SALT Collateral Benefits Programme

SAM_3043Background:

The SALT Collateral Benefits Programme (SCBP) was established during the construction of SALT (Southern African Large Telescope) and objectives of this programme were clearly directed at the benefits derived by society from building this large telescope. The current strategic proposal is based on modification of the previous strategies adopted by previous managers (Dr Nxomani and Mr Govender). It, however, takes into account the changes in context and also is aligned to the SAASTA , International Astronomical Union (IAU) Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD) and the Department of Science and Technology Decadal strategy for astronomy development in South Africa.

Mandate:

To utilise the knowledge, technology and other available resources within the SAAO and similar institutions in order to facilitate education enhancement, science communication, socio-economic development and public engagement and thereby contribute to the improvement of the quality of life of all people within reach.

Vision:

Significant contribution to the realisation of the NRF vision: A prosperous South Africa and African continent steeped in a knowledge culture, free of widespread diseases and poverty, and proud contributors to the well-being of humanity.

Core Missions:

The SCBP will focus on:

    1. Education in Mathematics, Science, Engineering and Technology to supply the country and the continent with well trained and motivated professionals in substantially increased numbers.
    2. Science Communication and Awareness to effectively engage with the public in order to disseminate relevant information in the fields of astronomy and space science.
    3. Socio-Economic Development in order to contribute to a better quality of life for all people, especially the disadvantaged.
    4. Public Engagement in order to produce and encourage a scientific literate, conscious and critical citizenry

Cross-cutting Strategic Priorities (Underlying Principles)

These will apply to all activities carried out by the SCBP and will each be given due recognition within the context of a specific project.

    1. Inspire a culture of thinking and a desire to learn.
    2. Support disadvantaged people and address societal imbalances.
    3. Encourage collaboration both nationally and internationally.
    4. Support and enhance rather than reinvent programmes.
    5. Ensure adequate monitoring, evaluation and quality assurance.

The emphasis will be placed on production of materials for education and awareness; the establishment of structures for continuity and sustainability; establishments and collaboration with various networks.