Grace Rapholo is a clinical psychologist, researcher and strategist with more than twenty years’ experience gained from the NGO, public and private sectors. She also has a Journalism degree and executive management qualifications. During her career, she has occupied executive management positions in leading development agencies in South Africa, including being the head of a research agency in the late 1990s.
She has assisted the government of South Africa to design effective social development strategies as well as setting up effective monitoring and evaluation systems for programmes. Some of her consulting engagements have included developing the national mental health communication strategy for the Department of Health and recently, the evaluation of the accommodation provision programme of the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure She is as comfortable in the boardroom as facilitating community engagements under the tree using many of South Africa’s languages.
Apart from presentations delivered at national fora around South Africa, Rapholo has also presented papers at international conferences in the United Kingdom, Canada, Switzerland, Turkey, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Namibia. She has also contributed to 22 academic publications.
Rapholo uses her experience and knowledge of the development sector to create a platform where social development practitioners can begin to have greater influence in project planning to ensure that sustainability is integrated in projects early on, rather than as an afterthought or to fulfil legislative requirements. It is this background that influenced the conceptualisation of this project to include broader stakeholder engagement and youth participation in the arts.