South Research strongly believes in an emancipatory approach.We always provide guidance in an emancipatory manner: we utilise existing assets and abilities, with an approach that aims to allow organisations or networks to realise their ambitions in a quality-oriented and sustainable way.
This attitude requires South Research to adopt an open approach in which we provide a framework and then define and fine-tune a process together with the client. South Research is responsible for the quality of the process and for creating conditions that allow firm anchoring within the organisation.
South Research uses a variety of methods and instruments.An extensive range of methods and instruments are available to South Research to support these processes, depending on the specific needs and requirements.
In their work, the consultants from South Research make full use of the intrinsic potential within the relevant organisation. They take into account the specific nature and strengths of each level.
Exemples of methods and instruments for:
- Project management: PCM and Logframe approach, instruments for context analyses (problem and objective trees, analysis of trends and opportunities), stakeholder analysis, Rapid Rural Appraisal (RRA), Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats (SWOT), monitoring/evaluation systems etc.
- Knowledge management: document management, knowledge maps, peer learning, communities or practices, the Kolb method, capitalisation etc.
- Gender approach: gender audit, gender analyses, gender indicators
- Multi-party approach: Open Space, World Café, Future Search Conference, providing guidance for large-scale events
- Organisational reinforcement: social learning, supported self-reinforcement (Auto-Renforcement Accompagné – AURA) etc.
Examples of assignments:
- Project management: South Research works with the international organisation CTA (Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation, ACP-EU) to formulate a monitoring and evaluation system whose main aim is to strengthen learning within the organisation. The basic principles of PCM and Logical Framework Approach are being adapted creatively and inspirationally to the culture and operations of the organisation, with a focus on both accountability (required by the EU as the lead donor) and learning within the organisation.
- On behalf of the city of Turnhout, South Research provided support for a multi-party planning process to formulate a policy on bullying among young people. In a large meeting, the issue of bullying was mapped out using mind maps, and the various parties exchanged ideas and listened to one another’s view. Young people entered into discussions with policy advisors, the police and other parties. Good practices were exchanged and, using these as a basis, working groups were created to further explore the various aspects of bullying and formulate proposals for action.
- Knowledge management: we supported Vétérinaires Sans Frontières Belgium soms Veterinarians/Vets without Borders] in the formulation of a knowledge management policy.
- Gender approach: we conducted a gender audit for CARE Haiti.
- Multi-party approach: In 2007–2008 we provided support for the formulation of the strategic plan for the development of the organic farming sector in Flanders on behalf of the Flemish government. A strategic plan was formulated together with the various parties (both organic and conventional farmers as well as their interest groups, research institutions, processors, distributors and the government). First, a large event was held to define the topics to be addressed in the strategic plan. For each of those topics, a brief assessment of the state of play was drawn up, and a range of experiences were shared and assessed during dialogue sessions. The interaction between the various parties inspired creativity and innovation. These ideas were then translated into a strategic plan.
- Organisational reinforcement: for example, we supported the artisans in Mali’s cotton sector as well as the strategic planning of the Ministry of Population, Promotion of Women and Protection of Children in Niger.
- We supported a number of organisations in the formulation of a strategic plan or measures to improve the way in which they work. Via a SWOT analysis and a scenario planning session, Solidarité Protestante/Protestantse Solidariteit made decisions that allowed them to move forward. We have also successfully supported other organisations such as BICE, FOS and OxfamSolidarité/OxfamSolidariteit.