SeaM pilots round one: Work and well-being on the periphery

Line Item Detail Amount in GBP
1. Qualitative Fieldwork in two sites:
Careltonville and Durban Deep
30 days x GBP 40 a day for incidental costs – food, transport, data, airtime 1,200
2. Research Assistants Stipend costs at each site (2 x 2 months at GBP700 month) 2,800
3. Survey Costs In partnership with Stats SA – including pilot survey design for Durban Deep and analysis of census data 5,000
4. Dissemination Costs 1 x policy dialogue of 50 people 500
Total 9,500

Lead SeaM Team Members: (each proposal must include at least one team member from each university) ACMS, Wits:

Dr. Zaheera Jinnah, Assoc.Prof. Jo Vearey, Thea de Gruchy [plus Goitse Manthata, doctoral candidate] UoE: Dr. Samuel Spiegel [plus Jessica Yu, doctoral candidate]
Project partners: Statistics South Africa (STATS SA) Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa (CoRMSA) Sonke Gender Justice South African Cities Network  Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS) at Wits University Global Health Research Program at University of British Columbia Partnership Africa, Ottawa Department of Health, SA

Rationale for Project (500 words max)

How does your proposed pilot further the aims of the SeaM project? How will it contribute to knowledge of academic and practice communities?
This project aims: (1) to comparatively analyse the living and working conditions of peripheral informal and peri-urban mining communities; and (2) to understand how innovative participatory visual methods can be used alongside traditional empirical approaches to health and social science scholarship using two case studies.

Case Study #1 will be based in Johannesburg, which is (one of) the most unequal cities globally and presents a complex web of interlinked urban health challenges, including an HIV prevalence of 11.1%. A growing population of the ‘urban poor’ includes internal and cross-border migrants, many of whom reside in sub-standard housing in the central city or in peripheral informal areas where HIV prevalence and incidence are highest, and are reliant on fragile livelihood activities – including small scale artisanal mining.

Case Study #2  will be based in Carletonville Gauteng, where there is a substantial gold mining presence with one of the deepest large-scale gold mines in the world. By collaborating with the Department of Health, we will explore the living and working conditions of people living on the periphery in Carletonville, where there is a need to revitalise “distressed mining communities” according to the South African government’s Special Presidential Package.

Through a social determinants of health (SDH) lens, this pilot project will explore the lived experiences of  marginalised, peripheral mining communities. The findings from both case studies will be compared and used to inform the development of a larger research proposal for which funding will be sought.

Furthering the aims of the SeaM project: This pilot project will examine the relationship between multiple forms of marginalisation and well-being in two peripheral mining communities. Through a mixed methods approach that will contribute towards two focus areas of SeaM – Big Data and Visual Methodologies – this pilot project will investigate methodological approaches to exploring precarious work, informality and health on the urban periphery. Findings from the pilot project can be used to: inform future research; and make recommendations for practical interventions.

This proposal will further strengthen the collaboration between the Centre of African Studies at the University of Edinburgh and the African Centre for Migration and Society at the University of the Witwatersand, and build new exchanges with the Global Health Research Program at the University of British Columbia and the Department of Health in South Africa. This will include using pilot project findings to inform the development of a larger research proposal for which funding will be sought and student exchange and training between the ACMS and CAS.

Contributing to knowledge of academic and practice communities: the project will contribute to a better understanding of what risks informal and dangerous work of individuals living and working on the periphery – such as informal mining – presents to workers’ and communities sense of subjective and actual well being.
Analytical research is currently lacking on the specific pathways to promote health equity for these communities. Inequities in health and well-being are associated with the urban periphery and knoweldge gaps contribute to inadequate policy and programmatic responses.

Proposed Research Methods (200 words max)
A triangulated mixed-methods approach is envisaged.

Desktop review: a review of relevant literature and policy will be undertaken

Ethnographic Fieldwork: researchers will map the physical, social and economic landscape of mining communities to obtain a clearer understanding of the risks faced by communities and everyday experiences of mitigating and addressing issues of well-being. It will include key informant interviews with community leaders, mineworkers, health care officials and practitioners in the research site.

Visual methodologies: based on ethnographic research and drawing on the MoVE method: visual: explore project (ACMS), appropriate visual methodologies will be used.

Big Data: with Stats SA, to conduct a pilot project to develop a survey of informal mining communities in order to obtain data on health, livelihoods and well-bring on the periphery. Depending on feasibility, secondary analyses will be undertaken with the Mineworkers Compensation System and census databases. Combining the results of the survey and the database analyses, the research group will explore the relationship of predictor variables (such as work history and access to compensation) with health status. Importantly, these surveys will be informed by international best practice models on surveying informal mining and on Stats SA’s own work on communities, health care, and informality.

Proposed Outreach Event (200 words max)
Two processes are proposed:

  1. We will partner with the South African Human Rights Foundation, Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa (CoRMSA), Sonke Gender Justice, South African Cities Network and Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS) at Wits University to host a policy dialogue targeting city, provincial, and national level officials from health, social services, and labour to share the main findings of the project.
  2. We will produce a series of fact sheets/ issue briefs, blog posts and media articles which will summarise the key findings of the project for a popular audience. Findings from the pilot project will be used to inform the development of pro-poor policy and programme recommendations. These will be disseminated through on-going partnerships with civil society organisations to improve the sector.

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