As a theological and interdisciplinary research institute, our research has been complemented and integrated with research from fields such as economics, education, law and psychology.
Our research papers have been read and discussed at EFSA Institute consultations, conferences and workshops. Research papers have also been disseminated electronically and published to stimulate broader discussion. The findings of research have remained important for the formulation of proposals that the institute has made to the national and provincial government.
As part of the ecumenical movement, the EFSA Institute is responding to the challenge to formulate its own positions, based on its basic values and understanding of the gospel as well as quality research. The institute recognises that the movement cannot rely solely on social research by other actors – it has to generate its own alternatives. The quality of such research determines how serious these positions are taken in the public sphere.
The EFSA Institute’s consultations, conferences and workshops strive to involve participants from different disciplines and sectors in the same event. It encourages an exchange of ideas as part of the public debate.
The institute’s findings are presented in consultations – as part of an ongoing lobbying and advocacy process. This process tries to contribute to the formation of public policy, specifically regarding social development policy.
Our programmes have an impact on the educational programmes of university-based conferences and communities. This is exemplified in the conferences on public issues – in which postgraduate students and pastors participate. By creating public events, these conferences provide opportunities for public participation in university-based conferences.
A further example is the training programmes of the Community Leadership Academy (CLA) where youth and community leaders benefit from intensive courses in leadership and management skills. More than 600 participants have attended these courses over the past few years. The effect of the courses is evident in the strengthening of several community projects.
The impact of these programmes is seen in the published reports and booklets from conferences that are used by religious communities, non-governmental organisations (NGO’s) and universities as training material.
This component has constituted a significant addition to the EFSA Institute’s methodology. It has extended the institute’s work from dialogue, research and advocacy to the practical implementation of community development projects. In this regard the institute’s programmes have focused mainly on combating poverty, HIV and AIDS.
Note: The various activities are not ad hoc but part of a comprehensive approach and strategy intended to have a sustained effect regarding specific areas.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]