Engaged Scholarship


There are currently two registered Community Engagement projects in the College of Graduate Studies

Project. No.

Project Name

Project Leader


Promoting the visibility and use of public archives

Prof P Ngulube

The project will be conducted at the National Archives and Records Service of South Africa (NARSA) and the nine provincial archives of South Africa. The aim is to come up with a uniform strategy to promote the visibility and use of public archives in South Africa through public programming. This phase is going to evaluate the progress made and recommend another cycle of action in line with the participatory action research approach. The objectives will be to: · Outline the discussion points and agreements of the public programming strategy. · Develop a plan to improve public programming in public archives · Identify the critical success factors for the implementation of archival public programming strategy. · Identify the resources that may give public archives repositories in South Africa a sustainable competitive advantage over other institutions offering similar services · Develop materials that may be used for promoting archives.

Previous attempts have been made in silos by different archives repositories in South Africa to promote visibility and use of to the people through various public programming initiatives but with limited success. For example, scholars such as Ngoepe and Ngulube (2011), Van der Walt (2011) and Venson, Ngoepe and Ngulube (2014) paint a picture where public archives repositories in South Africa are struggling to reach out to potential users. Yet the National Archives and Records Service of South Africa Act No 43 of 1996 and the legislation of the nine provincial archival institutions underscore the need for public archives repositories to reach out to the less privileged sectors of society and make known information concerning records by means such as publications, exhibitions and lending of records. Despite this mandate, it would seem that public archives repositories in South Africa struggle to reach potential users due to lack of resources and skills.

The project will develop the capacity of archivists and the archival institutions deal with matters related to the promotion of archives so that they become visible and used by the present and future generations. The fact that archives are managed in order to be used has created a greater interest in public programming. Public programming promotes the utilization of archives

Prof P Ngulube
Tel: 012 429 2832
Email: ngulup@unisa.ac.za

Proj. No.

Project Name

Proj. Leader


Child homelessness: A Social Policy Perspective

Dr N Tekwa

Child homelessness: A Social Policy Perspective to be implemented in Gauteng, City of Tshwane, is a sub-project located within the larger collaborative, Pathways out of Homelessness Phase III project between the University of South Africa (UNISA), the City of Tshwane (CoT), the University of Pretoria (UP) and the Tshwane Homelessness Forum (THF). While the overall goal of the Pathways project is to find sustainable solutions to the problem of homelessness in the City of Tshwane, the researchers, bringing a uniquely social policy perspective , felt that child homelessness is yet to be afforded adequate and special attention in the larger Pathways project. Hence the project seeks to document the nature, causes and extent of child homelessness in the City of Tshwane.

This is in addition to producing evidence-based information on the social and economic effects of homelessness on children. Taking cognisance of the generational impact of homelessness on children where the majority homeless parent were once homeless children the key objective of the research is to provide possible early and consistent social policy interventions thus nipping homelessness in the bud and contributing to the City’s 2055 Vision of being Africa’s most liveable, healthy, safe and sustainable capital city. We envisage a 3-year engaged scholarship research project (2023-2025) working with different stakeholders in the homelessness sector together with people experiencing homelessness in finding lasting solutions to the challenge of homelessness.

The 1st year is largely an exploratory phase since little is known about the nature and extent of the problem under investigation. Working together with NPOs in the sector together with people experiencing homelessness, the expected outcome is a dot map showing homeless hotspot across the City in addition to a preliminary assessment of the demographic dynamics. Equipped with a better understanding of the problem under investigation, the explanatory Year 2 delves deeper into the problem top understand the causes of child homelessness in the City of Tshwane through in-depth interviews with parents of children experiencing homelessness and key informant interviews with various stakeholders drawn from the public, private and other non-state actors. Year 3 is largely devoted to policy engagement and academic research outputs. Policy engagement comprises policy seminars and training workshops with city managers whereas envisaged research outputs includes conference, seminar and webinar presentations, journal articles and publications in the public media.

Dr N Tekwa
Tel: 074 450 4970
Email: tekwa@unisa.ac.za

Last modified: 2023/08/07