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Concepts and Framework for Teaching, Research and Outreach of African Philanthropy

April 30, 2016

A paper with concise texts and extensive footnotes is not amenable to an integrating condensation or précis as an Executive Summary. Therefore, to assist readers with little time, this page offers a synopsis of key areas of substance and their sectional location allowing more directed access for those with specific interests.The pages which follow establish the scholarly foundation of new academic chair with practical intentions that a business school is meant to provide. The Chair is devoted to a topic – African Philanthropy, not philanthropy in Africa - which is seriously under-researched, poorly or prejudicially understood as 'traditional' and anti-modern as well as developmentally under-appreciated. These conditions are overlain with external vocabularies and meanings which are not adequately emanating from the continent's history and lived experience of deeply rooted pro-social behaviour of giving or 'gifting'. Hence, missing in today's discourse is a deep understanding of African Philanthropy in its own right with what it can tell us about better ways to tackle the continents many problems by building on its inherent potentials. Establishing such an 'operational' narrative is one purpose of the joint initiative between the Wits Business School and the Southern Africa trust; a story which must have relevance and traction in the lives of Africa's people.A theoretical framework in section two introduces a complexity view of social, cultural economic, political, linguistic and other processes leading to a contemporary African landscape where gifting is expressed through three institutionalised gifting practices: endogenous, exogenous and blended. An ontological approach explains this long pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial trajectory, concentrating on a period starting around the beginning of this millennium. Readers most interested in this era could start looking at Section five. When doing so, please note that section three draws attention in to the power of words. To be ontologically coherent, new narratives often require suitable nomenclatures, in this case a choice of 'gifting' rather than 'giving' or of 'philanthropy' – understood as a practice within gifting - which is a poorly translatable term and concept in an African languages and moral philosophy of ubuntu. From a communications point of view, the choice for a distinctive terminology will continually call for justification and explanation until recognition of its narrative value for comprehending Africa's story in its own right.Since the start of the millennium, practices of gifting by and on the continent are undergoing rapid changes inviting excitement at their innovation and concern about their effects in, for example, areas of public policy, rights, universal access to public services and democratic governance. Discussing these and similar issues can be found in section six which is followed by a detailed review of local resource mobilization from private sources for public benefit derived from within the continent and its Diaspora. Across the three institutional types, uncertain but indicative estimates of their monetary value are in the order of US$ 55 – 85 billion per annum. Including the non-monetary and non-material value of gifting could take this (much) higher. Counting foreign aid, both official and private, would add the monetary by almost the same amount again.1 A planned concentration on local resource mobilisation in African gifting will contribute to reducing dependency on an aid system not known for its reliability.The concluding section seven switches focus to various issues of embedding the Chair of African philanthropy at the Wits Business School. Many ideas and content are inspired by participants at a pan- African inaugural seminar held in March 2016. This event has helped to create a 10 year profile and value preposition for the Chair at WBS in terms, for example, of the latter's Vision 2022, with guiding principles of excellence, a research-intensive agenda, a deeper business reading of African countries, transformation and more. With a tentative implementation schedule, these and other contributions must translate into a viable business model, a task which lies ahead.

Measuring Civil Society: Perspectives on Afro-centrism

January 6, 2012

International comparative research on civil society has subordinated Africa's diversity and specificities to other geographies and histories. Results are prejudiced global conceptualisations, questionable enumeration, problematic theory formulation and ill conceived approaches to development initiatives intended to make African civil society 'stronger' and states more democratic. This article sets out a case for an endogenous approach to civil society enquiry as a political category sensitive to the continent's particularisms. In order to locate discussion about measures and measuring, a conceptual framework for research is described that avoids conflation with other epistemologies.

Citizenship and the Politics of Civic Driven Change

January 1, 2012

Nation states are premised on the legitimizing presence of a polity comprised of citizens. The politics of this relationship is central to discourse on how societies evolve. Yet in the discipline of international development studies the topic remains peripheral. Reasons can be found in conceptual confusion, in selectivity in donor thinking and policies towards civil society and in the growth-driven political economy of NGO-ism. Remedies for the political lacunae are being sought through a concerted focus on people's rights, citizenship and qualities of leadership that all show valuable progress. This chapter will examine a comprehensive complement to such efforts referred to as civic driven change (CDC). Originating in a grounded empirical approach, the constituent principles and elements of CDC offer a lens that can both sharpen and deepen insights and advance analysis of civic agency in socio-political processes. As an ontologically grounded normative proposition, CDC allows exposure and examination of 'uncivil' forces stemming from contending claims on citizenship. These factors are typically ignored or denied in an historical harmony model of societal change. A CDC narrative is illustrated by reference to contemporary examples of citizen action that play out at multiple sites of governance.

Civic Driven Change: A Guide to the Basics

April 1, 2009

Content pending.

Poor Philanthropist II: New approaches to sustainable development

January 1, 2009

The second title in the Poor Philanthropist Series, this monograph represents the culmination of a six-year journey; a journey characterised in the first three years by in-depth qualitative research which resulted in an understanding of philanthropic traditions among people who are poor in southern Africa and gave rise to new and innovative concepts which formed the focus of the research monograph The Poor Philanthropist: How and Why the Poor Help Each Other, published by the Southern Africa-United States Centre for Leadership and Public Values in 2005.

Gates, Google, and the Ending of Global Poverty: Philanthrocapitalism and International Development

January 1, 2009

This article deals with the philanthrocapitalist, THE USE OF BUSINESS and the market to transform philanthropy and foreign aid-is a recent and much-contested entry into the international development dictionary

Helping Principles and Practice Among the Poor in Southern Africa: The Potential and Promise of Horizontal Philanthropy for a Reorientation of Concepts and Practice

January 1, 2008

Based on demonstration cases conducted in 2006-2008, this paper described the origins, methodology and findings of the application of a horizontal philanthropy or philanthropy of community (PoC) lens to community grantmaking in southern Africa. It examines how PoC can be applied to deepen practice exploring its possibilities and limits. Preliminary theoretical perspectives for third sector performance are also suggested.

Of Butterfly Wings and Raised Fists: Connecting Complexity, Aided Development and Civic Agency

January 1, 2008

The central proposal that Fowler makes is that the thinking and practice of aided development would benefit from dedicated attention to a body of ideas that constitute a theory of complexity.

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