The STS methodology prompted a shared vision based on partnerships with a wide range of stakeholders, to promote mutually supportive integrated interventions, and sustainable systemic transformation, focussed on creating a safe and conducive environment for children in the inner City and particularly at the Old Drill Hall, a heritage site and space for NGO intervention for transformation and development in Johannesburg.


Our clients for this project were Jo’burg Child Welfare, and we supported the recruitment of a diverse range of City stakeholders including local councillors, the metropolitan police, the Heritage department, urban management, roads, refuse removal and more, as well as NGOs, community members and business.


The vision of What it Looks Like When it’s Fixed was articulated as for the Best Life for Every Child in the inner city. It comprised a diverse range of outcomes, including infrastructure, service delivery, a culture of caring in and for the environment, support networks, safe and reliable transport, regulation and management of informal traders, waste management, safe and clean toilets and much more. The systemic and complex nature of the vision necessitated collaboration between a range of partners to achieve sustainable outcomes. While some of the facets of the vision were within the mandate of Jo’burg Child Welfare, many of them were the sole mandate of the local government. In response to the opportunity that Jo’burg Child Welfare represented to support the City in achieving a range of its mandates in partnership with civil society, the City engaged on a number of operational and strategic levels. The vision was aligned with the Roadmap for Inner City Transformation, a planning document to promote sustainable and systemic inner city development.

The immediate recommendation that followed the initial consultative exercise was the establishment of three themed action forums, grouped according to shared interests and mandates of the diverse network of stakeholders. In a city with very low levels of trust, particularly between civil society and local government, stakeholders revealed a sense of isolation, each struggling alone with similar challenges. Relationships were characterized by blame, defensiveness and resentment. A stakeholder mapping process prompted opportunities for mutual support where partners shared objectives and for transparency on objectives, to promote trust. A coordinator was appointed by Jo’burg Child Welfare to facilitate What Do I Bring with individual stakeholders. The urban management operations centre for this part of the City (Region F) appointed its stakeholder management office to liaise with the Jo’burg Child Welfare team, to procure City participation and facilitate communication between internal and external stakeholders where appropriate. During the 12 months that followed over 60 government and non-government stakeholders were mapped against the vision and as the database grew, opportunities for short, medium and long-term interventions presented themselves. From these, interventions were chosen for immediate implementation.


Jo’burg Child Welfare is an under-resourced NGO without the means to implement.

Lessons Learned:

The 1st of December event, parental skills capacity building, skills workshops with kids, outreach to parents, focus on the JMPD.

Fixed™ brings a methodology which allows entities embarking on sustainable development to solve the problems of sustainable development by embracing the complex context of their work, generating strategies which respond to that complexity and maintaining principled, systemic, learning approaches to challenges to implementation, as they arise.