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Available Projects

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These ideas have been submitted to the UCT Knowledge Co-op; they are available to students at UCT who may choose them for their research topics toward a degree.

They are listed in the following categories:

N.B. Projects often do fit in more than one category and so may be listed more than once.


Project Name

Project Description

Category 1: Education

# 228. Tracking ECD beneficiaries

Tracer study of ECD beneficiaries: how do they cope in primary school (academic & social) compared to those from other/no ECDs.

# 325. Holiday school programmes

Study to understand the impact an intervention (Tomorrow Trust Holiday School programme) has on the CT community and/or on learners in the Foundation phase.

# 347. Tool for social/ emotional skill

Literature review of tools to assess grit and resilience of primary school learners; design a tool for the local context (Philippi). Possible longitudinal tracking through existing database. Develop methods of evaluating social/emotional skills in Primary School (Grade 3/4) learners from quintile 3 schools with isiXhosa as home language.

# 371. Effectiveness of tutoring for learner

Compare effects of for-profit tutoring to similar programmes run by NPOs. Map significant factors (tutor to learner ratio, learner motivation, starting grades, materials, tutor expertise, pedagogy, subject) and core skills for tutors.

# 435. Predict aptitude for PC programming

Assess the efficacy of the measures used to predict computer programming aptitude by analysing the correlation between various measures and future programming performance.

# 437. Sanitary pads for schools

Study the impact of providing sanitary pads to teenage girls on their schooling attendance and outcomes.

Category 2: Community Development/Social Development

# 36. Thirty-year history

Using a participatory approach, write up the history of the Children’s Rights Movement over the last 30 years - either, or considering in-depth any of its focus areas, i.e. food security, health, media, alternative transport, anti-bullying, gender. Purpose: to assess its impact

# 105.1 Foster Mother Screening

Review HfH's process for screening & training foster mothers for cluster foster care; compare to alternatives for good practice.

Keywords: Soc Development, Psychology, child care.

# 157. Evaluate family support work

What role has the Family support programme in improving family life of children in ECD or Child & youth programmes?

# 163. Substance abuse rehab

Document and assess an out-patient substance abuse rehabilitation programme. Describe the approach and programme followed and assess the impact of the programme on its beneficiaries and the community (or develop a tool to do so).

#228. Tracking ECD beneficiaries

Tracer study of ECD beneficiaries: how do they cope in primary school (academic & social) compared to those from other / no ECDs.

#315. Tree planting as a method to restore land

Develop a monitoring system to assess tree planting as a method to restore land/forest landscapes after alien clearing. How best to integrate the 2 processes

# 316. Land owners & restoring forest

Assess the potential of drawing land owners into tree planting as method to restore land / forest landscapes around Knysna after fire.

# 322. Parenting support for resilient families

Evaluate a programme that educates parents to be more involved in their children’s lives, ages 3 - 12.  Consider elements like discipline, connection & relationship, rights of child; factors like attendance at school, teenage pregnancy, truancy. Provide a description of the programme as well as feedback on its impact.

325. Holiday school programmes

Study to understand the impact an intervention such as Tomorrow Trust Holiday School programme has on the CT community and/or on learners in foundation phase.

# 347. Tool for social/ emotional skills

Literature review of tools to assess grit and resilience of primary school learners; design a tool for the local context (Philippi). Possible longitudinal tracking through existing database. Develop methods of evaluating social/emotional skills in Primary School (Grade 3/4) learners from quintile 3 schools with isiXhosa as home language.

# 349. Personal development tool

Assess the impact of a story-based personal development tool used with vulnerable children. The programme deals with fear, hope, gratitude. A workshop using the process will be conducted for observation.

# 364. Training for behaviour change

Randomised control longitudinal study to measure impact of training program & sustainability of behaviour change of teenage parents. Compare: programmes at schools vs those for teenagers who dropped out of school; care-givers vs biological parents.

# 365. Training tool for foster mums

Develop a training tool for (new) foster mothers in consultation with a cluster foster care provider. Include modules on how to work with troubled children; approaches to stay connected to the kids

# 371. Effectiveness of tutoring for learners

Compare effects of for-profit tutoring to similar programmes run by NPOs. Map significant factors (tutor to learner ratio, learner motivation, starting grades, materials, tutor expertise, pedagogy, subject) and core skills for tutors.

# 380. Reality of homelessness

Sketch the reality of homelessness in the Northern suburbs. Provide accurate figures re homelessness and reasons why people are on the streets – differentiated across districts.

# 381. Services for homeless

Needs assessment: Are the MES services for homeless persons provided in the different areas appropriate to the needs there

# 382. Safe space for the homeless

Internship to support developing a Safe Space for Homeless people in the Northern suburbs.

# 388. Tree planting to restore land

Research tree planting methodologies & and identify most beneficial indigenous plant life to boost restoration of land post alien removal.

# 391. Active citizenship

Explore whether the notion of active citizenship contributes to the long-term sustainability of the physical as well as social aspects around a person's home

Keywords: Civil/civic participation, informality, agency, entitlements, informal settlements, P4 approach.

# 401. What theory fits a social development model

What is Streetscapes – a social enterprise/ sheltered employment? What existing models found in the literature describe the approach used for supporting people living on the street in the process of getting off the street permanently?

# 423. Alcohol abuse at age 7

Study into reasons for and possible interventions into alcohol abuse at very young age (7 years) at a school near Crossroads.

# 424. Social work placement

Social work practical at Klipfontein Methodist Primary school, Crossroads - alcohol abuse, poverty.

# 430. Getting youth into employment

Comparative study of a volunteering / self-development programme to empower youth for finding jobs with other models.

# 432. Employment programme benefits

Evaluate the benefits of an employability programme from the view of the homeless beneficiaries. For the 20 individuals employed to date, what parts of the programme are regarded as most valuable and what may not be working so well?

# 433. Success of scaling up

Evaluation: does a scaled-up Teen Parenting programme match the structure and content of the original? The programme is being replicated in other organisations and provinces through a training programme.

#438. Policy for participation

Research to support Community-driven policy initiatives for participation at local government level:  map out how participation is structured in different sectors; identify cases of bad and good practice. Desktop review & interviews.

Category 3: Economics / Commerce

# 250. Marketing electric vehicles

Develop a marketing programme for Evs on UCT campus and beyond.

# 262. Mapping resilience economy in Rocklands, Mitchells Plain

Mapping the potential and beginning to investigate the Resilience Economy in Mitchells Plain.

286. Economics of conserving bio-diversity

What is the opportunity cost of conserving bio-diversity of critical areas (e.g. setting aside land for conservation, implementing minimum tillage)? Consider this in the light of the new environmental planning / zoning law which assumes conservation to have zero opportunity cost.

# 348. Community Enterprise models

Study of Community Enterprise models that work for townships, drawing on three emerging community enterprises.

#446. Festival for Greening Areas

Study the impact of using a "Music Festival of Action" format for tree-planting/greening events. Consider literature & local example.

# 449. Mapping the Resilience Economy Cape Town

Growing the existing database through mapping the full potential of the resilience economy in Cape Town

Category 4: Orphans/ vulnerable children

# 36. Thirty-year history

Write up the 30-year history of a movement focussed on children's rights; either as a whole or an in-depth look at one of its elements, for example, child-to-child health centres, well-being, (massage and yoga).

#322. Parenting support for resilient                                 families 

Evaluate/study a programme that educates parents to be more involved in their children's lives, pages 3-12.

#363. Behaviour change for teen parents 

Assess the standardised scales for behaviour change used to assess teen parenting work; evaluate which aspects are most appropriate; design a scale to measure the impact of this work. (INTERNSHIP)

Keywords: standardised scales, behaviour change, teenage parents, Psychology

# 364. Training for behaviour change

Longitudinal study to measure impact & sustainability of training programme for behaviour change of teenage parents.

# 365. Training tool for foster mums

Develop a training tool for (new) foster mothers. Esp best way to work with troubled children.

# 423. Alcohol abuse at age 7

Study into reasons for and possible interventions into alcohol abuse at very young age (7 years) at a school near Crossroads.

# 424. Social work placement

Social work practical at Klipfontein Methodist Primary school, Crossroads - alcohol abuse, poverty.

436. Aspirations of vulnerable youth

Assess the level of aspiration amongst vulnerable and orphaned children and youth; relate this to a Personal development tool.

Category 5: Health / Public health

# 347. Tool for social/ emotional skills

Literature review of tools to assess grit and resilience of primary school learners; design a tool for the local context (Philippi). Possible longitudinal tracking through existing database. Develop methods of evaluating social/emotional skills in Primary School (Grade 3/4) learners from quintile 3 schools with isiXhosa as home language.

# 381. Services for homeless

Needs assessment: Are the services MES provides for homeless persons in the different areas in the Northern suburbs appropriate to the needs of the target population.

#452. Adherence to medication

Assess the adherence of elderly persons to medications and use of assistive devices.

Category 6: Information Systems / IT

# 323. Digitizing a library

Develop software to catalogue the library material & make it easier to find, possibly by cell phone

# 435. Predict aptitude for PC programming.

Assess the efficacy of the measures used to predict computer programming aptitude by analysing the correlation between various measures and future programming performance

Category 7: Science & Engineering

# 248. Electronics needed for EVs

Improve electronic systems for use of electric vehicles in local conditions. development of the control and management system for the vehicle and the development of the back end system.

286. Economics of conserving bio-diversity

What is the opportunity cost of conserving bio-diversity of critical areas (e.g. setting aside land for conservation, implementing minimum tillage)? Consider this in the light of the new environmental planning / zoning law which assumes conservation to have zero opportunity cost.

# 315. Tree planting as method to restore land

Develop a monitoring system to assess tree planting as method to restore land/forest landscapes after alien clearing. How best to integrate the 2 processes?

# 316. Land owners & restoring forest

Assess the potential of drawing land owners into tree planting as method to restore land / forest landscapes after removal of aliens.

# 352. Best practices for fynbos harvesting

Extend survey of impacts of harvesting on resprouting species rootstocks and survival. Investigate methodologies, i.e. breaking stems vs cutting stems for resprouting species (Brunia genera)

# 354. Vulnerability Index

Extend the original methodology regarding the Vulnerability Index for harvestable fynbos species; add more species.

# 373. Western leopard toad demographics

What are the current estimated population numbers of wlts in the Western Cape? How long do wlts live for? In a built-up area Vs rural area? Males vs Females?

# 374. Leopard toad migration

Establish Western leopard toad migration and breeding patterns and reasons for variations.

380. Reality of homelessness

Get accurate figures re homelessness and reasons why people are on the streets – differentiated across districts.

# 388. Tree planting to restore land

Research tree planting methodologies & and identify most beneficial indigenous plant life to boost restoration of land post alien removal.

394. Create visual advocacy tools re large developments in Obs

Create visual advocacy tools (You-Tube & toolkit for community action) to reach and get buy in from a bigger section of Obs residents, who feel threatened by the way the City’s densification policy is implemented. This results in rapidly growing numbers of large developments in the area; they are often approved without informing residents or allowing meaningful participation, and mostly push building regulations to their absolute limit without considering the context. They are profit driven, rather than addressing social housing or creating inclusive urban spaces.

438. Policy for participation

Research to support Community-driven policy initiatives for participation at local government level:  map out how participation is structured in different sectors; identify cases of bad and good practice. The context: Cape Town Civic Organisations are initiating a Civic-led bylaw on participation, drawing on Local and overseas experiences to come up with what they would like to see in local government systems for participation. They plan to develop that through an iterative and participative process into a bylaw to be tabled to the City Council. This will be a mix of desktop review and some interviews with Civic informants; with support from the Steering Committee and from Development Action Group.

# 443. Socio-ecology of Fynbos

Study the socio-ecological value of 5 pilot fynbos gardens at eco-education sites. Consider pollination, soil, birds, functional diversity, bio-physical, sense of place, stress.

# 445. GIS map of eco-sites

GIS mapping followed by a basic assessment of social interaction and ecological conditions at eco-sites across Cape Town

446 Festivals for greening areas

Study the impact of using a “Music Festival of Action” format for tree-planting / greening events. Consider literature & local example

# 448. Impacts of fynbos harvesting

Impacts of fynbos harvesting on ecology and landscape management. Consider EITHER Using video graphic methodologies and count data to determine the difference in abundance and visitation of nectar dependent birds between pristine and harvested fynbos (sugar birds and sunbirds); OR Using repeat photography to monitor long term changes in fynbos vegetation; OR What are the ecosystem and/or species thresholds of concern for harvesting of fynbos, how do you measure them and when do you intervene?

Category 8: Other

# 352. Sustainable harvesting of fynbos

Extend survey of impacts of harvesting on different species guilds in the Agulhas Plain to better understand longer term impacts; eliminate effects of environmental variables; challenge the methodology of cutting vs breaking.

#355. History of Gugulethu

Research the history of Gugulethu, its prominent citizens and important events - and photos of these. What happens to a place when you put people into it?

Keywords: citizens' history, Creative writing/Media; local culture; publication for 60th anniversary

# 375. Conflicting spheres of governance

Case study of Public Representatives in Cape Town as elected officials operating between levels, spheres and entities of governance. Local government representatives need to address residents’ needs while negotiating City, Provincial and National Government entities. Map and document the fragmentation in this system as political and administrative interests interfere with each other

Key words: Politics, Public Admin

# 376. Law enforcement across levels of governance

Investigate the relationships between national and local entities involved with upholding the law: Is the legal framework in SA appropriate

# 377. Urban edge: opportunity for crime

Case study: fractured spheres of government make room ‘outside the law’ for crime along urban edges.

# 391. Active citizenship

Explore whether the notion of active citizenship contributes to the long-term sustainability of the physical as well as social aspects around a person's home.

Keywords: Civil/civic participation, informality, agency, entitlements, informal settlements, P4 approach.

# 394. Create visual advocacy tools re large developments in Obs

Create visual advocacy tools to reach Observatory residents re the implementation of the City’s densification policy which results in rapidly growing numbers of large developments in the area.  

 

 

 

 

This table was updated in March 2018. 

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