Issues and Questions from the Vaal case study

For example these are the issues and questions that the Vaal group are investigating.
Issues:

  • Spiritual water users (SWU) invisible to government
  • Relationship between SWU and public forums
  • Knowledge and awareness of water quality – can we share with both parties
  • Knowledge and awareness of the forums by SWU

These are the questions that the Vaal group are using to guide their case study

  • How can we approach interested and affected parties (as VEJA)?
  • How does pollution affect the users?
  • How do we (VEJA) enable spiritual water users to participate?
  • How do we do research in such a way that facilitates trust and open communication; and to unleash mutual understanding between VEJA & SWUs
  • What are the river access problems? Where are the sites?
  • What is the state of the river?
  • What do the users experience? What do they know? What can be done?

The Vaal issues fit into two types of questions. The first type are questions about the issues.

These are:

  • What are the river access problems? Where are the sites?
  • What is the state of the river?
  • What do the users experience? What do they know? What can be done?

The second type are questions about process i.e how can we help, how can we improve? They are questions about the processes we follow or adopt to bring about change. These questions are:

  • How do we (VEJA) enable spiritual water users to participate?
  • How do we do research in such a way that facilitates trust and open communication; and to unleash mutual understanding between VEJA & SWUs?

When answering the question, ‘what is the evidence?’, the Vaal group can collate their evidence around these two types of questions.

Remember in the evidence section you do not have to answer the questions, you are presenting evidence that relates to these questions. For example, the Vaal team found that spiritual healers are distrustful of outsiders and wary of sharing information. This was also the experience of a person that Samson interviewed when building his knowledge network. These two things are evidence for the question “How do we do research in such a way that facilitates trust and open communication; and to unleash mutual understanding between VEJA and SWUs? It is evidence that there is a problem with open communication and trust.

Also think back to the presentations that Jessica and Thabang did this morning. How did they present their evidence?