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Cost Analysis – Scaling up parenting programmes, South Africa

Any national strategy to prevent interpersonal violence should include evidence-based parenting
programmes that support caregivers. Research on the effectiveness of parenting programmes for reducing the risk factors for neglect, abuse and violence against children is growing. But determining the
cost of large-scale delivery of these programmes has been difficult. This report summarises the costs involved in scaling up parenting programmes, and guides users of the associated costing model.

The costing model when calibrated for a single non-profit organisation (NPO) delivering 20 Sinovuyo Kids
Parenting Programmes (Parenting for Lifelong Health for Young Children) in a year produces the following
key results:

  • The largest cost item is personnel – accounting for 45% of the total budget in the first year, increasing
    to 68% in subsequent years, as the initial setup costs fall away.
  • The per capita (families reached) cost is R4 776 in the first year. As the programme gets scaled up, the
    per capita cost decreases to around R4 242 per family.
  • The per capita (children reached) cost is R1 592 in the first year – assuming each family has an
    average of three children.
  • Setup accounts for 20% of total cost in the first year. The main cost drivers are tools of trade
    (cellphones, laptops, data systems) and staff training (professional fees, catering, travel). These costs
    aren’t incurred in subsequent years unless new staff are employed.
  • Translating the programme for a particular community requires additional setup costs.
  • Ongoing operational costs are driven by personnel and inputs for running courses; key costs being
    catering and venue hire. Using community halls could save venue costs.
  • Once setup is done, trained facilitators could learn to deliver other parenting programmes, or
    programmes that address issues such as harmful gender norms. This would reduce the cost of
    delivering a suite of interventions.

The costing model is designed to be used by government departments, non-governmental
organisations, funders, development partners and researchers, when developing plans and budgets for
scaling up parenting programme delivery.

  • Non-governmental organisations can use the costing model to develop applications for funding to
    deliver evidence-based parenting programmes. The model can be adapted to the local situation and
    be updated yearly for costs.
  • The national Social Development Department can use the costing model to develop a bid to National Treasury for either a conditional grant or increased funding to support scaling up parenting programme delivery. This is in line with South Africa’s commitment as a pathfinder country under the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children.
  • Provincial Social Development departments can use the costing model to develop bids to their respective provincial treasuries for funds to scale up parenting programmes in their provinces.
  • National and provincial treasury officials can use the costing model to motivate for increased allocations to parenting programmes in the budget process. Parenting programmes compete with
    other programmes for funding during the budget process – with more evidence treasury officials can better motivate for increased parenting programme funds.
  • Stakeholders can use the costing model to develop advocacy materials they can use to engage
    Members of Parliament and the Legislature and public officials on the need to scale up parenting
    programme delivery.

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