As alumni to the School of Development Studies, I am in support of your appeal to the university to keep the Centre for Civil Society at UKZN open. During my time at the university, the CCS has encouraged the use of new methodologies and participatory action research to best understand civil society; such new and innovative ideas should be encouraged in the name of the advancement of social research. Their record of publications and support around the world is more than impressive because of its strive to understand the true realities of the underserved, disenfranchised people of Africa.
The Centre has brought a diverse wave of academia to speak on civil society issues and in the recent past I have found as alumni, the CCS tried innovative Web 2.0 and collaborative forums to open the discussion beyond the physical space of the centre. In an area studying the usage of Information & Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D), your attempts to use such creative methods of civil society participation is beyond the steps taken or used in research institutes in Africa.
Please take this email as a sign of support for the continuation of the Centre for Civil Society. I have asked the SDS alumni to email you for their sign of support.
UKZN's Centre for Civil Society website: http://www.ccs.ukzn.ac.za/
Hands of the CCS, COSATU: http://groups.google.com/group/handsofftheccs
SangoNet Support of CCS: http://www.sangonet.org.za/portal/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=9889&Itemid=1
Mail and Guardian article: http://www.mg.co.za/printformat/single/2008-08-12-ukzn-to-clip-bonds-wings