Social and Community Dialogues

NICDAM’s community and social dialogue processes are based on the UNDP Community Capacity Enhancement (CCE) methodology. CCE involves interactive dialogue on the deeper causes of issues and through a facilitated process, community decision-making and action. This approach has successes in modifying harmful normative attitudes of participants on issues such as violence against women.

In 2011, a number of NICDAM staff members attended the training course on the CCE methodology presented by the Nelson Mandela Foundation. Since then, NICDAM cascaded training in the methodology and implemented several programmes with community dialogues as a core activity.

Through community conversations the structural drivers of the HIV epidemic, i.e. stigma and violence against women and children were addressed in several rural and urban communities in KwaZulu-Natal, Free State, Limpopo and Eastern Cape Provinces on behalf of organisations such as the NDOH, UNFPA and Save the Children South Africa.

For the Departments of Health and Social Development NICDAM trained and mentored facilitators from community based organisations selected as ‘change agents’ in the CCE methodology. The purpose of which was to increase awareness of health and social concerns, enhance community mobilisation and change harmful social norms.

NICDAM conducted the following number of community dialogues on HIV stigma mitigation in Free State, Limpopo and KZN for the Department of Health:

2012 72
2013 54
2014 54
2015 54

NICDAM was an implementing partner in conjunction with UNFPA, UNICEF and Save the Children South Africa for the ‘Safer South Africa for Women and Children Programme’ funded by DFID in 2015/2016 and focusing on addressing violence against women and children. The implementation model of the programme required the engagement of local Community Based Organisations (CBOs) operating in the project sites. 6 CBOs in respectively 3 districts in Free State and 3 districts in KZN were selected to present community dialogues in their areas with the guidance and support of the NICDAM mentors and project staff. These organisations were trained and mentored to deliver two community dialogues per month for six months and to develop Local Action Plans (LAP’s) for the areas. 82 community dialogues were undertaken.

In 2016 NICDAM was appointed by the national Department of Arts and Culture to develop and roll out a country-wide 3-year programme conducting community conversations in 33 communities on Nation Building and Social Cohesion per year.

This programme is an essential element in the search for practical solutions for South Africa to develop into a socially cohesive nation. It looks at and works on six factors, identified as common to all 9 provinces, namely race, language, gender/sexism, economic redress, safety and security, and family. It also helps to keep track of the progress of South Africa in nation building and social cohesion. This Community Conversations are a build-up in preparation for the next Social Cohesion National Summit to take place in 2018.

During the 1st round dialogues were conducted in three or, in some cases four towns in each of the nine provinces over a period of 6 weeks in early 2016. A total of 1555 people participated in the initial phase of the programme. The second roll out took place towards the end of 2016 and the beginning of 2017. 1520 people were involved.


1,555 people participated in 33 community conversations rolled-out by NICDAM in 6 weeks

quoteWhen you sit in conversations like this, you realize that your issues are not isolated to one race, but that we all struggle with common issues cross culturally...quote

— Nonkululeko Hlongwane, Springs (Gauteng) Community Conversation

National Department of Arts and Culture Video: Community Conversations

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