FREE STATE DSD EMPOWERS NPOS WITH CUTTING-EDGE REPORTING SYSTEM TRAINING

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By Masilonyane Ramookho 

  • The Free State Department of Social Development (DSD) has implemented the Electronic Monitoring & Evaluation System (eM&Es) to improve data accuracy and efficiency in reporting.
  • A comprehensive training session was held at the Bloem Spa Hotel in Bloemfontein, targeting officials and NPO representatives, to address challenges of maladministration and outdated reporting methods.
  • Participants expressed optimism about the system’s potential to streamline processes, enhance decision-making, and ensure accurate and reliable performance data.

Ms Friddah Kutumela, Mr Tshepisho Diako (ASD System Development & Monitoring), and Ms Aphiwe Vilakazi (M&E System Administrator) collaborated with the Free State DSD Monitoring and Evaluation Sub-directorate to conduct a reporting system training for officials and NPO sector representatives at the Bloem Spa Hotel in Lilly Vale, Bloemfontein.

The government has recognised the need to address significant issues within the NPO sector, particularly maladministration that hampers revenue and services. To tackle these challenges, the National DSD conceptualised and rolled out the Electronic Monitoring & Evaluation System (eM&Es) across all nine provinces. This system is designed to generate, calculate, and analyse all data submitted by departments and NPOs accurately.

Me Mazibuko, Deputy Director of the Monitoring and Evaluation unit at the Free State DSD Provincial Office, explained that the eM&Es would support the capturing, analysis, and reporting of provincial DSD performance data. “The purpose of the eM&Es is to support decision-making, such as resource management in the department. For example, management will be able to track data to devise interventions during crises like the Covid-19 pandemic. During the lockdown, children were scattered and displaced, and the government lacked a standard tool to capture accurate data for vulnerable families,” said Ms Mazibuko.

Mr Keketso Semudi from the Bophelo HIV/AIDS Project in Bochabela, Bloemfontein, attended the first day of training. He shared his positive experience with the system, stating, “We were introduced to the system in April 2024 and have since transitioned away from paper workflows. Our organisation, primarily staffed by youth, now uses the system for reporting, and it has been smooth sailing.”

An anonymous official from the Limo Mall office, Mangaung District, attended the training and highlighted various challenges such as document submission delays, inaccurate data capturing, and complex technology. However, she is optimistic that the new reporting system will eventually resolve these issues.

Mr Martin Coetzee from Tshireletsong Child and Youth Care Centre in Mangaung Metro District praised the training, saying, “The training is informative, and the department is assisting us by digitising information, making reporting easier. I look forward to doing less paperwork and more with technology.”

Ms Nonxuba, District Director for Mangaung District, emphasised that the system would ensure accurate and reliable reporting of performance across all sub-programs at the district level. The second session of the training was practical, allowing participants to navigate the system on personal computers with assistance from Free State DSD IT officials. The final training session will be held on 3rd July 2024 at the same venue, concluding with more practical exercises on data capturing.

 

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