Beneficial Technologies projects and work done by the team

Nelson Mandela University: Hydrogen Knowledge Platform and engagement

Project thumbnailThe Nelson Mandela University (NMU) is building a platform for stakeholders and contributors to create, engage and share the information, knowledge and thinking needed to support the optimal development of a green hydrogen sector in the Eastern Cape and beyond.
Partner/clientNelson Mandela University in Gqeberha, Eastern Cape
Bentec leadRonald Wesso and Femke Brandt
Bentec teamLeila Wesso
Bentec roleCreate content for the development of the Nelson Mandela University Hydrogen Knowledge Platform, support with the organisation and facilitation of an (online) forum for engagement and thought leadership on green hydrogen key themes.
Time periodApril 2024 – ongoing
OutcomeContent Hydrogen Knowledge Platform for NMU website

Economic Development Partnership Western Cape: pilot Green Hydrogen Community Development Toolkit

Project thumbnailBentec is part of the EDP team of experts that supports project developers in the green hydrogen sector with using the green hydrogen community development toolkit in their community development work.
Partner/clientEconomic Development Partnership (EDP)
Bentec leadRonald Wesso and Femke Brandt
Bentec team
Bentec roleProvide project developers with training and guidance in the use of the Green Hydrogen Community Development Toolkit, design and conduct research to develop case studies for the toolkit, write an updated toolkit.
Time periodJanuary 2024 – ongoing
OutcomeUpdated Green Hydrogen Community Development Toolkit

World Health Organization: design adult learning and engagement activities

Project thumbnailBentec provided advisory input on engagement methods for adult learning materials on citizen engagement in evidence-informed policy-making. For the WHO Global Evidence-to-Policy (E2P) Summit we supported with the design of online engagement activities
Partner/clientWorld Health Organization – Evidence to policy and impact unit in the Research for Health Department/Science Division
Bentec leadFemke Brandt
Bentec teamFemke Brandt, Dr. Carina van Rooyen
Bentec roleAdvisory input adult learning and engagement methods, develop learning activities, design online engagement activities
Time periodMarch 2023 – ongoing
OutcomeGuide | Citizen engagement in evidence-informed policy making: a guide to mini-publics.

GIZ: Green Hydrogen community-development toolkit

Project thumbnailBentec has developed a green hydrogen community-development toolkit for private and public-sector use in South Africa.
Partner/clientDeutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) – H2.SA
Bentec leadRonald Wesso
Bentec teamRonald Wesso, Femke Brandt, Ebrahim Takolia
Bentec roleResearch, writing, design community development tools
Time periodNovember 2022 – August 2023 
OutcomeGreen Hydrogen Community Development Toolkit

Stakeholder engagement plan for the SADC Climate Services Centre in Gaborone.

Project thumbnailBentec developed a Stakeholder Engagement Plan for the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Climate Services Centre in Gaborone, Botswana. This project is part of the SADC Intra-ACP Climate Services and Related Application (ClimSA) programme.
Partner/clientWS Atkins Ltd.
Bentec leadFemke Brandt
Bentec teamFemke Brandt
Bentec roleStakeholder engagement consultant
Time periodAugust 2022 – ongoing 
OutcomeStakeholder engagement plan, stakeholder database and management system.

Just Associates (JASS): popular education and feminist movement building

Project thumbnailBentec provides support with the development of popular education materials and processes in support of feminist movement building in Southern Africa, Mesoamerica and SouthEast Asia.
Partner/clientJust Associates (JASS)
Bentec leadRonald Wesso
Bentec teamRonald Wesso
Bentec rolePopular education consultant
Time periodDecember 2021 – ongoing 
OutcomeWorkshops and popular education events

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  

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
OutcomeCMI! Toolkit. Behind the scenes of extractives: money, power and community resistance.