organisational capacity for social innovation: an experiential exploration in re-ordering institutional practices(2016) Petousis, Francois George; Bonicci, Francois; Nilsson, WarrenThis study is an exploratory attempt to develop theoretical insights into the organisational capacity for social innovation, utilising a qualitative inquiry into the internal and external practices of a socially focussed organisation. By appreciating the lived experiences of engaging in these practices, the research looks to surface elements that contribute to the social sensitivity required to engage the complexity of social systems. Based in the social constructivism of Berger & Luckman (1966), and the associated institutional theory, seeing the structures which "enable and constrain agents" (Cajaiba-santana, 2014), the research contributes to the fields of collaborative experiential surfacing (W. Nilsson & Paddock, 2013) and resilience within social innovation (Westley, 2013). Through an autoethnographic data collection process, the findings of this study come to witness the different elements of how experiential practises can bring to an organisation a deep connection to social nuances, and challenge traditional structures of authority. The emerging nature of the social innovations developed and the dialogical relationships that support this, are found to be key elements in the context of this study.
- ItemOpen AccessPerceptions of school climate: a comparative study of a former white and a black South African high school(2020) Mokhele, Reitumetse; Nilsson, WarrenSchool climate is a determinant of academic performance, as supported by evidence in developed countries. However, there are limited studies from developing countries to test this hypothesis. The few studies that have attempted to explore this topic are often limited to educators. Studies in South Africa show this limitation, hence the motivation to explore school climate from the students' perspective. This study is focused on students' perception of school climate and how it impacts their academic lives. Two schools from the Western Cape Province were used as case studies. They were Pinelands and Langa High Schools, institutions that are distinct in terms of their history, location, resources, demographics and academic performance. The results of the study revealed that most students do not feel safe physically and emotionally in the school environment. In a multiracial school, the main concern is around interpersonal relationship, particularly the level of social support received from teachers; while in a black and disadvantaged school, the concerns are around institutional environment relating to the physical environment and facilities in school. Additionally, students from the privileged school had more emotional concerns, and did not believe that teachers supported them socially, while those from the disadvantaged school had physical safety concerns but believed that their teachers are supportive both academically and socially. The study concludes with a recommendation for future studies to consider more than two schools, expand the geographical scope, employ rigorous data collection, and assess multi-stakeholder perceptions of school climate and the link it has to academic performance so as to improve reliability and generalisability of the findings.
- ItemOpen AccessRadio Power: An exploration of agency for the participants of a climate change communication campaign in South Africa(2022) Petit-Perrot, Clémence; Nilsson, WarrenCommunication for Development (C4D) appeared after World War 2 and has since become a key approach to achieving sustainable and democratic development, especially in the Global South. It borrows from behaviour economics and psychology, focusing mostly on behaviour change outcomes. While it has been effective in public health campaigns, it consistently fails at addressing more complex issues, or “wicked problems”, like as climate change. Inspired by agentic perspectives in development studies and the potential of radio as a critical thinking development, dialogue, and mobilisation tool, I wondered what the potential of communication for social change to activate agency in the face of wicked problems could be. I thus decided to explore the potential of media, and community-based radio projects to address wicked problems and catalyse agency. I studied the impact of a youth-led sustainable living radio campaign and its impact on its producers and listeners in three communities in South Africa to understand to what extent engagement with the campaign manifested agency within its producers and listeners. In the face of wicked environmental issues, collective agency emerged as the only potentially effective power to mobilise. I concluded that more participatory approaches are needed when designing and implementing communication for social change campaigns and recommend that agency be reconsidered as a practical and achievable short-term outcome with potential exponential impact, rather than the abstract long-term goal it's often envisioned as.
- ItemOpen AccessSocial Capital and its implication on Health Promotion among rural Primary Schools in Botswana(2022) Chepete, Koziba; Nilsson, Warren; Faimau, GabrielThe World Health Organization (WHO) estimates 1.7 million child and adolescent deaths in 2016. These deaths were due to road injuries, diarrhoeal diseases, consequences of non-communicable diseases and environmental hazards. Whilst most of these deaths are deemed preventable through school health promotion programs, there are challenges with availability of healthcare professionals and resources for health promotion, particularly in rural settings. WHO further estimates a 1.1 million global shortage of healthcare professionals by 2030, further limiting the availability of human resources for school health promotion programs. This study therefore analysed the implications of social capital in health promotion among rural primary schools. The objective was to examine the evidence for what is possible and likely to work in rural social and health capital investment. A qualitative approach, through semi-structured interviews, wasselected to study the beliefs and practices of teachers regarding health promotion. This study found that parental negligence, poor hygiene and lack of in-service and post-service training of teachersin health-related matters were among the major health promotion challenges in a rural district of Botswana. Strengthening social capital could yield positive results in improving inclusive and sustainable health promotion strategies in rural primary schools, where there is a burden of need.
- ItemOpen AccessThe spaces in-between: An appreciative inquiry into cross-boundary collaborative design for social innovations(2017) Setton, Orli; Nilsson, WarrenIn order to support Social Innovation, Social Designers advocate for the use of collaborative design methodologies, inclusive design processes, which produce innovative design outcomes and inclusive societies. While there is a large amount of literature on this topic from a European and US perspective, there is little understanding regarding the effect large social disparity between stakeholders has on these types of engagements. The researcher describes this as cross-boundary collaborative design for social innovation, where "boundary" refers to social and collective identity such as, gender, race, class, etc., which is a reality in most South African collaborative design engagements and a gap in the literature. Thus, this thesis explores this gap by asking the research question, what practices, mindsets and interpersonal interactions help to support effective cross-boundary collaborative design for Social Innovation? In order to answer this question, the researcher conducted 32 interviews followed by a single focus group with disparate stakeholders engaged in these types of initiatives. Using a Constructivist Grounded Theory approach and applying the lens of Appreciative Inquiry to her interview questions, she recorded narratives that focused on moments of effectiveness within these cross-boundary collaborative design engagements. What emerged from the data was a strong link between the quality of relationships between the disparate stakeholders and the effectiveness of the collaborative design process - what she described as "generative" relationships (connections built on trust, vulnerability, friendship and respect) that blurred the social boundaries between the participants and helped them move across the social divides with ease. This in turn increased the generative nature of the collaborative design process. Furthermore, these generative relationships were often established outside of the design process, in a preliminary phase (pre-project) before a design engagement began because this phase allowed the stakeholders to focus solely on building relationships, instead of generating design solutions. However, the importance of generative relationships does not feature strongly in the current collaborative design literature. Instead, it focuses mainly on developing communication methods as a way to support boundary crossing and views relationship building as a secondary by-product of a good communication method. This thesis, however, concludes that in order to support effective cross-boundary collaborative design engagements, this process should be flipped and attention be given to first building generative relationships that can then help to support the effectiveness of the cross-boundary communication methods and ultimately improve the over all crossboundary collaborative design process.