The Social Development Sector of the South African Government is an industry where services are both resource and time intensive. Therefore, the development of its human resources is critical for success. By identifying important skills gaps, the Department of Social Development (DSD) will be better able to respond to the demands of service beneficiaries and society as a whole.
HPI’s wholly owned subsidiary, Health Partners South Africa (HPSA), leads the project implementation and provides technical expertise in HR to identify important skills gaps in the Department of Social Development (DSD). Alongside DSD Practitioners, HPSA are helping guide an actionable capacity building support plan to support employee development, morale and performance. This will mean that the department is better able to respond to the demands of service beneficiaries and society as a whole. The primary aim of the project is to identify the knowledge, skills and attributes that management and staff require, thus enabling DSD to channel resources into the areas that can contribute most to employee development, morale and performance. The programme also seeks to enhance DSD’s capacity in supporting programming aimed at Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) and strengthening its capacity to deal with social and structural barriers.
Implementation activities include the finalisation of Competency Frameworks and Skills Matrixes, conducting a skills audit for select positions at the National, Provincial and Districts levels, the development of Skills Development Plans and developing a web-based skills development management team. The approach used for skills transfer was iterative and participatory, including peer mentoring and cascade training. The use of feedback on project success to date has been positive. The development of the S-DNA tool which checks raw data against validation criteria in real-time has facilitated the opportunity to enhance the data validation process and reduce ‘human error’ for the skills audit activity by a significant margin. The project is in its final stages of completion.
The project is funded by USAID and managed by PACT South Africa.
HPI Partner Michael Siebert is project director and provides technical oversight to the project.