The Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) lives the spirit of ‘engaged research’ at their Sweetwaters office in kwaMpumuza, South Africa. Jive Media Africa is proud to have produced a film that showcases the HSRC’s Sweetwaters site. Here, in the heart of Kwa-Zulu Natal, the HSRC undertakes ground-breaking research and society-led development efforts from within the Mpumuza community. The film serves as a communication tool which the HSRC can use to help them share their experiences and learnings with the wider research community.

“Thanks Jive Media! It was a lot of fun making this short film showcasing our work over the past 10 years in the Sweetwaters community.” – Dr Heidi van Rooyen: Executive Director, HSRC Sweetwaters

“We enjoyed working with you at our office and in our community. I strongly believe that everybody working with Jive, you leave them smiling, like us. Keep up the good work. It is easy and joyful working with you and I hope that we will meet again very soon. Thank you so much.” Sifiso Qwabe: Project Facilitator, HSRC Sweetwaters

Find out more about the HSRC Sweetwaters office here

Community Engagement is a key aspect of the work of the Human Sciences Research Council’s Sweetwaters office. The research centre is situated in the peri-urban Vulindlela District and undertakes social science research on a range of issues affecting local communities. The learnings from these communities can be further shared and applied in other settings.

In order to better understand the needs of this community, the HSRC Sweetwaters office embarked on a photovoice project. Photovoice is a participatory action research strategy primarily used in research involving marginalised communities. Photography is combined with other techniques, (e.g. critical dialogue) to encourage participants to reflect on and speak to community concerns. The images (and by extension the voices) can create awareness, engagement and meaningful dialogue with stakeholders and decision makers.

The intention of the project, was to work with vulnerable youth from the Sweetwaters area to gain insights into the challenges and risks faced by the community, especially as they are experienced by young men and women.

Research communication specialists, Jive Media Africa was asked to assist with the production and facilitation of a number of community events, designed to disseminate the outcomes of the project. Two events were held, an exhibition at the Jack Heath Gallery, curated by the Centre for Visual Arts at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, and a gathering of residents from the Edendale area which formed part of the study.

In order to showcase the work of the photographers in these different settings, Jive Media Africa adjusted the delivery mechanism for each setting. For the gallery exhibition, the images were printed and mounted individually. These images have subsequently been sent to the office of the Deputy Vice Chancellor for Research at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban. For the event targeting young people and residents of the study area, which took place in the Caluza Sports Centre, the images were printed onto long vinyl banners. These banners will be used in an ongoing tour to schools to continue to engage young people in discussions about issues of importune to them.

In addition, Jive Media Africa has created a portfolio of these images in printed form.

“You cannot predict the outcome of human development. All you can do is, like a farmer, create the conditions under which it will begin to flourish.” – Ken Robinson

The DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Human Development (CoE-HUMAN) supports and undertakes multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary research to enhance the process of human development. From early childhood development to transforming our society, the study of human development puts people at the centre stage of their intellectual concern. The program is one of 15 CoE’s founded by the Department of Science and Technology & National Research Foundation, and is the only one with social studies at its core.

Jive Media Africa is delighted to be working with this Centre of Excellence and its Director, Professor Linda Richter, at the University of the Witswatersrand. Our strategic communication role supports the creation of a brand identity and the production of media pieces which showcase and translate the work done by the CoE-HUMAN in easily-accessible and digestible ways.

Below are some of the media outputs produced by Jive Media Africa for the CoE-HUMAN:

Breastfeeding – No Substitute 

What Families Do

Children in South African Families – Lives and times 

Gun Control: Fewer guns, fewer deaths 

Parental Care and Feeding Count

Early Childhood Development





Jive Media Africa, through its work with the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Human Development at the University of the Witwatersrand, provided media and science communication support to the South African launch of the Lancet Global Series on Early Childhood Development.

The Minister of Science and Technology launched the series entitled Advancing Early Childhood Development: from Science to Scale to highlight the critical role of science in informing policy.

The series gathers scientific evidence from around the world which is powerfully demonstrating how low-cost interventions which facilitate and support nurturing care for infants in their first years of life contribute to lifelong health, wellbeing and productivity with economic impacts which far outweigh the investment costs.

The evidence is presented in a Lancet series with 45 contributing authors edited by distinguished South African researcher Professor Linda Richter.

Find out more at

South African Experts in adolescent health gathered in Gauteng together with lead commissioner Professor George Patton from the University of Melbourne for the South African launch of “Our Future: A Lancet Commission on Adolescent Health and Wellbeing”.

Jive Media Africa provided media and communications support to the varied programme which included contributions from the Department of Health, the Medical Research Council, the Human Sciences Research Council, youth activists and a production by University of the Witwatersrand Drama for Life. To find out more about the commission report visit

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Professor George Patton (photograph on left)  University of Melbourne (Commission Leader) |  Dr. Yogan Pillay,   Professor Linda Richter, Professor George Patton (photograph on right)


How do we go about changing the way South Africa understands and invests in Early Childhood Development?

Jive Media Africa has been part of a research-process led by the FrameWorks Institute in Washington to better understand how experts, stakeholders and the public understand key issues in Early Childhood Development (ECD).

The aim is ultimately to work towards creating new narratives which can be used to communicate key learnings about ECD to positively transform our society. The research report which was designed and produced by Jive Media Africa, is entitled: Early Means Early – Mapping the Gaps Between Expert, Stakeholder, and Public Understandings of Early Childhood Development in South Africa.

The work has taken place in co-operation between the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Human Development, Stellenbosch University, UNICEF and the MRC/Wits Developmental Pathways for Health Research Unit. The report was authored by Eric Lindland (PhD), Prof. Linda Richter, Prof. Mark Tomlinson, Ntombizodumo Mkwanazi and Kathryn Watt.

Jive Media Africa was privileged to support the Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Human Development with its science engagement activities at the CoE Directors’ Forum which took place on the 25th and 26th of August 2016 at the Howard College Campus in Durban. The Centres of Excellence programme is an initiative of the National Research Foundation and the Department of Science and Technology that takes place annually. Jive supports CoEHuman, the first of the CoE’s with a focus on Social Sciences, with science communication services. These range from communication strategy and media production support to developing engaging ways to interact with the public around the science being undertaken through the programme. School learners were very excited by and engaged with the activities at the exhibit. Here are some photographs from the event…

Dr Phil Mjwara (Director General of the DST) and Prof Linda Richter – Director of the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Human Development


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Tel: +27 (033) 342 9380/2
Address: P.O. Box 22016, Mayor’s Walk, 3208

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