October 2020
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October AWARD Newsflash
Tala Table: a winner!
The Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA) invited storytellers from #Africa to take part in a two-minute mobile film competition to help reimagine the future of #agroecology food markets & best practices.
Bigboy Mkhabela (AWARD) and Thembani Mabunda (MDF) used their mobile cameras to create a two-minute video of the Tala Table (tala means green in Sepedi: The Green Table) and its use by small scale farmers in the marketing of their agroecological produce.

The Tala (Green) Table used by farmers to display organically grown veggies
at pension pay-points and local community markets

The Green Table goes to town: Farmers display organic veg at the Hoedspruit market

In a short powerful clip the two explain, with the help of farmers, the concept of the Tala Table and how it is used in the villages, food markets and at pension pay-points to market organically produced food.

The winners were announced at the AFSA biennial Food Systems Celebration on 26 October 2020 and the clip was streamed live to an audience across the planet. The clip entered by AWARD and MDF won the Best Film for the Southern African region!

What are you going to do with the prize money?
“We want to buy more tables and expand the idea to surrounding villages.”

All videos are here:

MTN Award for innovation
in monitoring and evaluation

Another win for AWARD:
MTN Trialogue SA Foundation Monitoring and Evaluation prize!

AWARD was delighted to win the MTN award for Social Change which rewards good monitoring and evaluation (M&E) practice in the non-profit sector. We focused on sharing experiences of our innovative M&E system known as MERL (Monitoring, Evaluation, Research & Learning)  in the area of water governance and water resources protection which was developed through the RESILIM program.

Our MERL system is used to guide reflexive practice and learning within the organization’s work. Acknowledging uncertainty in our work in complex ‘systems’, we believe it is important to support goals, objectives and targets with qualitative data to understand why these are – or are not – met. We use simple tools such as back-to-office reports to capture reflections and insights from every field-based event, together with monthly reflection events and formative evaluation case studies as part of our institutionalized reflexive practice. MERL findings are used by project staff to adapt objectives, theories of change and targets annually, in collaboration with funders.

The 2020 winners of the MTN Awards for Social Change are:

  • Small NPO category (<R5 million annual income): The Southern Africa Youth Project
  • Medium NPO category (>R5 million and <R15 million annual income): The JumpStart Foundation Trust (JumpStart)
  • Large NPO category (>R15 million annual income): National Association of Child Care Workers (NACCW)
  • Bonus award for advanced M&E practice: Association for Water and Rural Development (AWARD)

143 NPOs entered the Awards this year – more than double the number of entries in 2019. All entries were reviewed by Trialogue across the criteria of M&E practice, project design, project outputs and project outcomes, with the 20 shortlisted applicants reviewed and scored by a panel of three judges.

Bigboy Mkhabela, Dr Sharon Pollard (director) and Julia Williams from AWARD

Enterprise Development Training
for small scale farmers

Our partners, MDF and associates (funded by USAID under the Resilient Waters Program) ran training workshops for small scale farmers living in the Sekororo area, Limpopo province, to encourage enterprise development. The workshops were conducted in three villages: Santeng, Sedawa and Turkey from 14-16 October 2020.
Farmers attend the enterprise development workshops

The approach to the enterprise development training is for smallholder farmers to integrate financial training and enterprise development training to real-life situations so as to promote Climate Resilient Agriculture (CRA). The methodology employs training, supervision, financial education (focusing on village-level savings groups), entrepreneurship education (Street Business School or SBS) and enterprise development. The aim is to enable functional farmer institutions, cooperative buying of inputs, soil fertility improvement, increased yields, improved market access, and adoption of climate change adaption practices.

Business knowledge diagram used in ED training

At the end of the ED training, all participants were asked to develop a business idea. Lists of enterprises were then created for the villages that considered the type of enterprise, target consumers, status, key strategy, and support required.

All workshops were well attended with the main highlights being:
  1. Participants are willing to try any new ideas to improve household income.
  2. The participation of youth and women was encouraging. It was confirmed that many women already have small income generating activities.
  3. There is a mixture of individual and group-based businesses.
  4. The “Green Table” concept (see story above) is well received and can assist in market related activities.

Good rains don’t always mean our rivers are fine…
In the graph below (thanks to J Venter from KNP) we see a good example of what we can expect from the rivers of the Lowveld. The good rains in October reflect as a sharp spike in the river flow but without sustained good rains in the upper catchments, the river flow drops back to the original critical flow in a couple of days. Most people do not realise that good rains don’t always translate to healthy river flows.

Source: Jacques Venter, KNP

Olifants Dam update…
As we approach the rainy season we see the dams of the Olifants system start to drop, despite some early showers in October in parts of the catchment.

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