IEE Newsletter No. 29

Participatory exercise with Iliso Care Society during the “PME course”

Britta Niklas reports on the course Planing, Monitoring and Evaluation (PME) in Cape Town

On 3rd April, the MADM student group in Cape Town, together with their lecturer Britta Niklas, went by bus to the township of Kayelitsha for a participatory exercise with the Iliso Care Society. The Iliso Care Society was founded by Vivian Zilo in 2005 and started as a soup kitchen, but has now expanded into various programs.

The students first visited the different programs of Iliso Care Society, such as the Day Care Centre including the Library and Toy Library and the women empowerment project (Sewing Club, Creative Cards). They also learned about the Youth Empowerment and Community Outreach projects. Following that, the students split into 2 groups of 6, joined by 4 Iliso staff members each for an exercise.

Both student groups had the task of applying the methods and tools that they learned during the Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation course together with the Iliso staff members in order to assist Iliso in identifying their current needs/problems and clarifying their objectives. After a short introduction round, the students used some icebreakers to open the discussion about current needs and problems, applied a SWOT analysis, and assisted Iliso to agree on a focal need/problem.

Afterwards they tried to find causes and effects of the identified focal need/problem in a participatory way and then developed a problem tree and an objectives tree in order to visualize the “wishful” future situation.


Following that, the students discussed different project alternatives, including new projects and the revision of ongoing projects, with the Iliso staff members and started to brainstorm on necessary future actions and the respective budget required to implement the chosen project alternatives. The participatory exercise finished with a wonderful lunch, prepared by the Iliso Soup Kitchen, before the group went back to the UWC.


Back at the UWC, the students prepared operational plans for Iliso Care Society, applying the logical framework approach, and developed a rough budget related to the chosen projects.
The staff members of Iliso Care Society and the founder, Vivian Zilo, visited the UWC on Friday, 5th April for the presentations of the two student groups.

The students did a great job, developed comprehensive operational plans and came up with a lot of exciting ideas. The Iliso group was very happy about the results and took both operational plans with them to be hung in their office. The students and Iliso staff members also built a joint WhatsApp group for future communication and some students have already committed themselves to further assisting with the implementation of the new project ideas. Overall, it was a very successful practical exercise and all participants had a great time!


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