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The Tipfuxeni Project
The Southern African NGO Network (SANGONeT) is implementing the Tipfuxeni Project, an online funding facility and Capacity Building Programme. One of the components of the Tipfuxeni Project is the web platform, which will be developed to enable the participating non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to publish their profiles and/or tell good stories about their projects / programmes. However, this will be expanded in the second phase of the project to include other NGOs. In addition to the profiles, the web platform / portal will provide information on funding opportunities, fundraising-related issues. It will also enable NGOs to discuss issues and how they impact on their work as well as sharing the best practices. Participating NGOs will be selected from all South Africa’s nine provinces.
Content published on the Tipfuxeni Portal will be driven by the participating organisations. This means that the participating organisations will be capacitated to utilise the Project’s Content Management System (CMS) to upload content as this will ensure that they take ownership of the content. In addition to their content, SANGONeT will assist the NGOs to compile and publish their profiles on the Portal. Telling their stories online will not only benefit them in terms of publicity or engaging their beneficiaries through information and communication technologies, but will also be a way of acknowledging the contribution that their funders are making to ensure the sustainability of their programmes / projects in disadvantaged communities.
As part of the project, selected organizations will be trained in a 3 days training that will focus on basic computer skills and digital media. The training will also introduce Organizations to the portal and how they can upload content and make comments. The training will be followed by an ongoing support to ensure that the participating NGOs are able to apply the skills they have acquired during the training.
Another part of the Project is that SANGONeT, in partnership with the South African National NGO Coalition (SANGOCO), will embark on a countrywide consultation process with all the selected organisations in the country’s nine provinces. During the consultations, SANGOCO will visit NGOs, including those that have not been selected to participate in the Tipfuxeni Project, in line with its mandate. This is in line with the view that a stronger SANGOCO means a stronger civil society voice in future.
While the Tipfuxeni Project will start with training 135 Organisations, SANGONeT will ensure that the Portal remains updated and that new organisations will be trained to utilise it in future to ensure its sustainability. The project will also be linked to SANGONeT’s existing programmes – Prodder NGO Directory, NGO Pulse e-Newsletter, NGO Pulse Portal, and SANGOTeCH Technology Donation Portal – to ensure that both SANGONeT and the participating NGOs benefit.
Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) impact on the ability of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to deliver services and provide support to the communities. ICTs also have serious implications for the sustainability and survival of many CSOs.
South Africa is increasingly confronted with a development paradox. Current development funding resource levels are not sufficient to address the country’s increasing socio-economic challenges. This situation therefore requires that all stakeholders involved in development initiatives, including the grantmaking community and non-governmental organisation (NGO) sector, strive to maximise the impact of available resources, and the development and identification of new and alternative sources of development funding.
A key issue in this regard is easily accessible information on current funding needs and opportunities in support of the work of both the grantmaking community (‘grantmakers’) and NGO sector (‘grantseekers’).
The Southern African NGO Network (SANGONeT) has been providing networking, information and training services to South African NGOs since its inception in 1987. SANGONeT’s mission is to be a facilitator in the effective and empowering use of ICT tools by development and social justice actors in Africa.
In view of increasing focus on the development of online information platforms as well as the ongoing needs of South African NGOs for relevant information on development funding issues, SANGONeT, in partnership with the South African National NGO Coalition (SANGOCO), is implementing the Tipfuxeni Project. The project will empower 135 NGOs on ICT skills in its first phase and also culminate in the development of an Online Funding Resource for South Africa. Tipfuxeni is a Xitsonga word meaning ‘do it for yourself’. It is funded by the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF).
The objective of project is to develop and maintain a user-friendly ‘one-stop’ Internet entry point to information on South African development funding issues. The project also presents grantmakers and funders with a tool to disseminate and communicate information to NGOs on their funding activities in South Africa. The project will also present South African NGOs with up-to-date information and capacity-building resource to enhance their fundraising efforts.
The Tipfuxeni Project also showcases the work of all local and international development funding agencies operating in South Africa. The project’s Online Funding Resource is a platform through which NGOs, community-based organisations, faith-based organisations, cooperatives, donors, converge to discuss development funding issues in South Africa. In addition, the platform will also enable all the stakeholders to share information and best practices model. We believe that this platform will also assist in ensuring that the NGO sector contribute towards the implementation of the National Development Plan.
I would therefore like to invite all the stakeholders involved in development sector to take part and contribute to ensure that the Tipfuxeni Project becomes a success, as well as living up to its expected goals.
Kenneth Thlaka, Executive Director