Blog Post

Prestigious gathering at Donald Woods Foundation Consultations

12 October 2015

A wealth of ideas and innovation was generated by more than 25 academics and experienced rural development practitioners with hundreds of years of experience between them at a rural/agri workshop at Hobeni.

A wealth of ideas and innovation was generated by more than 25 academics and experienced rural development practitioners with hundreds of years of experience between them at a rural/agri workshop at Hobeni.

The group was convened by the Donald Woods Foundation and the Programme for Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS) at the University of the Western Cape. The group included rural development practitioners, public servants, extension officers, community development experts and academics – some from as far afield as Oxford University in the UK in Professor William Beinart, Prof. Francis Wilson (UCT) and Prof. Ben Cousins of PLAAS at the University of the Western Cape (UWC).

The convenor, John Allwood, said the gathering was highly significant in getting “such a group together” around the table at Hobeni as many had deep and nuanced expertise around poverty alleviation and past government interventions from both regional and local perspectives.

Allwood explained that some of the ideas raised ranged from sustainable long-term rural development programmes for improving people’s lives by increasing food production and improving livestock to the “aggregation of hundreds of small enterprises to create an economically viable and scale-appropriate response to rural poverty”, aimed at injecting better nutrition and more income into rural households.

Allwood likened the effort as an “extension” of DWF’s flagship health programme – Health in Every Hut (HiEH) in which interventions aimed at other aspects of people’s lives and wellbeing would be added to the mix.

“I see the Donald Woods Foundation Consultations not as an event but a process,” added Allwood.

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