Introducing the Rural Organisation Support Programme

The  Rural Organisational Support Programme (ROSP) is a pilot involving a partnership between:

  • The Alliance for Rural Democracy (ARD) which combines activists and organisations working in the former bantustan areas within Limpopo, North-West, Mpumalanga, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal
  • The Land and Accountability Research Centre (LARC) at the University of Cape Town
  • The Institute for Poverty Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS) at the University of the Western Cape
  • Phuhlisani NPC – the programme implementing agency.

The pilot which is supported by the Bertha Foundation  aims to deepen key skills and capacities of activists active in the rural sector. The initiative builds on tested methodologies employed by LARC and ARD in defense of rural citizen’s rights.

Work in a pilot site in Limpopo combines community led inquiry and applied case study research. This provides the platform for the design of a local learning programme and the framework for strengthening local organisation and positioning rural citizens to plan, organise and act together in order to address local priority issues.

The action learning methodology aims to:

  • identify, train and support local volunteer researchers who are accountable to the local residents  committee – a democratic structure bringing together representatives from villages in the area;
  • equip young volunteer researchers resident in the area to conduct village level interviews which record village histories and identify priority issues for the design  and facilitation of a  learning programme as a platform for planning and action;
  • develop essential core skills and the necessary organisational linkages and technical capacities required for the planning and implementation of campaigns;
  • facilitate critical participatory review of the actions undertaken in order improve effectiveness and amplify social and political impact.

While the main focus of work is on the ground in the pilot area, the initiative has also involved the design of a 4.5 day course on The political economy of land, mining and rural democracy to bring together representatives from ARD affiliated organisations in five provinces.

This WordPress site provides background on the course planning and learning programme design and provides public access to all the course material which can be downloaded from the Trello learning event repositories.


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