Projects

Beneficial Technologies projects and work done by the team

Case Study booklet Putting People in People’s Parliament: Scaling up inclusive participation in South African Legislatures to enhance democratic oversight (PPiPP)

Project thumbnailBentec provided a write up of the project ‘Putting People in People’s Parliament: Scaling up inclusive participation in South African Legislatures to enhance democratic oversight’ (PPiPP) as a case study to test methods for increasing public access to and engagement with legislatures for social justice.
Partner/clientDullah Omar Institute, University of the Western Cape (UWC)
Bentec leadDr. Femke Brandt
Bentec teamRonald Wesso, Sithandiwe Yeni
Bentec roleDocument analysis and writing a popular booklet, online survey, stakeholder interviews. Collaborating with the 5 project partners: Dullah Omar Institute, University of the Western Cape (DOI) (coordinator); Heinrich Boell Foundation Southern Africa (HBF); Parliamentary Monitoring Group (PMG); Public Service Accountability Monitor, RU (PSAM); and Public and Environmental Economic Research Centre, UJ (PEERC)
Time periodAugust – November 2021 
OutcomeCase Study report: A Wedge in Parliaments Door: Putting the ‘People’ in People’s Parliament and guidelines for Civil Society Organisations and legislatures.

International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF): Union Building along the Silk Road

Project thumbnailBentec provided research-based knowledge to the ITF to have a better understanding of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), and its impact on transport workers and trade unions. The report present findings on Chinese investments in 6 case-study countries; Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Pakistan, Kenya, Thailand and Austria.
Partner/clientThe International Transport Workers’ Federation
Bentec leadRonald Wesso
Bentec teamLeonard Gentle, Dr. Femke Brandt
Bentec roleContext analysis and writing, desktop research, online survey, stakeholder interviews. Recommendations on strategic considerations for union building.
Time periodAugust – October 2021 
OutcomeResearch report The Belt and Road Initiative: what are the implications for workers and unions?

Urgent Action Fund Africa (UAF-A): Water justice for African women

Project thumbnailBentec provided Urgent Action Fund Africa with research-based knowledge on water justice struggles in Africa to inform a yearlong water justice campaign across the continent.
Partner/clientUrgent Action Fund Africa (UAF-A)
Bentec leadSithandiwe Yeni
Bentec teamDr. Koni Benson, Dr. Femke Brandt
Bentec roleProviding a feminist analysis of water struggles in Africa, writing, desktop research, stakeholder interviews.
Time periodFebruary – April 2021 
OutcomeResearch report Womn and Water in Africa: an overview of Water Justice Struggles and concept note for fundraising to facilitate the implementation of the campaign on water justice for African women. The report is available online here.

Tekano Atlantic Fellows for Health Equity in South Africa

Project thumbnailBentec provided Tekano and the wider Atlantic Fellows community with research-based knowledge on the impact of Covid-19 on health equity in South Africa. Drawing on the research report, Bentec engaged the Tekano staff and board members on strategic considerations around the fellowship’s mandate and programme. 
Partner/clientTekano Atlantic Fellows for Health Equity in South Africa (AFHESA)
Bentec leadRonald Wesso
Bentec teamDr. Anthea Lesch, Sithandiwe Yeni, Nerisha Baldevu, Dr. Femke Brandt
Bentec roleContext analysis and writing, desktop research, online survey, stakeholder interviews. Recommendations on strategic considerations.
Time periodJuly – October 2020 
OutcomeResearch report, presentation to Tekano staff and Board members, fellowship curriculum recommendations.

Evaluation of the Eastern Cape Agricultural Economic Transformation Strategy 

Project thumbnailThe provincial government of the Eastern Cape contracted a research team to evaluate the outcomes of their strategies to transform agriculture. The government had a particular focus on creating opportunities for black people and women to become commercial farmers. 
Partner/clientEastern Cape Office of the Premier; Fort Hare Institute for Social and Economic Research 
Bentec leadFemke Brandt 
Bentec roleGeneral research, policy analysis. Specific focus on gender dynamics. Research presentation and policy recommendations. 
Time periodMarch – November 2019 
OutcomeReport presentation to the Premier and members of the provincial executive. 

Research into water justice in South Africa

Project thumbnailWriting a report of three Water Justice Roundtables that brought more than forty organisations together to develop a people’s plan for water justice. 
Partner/clientBlue Planet Project, Council of Canadians 
Bentec leadRonald Wesso 
Bentec roleResearch and writing
Time periodFebruary – June 2020  
OutcomeReport

Training in verbal communication and public speaking for business and economics students

Project thumbnailProviding a six week comprehensive course of in-person and on-line training in public speaking and verbal communication to business and economics graduate students.
Partner/clientSUN Academy, University of Amsterdam  
Bentec leadFemke Brandt 
Bentec roleTrainer
Time periodOn-going 
OutcomeStudents develop skills for personal and professional communication. 

Documenting ten years of the Right to Agrarian Reform for Food Sovereignty Campaign

Project thumbnailWriting a booklet documenting the struggles and campaigns of the Food Sovereignty Campaign. The booklet covered a ten year period from 2008 and a range of issues from land struggles, policy intervention, popular education, feminism and agro-ecology.  
Partner/clientSurplus People Project; Food Sovereignty Campaign 
Bentec leadRonald Wesso 
Bentec roleResearch and writing
Time periodJanuary – May 2020  
OutcomePublished booklet: Ten years of the Right to Agrarian Reform for Food Sovereignty Campaign

Researching resistance and organising strategies of farm and labour broker workers

Project thumbnailA long term, in-depth anthropological study of farm workers in rural areas and labour broker workers in urban areas. The study has a specific focus on the agency of workers as they cope with farm conversions to game farming, the externalisation and fragmentation of labour, securitisation of the workplace, hyper-patriarchy and the distancing of the mainstream trade unions from them. 
Partner/clientVrije Universiteit; Centre for African Studies, UCT; University of  Johannesburg; various academic journals; Brill Publishers 
Bentec leadFemke Brandt 
Bentec roleResearch and writing
Time period2006 – on-going 
OutcomePhd thesis; various journal articles; book chapters; an edited book

Deepening knowledge regarding the funders and drivers behind extractive industries 

Project thumbnailResearch into extractives industries in Honduras, Zimbabwe and Indonesia to inform and enable greater leverage for women human rights defenders. Developing publicity materials and popular education drawn from the research.
Partner/clientCount Me In! Consortium
Bentec leadRonald Wesso 
Bentec rolePopular education design consultant
Time periodMay – September 2020
OutcomeIn progress