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Implementation Experience

Browse our collection of articles that reflect on and/or offer useful analysis on the 10 opportunities for social change that form the basis of our five-year strategy.

(Click on each block to explore more)

1 Drive public innovation by reigniting civil society

Setting up a computer laboratory on a shoestring budget

3 March 2015

Digital technologies provide new opportunities for learning, and experience using a computer is a pre-requisite for most jobs in today’s economy. However, in low-income and rural communities, the cost of setting up a computer laboratory is often insurmountable.  This blog explains […]

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Understanding Quality Assurance in a social franchising context

19 February 2015

In the nonprofit sector where critical knowledge is often tacit, the process of ensuring consistent delivery of a quality service can be challenging.  This learning brief considers how Quality Assurance might be understood in a social franchising context.  It introduces […]

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Learning from experience – Building a Monitoring and Evaluation system for FunDza

31 May 2013

The FunDza Literacy Trust aims to improve reading for pleasure and access to interesting books for “book poor” teens and young adults from poor communities.  In early 2013, FunDza commissioned a literature review to investigate the current practice of measurement […]

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Exploring the factors that stimulate agency

31 January 2013

In this learning brief Lucca Leadership South Africa looks at the factors that awaken and develop agency – the drive within an individual, organisation or community to make a difference that uplifts others around them in order to make the […]

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2 Release the systemic chokes on innovation that are perpetuated by exclusion

Hands up if you love 3D printing innovations!

3 August 2015

“My goal is to be able to drive a car one day” says Archie, a South African father with a left hand amputation. Archie and I met at a training workshop where he volunteered as a client for trainees, like myself, […]

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Technology making a difference

23 March 2015

Lack of access to appropriate health care in rural areas is a well-known problem.  However, in some cases technology can make a real difference. In 2014 we started supporting Dr William Mapham in activities related to the roll-out and testing […]

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A new model for community-based infant hearing screening … lessons from recent research

19 February 2015

Recent national surveys in the private and public health care sectors of South Africa reveal that roughly 90% of newborns have no prospect of having their hearing screened. Undetected hearing impairment can lead to persistent language, speech and cognitive delays […]

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3 Create unlikely networks to stimulate positive change

Experiencing Activate!

22 March 2013

I dream that Mount Frere will produce the top performing matriculants in the country and all its schools will achieve a 100% matric pass rate. Those of you who know Mount Frere know just how big my dream is, but […]

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Activate! South Africa’s new leaders and public innovators

1 June 2012

In January 2012, a new national network of young public innovators was established under the name ‘Activate! Leadership and Public Innovation’.  This year 220 young adult leaders drawn from communities across South Africa have joined a three year programme to […]

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Perspectives on Leadership Development – Lessons from Life and Practice

11 October 2011

Earlier this year TSiBA Education endeavoured to explore the state of leadership development in South Africa’s social sector. The overarching impetus was to explore two key questions: “Where will the next Mandelas, Tutus and Rampheles come from? And what do […]

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Go for Gold: Mediating Opportunity Connections for Youth in the Construction Industry

11 October 2011

The Go for Gold programme is a unique partnership between civil society, the Western Cape Education Department and the Construction sector. The partnership emerged as a response to the critical shortage of candidates from disadvantaged communities with the necessary grounding […]

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4 Give every child the benefit of early childhood development

Simple, powerful lessons from Colombia

29 July 2015

I recently participated in a meeting of the Forum on Investing in Young Children Globally (IYCG), in Addis Ababa. For me, the stand-out presentation was by Constanza Alarcon from the Office of the President in Colombia.  She described how the […]

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aeioTu: an example of an Early Childhood Development social franchise in South America

19 February 2015

aeioTu has designed a high-quality and comprehensive Early Childhood Development (ECD) package for 0-5 year old children in Colombia, with the specific aim of increasing ECD service provision to low income families.  In this learning brief they offer useful ideas on programme design […]

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The DG Murray Trust Early Thinking Project: Developing early thinking with Philosophy for Children

2 June 2014

Reflective thinking is important for democracies and society in general, but even more so in seriously polarised societies such as South Africa – where communities are still divided and where violence is common in dealing with social conflict.  The ability […]

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National Association of Child Care Workers: Development of a Service Delivery Model for Community Based Professional Child and Youth Care Services

4 March 2014

The care of Orphans and other Vulnerable Children (OVC) is an ongoing challenge in South Africa and the Isibindi “Circle of Courage” child and youth care model has been specifically developed by NACCW as a comprehensive community-based response to this […]

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5 Stop nutritional stunting among children under two years

Tackling the challenge of intestinal worms: A rural ECD perspective

31 January 2013

Intestinal worms and their impact on child health and development is a major health issue throughout the country but particularly in rural areas where lack of adequate sanitation and the large number of free roaming livestock and domestic animals exacerbate […]

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Mentor Mothers Eastern Cape: Philani’s Maternal, Child Health and Nutrition Rural Initiative

1 June 2012

Philani has developed a home based maternal, child health and nutrition model in an effort to work with the South African government in reaching the Millennium Development goals (4 & 5).  Their model has been shown to be effective in […]

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What good are food gardens? A brief review of South African literature

10 February 2012

Even though South Africa is relatively food secure, more than 14 million people (35%) are vulnerable to food insecurity and there are high rates of malnutrition amongst young children.  Can food gardens be an effective nutrition intervention? Justine Jowell investigated […]

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6 Make sure every child is ready to read by the time they go to school

Volunteer-driven literacy programmes in schools: why parents and teachers join, and why they stay

30 September 2016

The degree to which children acquire language skills is a strong predictor of future academic success, educational attainment, employment and income.  In fact, reading is a powerful tool to tackle poverty and inequality: when children read for pleasure, it has […]

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Four key elements of an effective learning environment and practical strategies to achieve it in a rural environment

15 August 2016

Axium Education is an NPO based in Zithulele, in the rural Eastern Cape. For the past two years, DGMT has supported three of its educational programmes: the Community Reading Programme (in-school early literacy support for Grade R-3), the MasaKHANe programme […]

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The Karnataka Learning Partnership: what data can do

23 November 2015

  Imagine: A parent is trying to decide whether to send her child to the preschool at the end of her street, or the one in a nearby neighbourhood. She’s heard the faraway preschool is better, but it also has […]

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From hub-and-spoke to classroom libraries: lessons from Akshara

16 October 2015

India and South Africa could learn a lot from each other, particularly when it comes to education. Both have made great strides with primary school enrolment over the last few decades, but still struggle with the quality of learning outcomes […]

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7 Build simple, loving connections for every child

Be inspired: A beautiful short film on the importance of the bonding in the first 1000 days

29 May 2015

Have a look at this lovely short film recently released by the Ububele Educational & Psychotherapy Trust: “The first 1000 Days of Life, from conception to age two, is the most important time in a child’s life,” says Tony Hamburger, Executive Director […]

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Working with government services: Lessons from the Perinatal Mental Health Project

2 June 2014

The Perinatal Mental Health Project (PMHP) develops and advocates for accessible maternal mental health care that can be delivered effectively at scale in low resource settings. Working within public health facilities, they hope to demonstrate the need for maternal mental […]

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Assessing the ability of loveLife goGogetters to improve outcomes for Orphaned and Vulnerable Children

31 January 2013

loveLife’s goGogetter programme aims to assist Orphaned and Vulnerable Children (OVC) by changing the circumstances that add to their vulnerability.  This is done by establishing and drawing on social networks and building social capital through elderly women called goGogetters. In […]

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Reflecting on models of support for children in places of safety: Give a Child a Family

1 June 2012

In 2011, the DGMT began to reflect more deeply on models of support for children in places of safety. We were particularly interested in models that have a strong focus on reintegrating children back into communities, as well as, on […]

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8 Place failing schools ‘under new management’ so that children can succeed

Improving how schools work – through better organisation and planning

11 October 2011

Government has developed a school improvement strategy that plans to establish an annual school management cycle in all schools to improve and ensure school functionality. The burden for the implementation of this strategy lies on the school principals and district […]

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9 Create new connections to opportunity for young people

Driving change: NERDAfrica’s advice for young people wanting to start social change initiatives

29 March 2016

To grow economically, reduce inequality, and foster social solidarity so that we thrive as a nation, South Africa needs young leaders that will inspire innovation in both the public and private sectors.   Tumelo Motaung is precisely such a young […]

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NGO volunteering as a first rung strategy for tackling youth unemployment

19 February 2015

As South Africa continues to experience chronically high unemployment rates, it is clear that a multi-pronged effort, involving both the public and private sectors, is required to support young people as they transition into the world of work. Here, the […]

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The Language of Access

11 September 2014

How we harness technological innovation in rural South African communities in order to close the education gap between urban and rural learners is as exciting as it is challenging. In this learning brief, Good Work Foundation describes what they are doing – […]

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ACTIVATE! – Evaluating Youth Leadership for Policy Impact

4 March 2014

Often one of the most difficult aspects of launching a new project is figuring out how to measure its impact effectively. The Activate! Leadership for Public Innovation programme has an opportunity to do ground-breaking work in measuring the impact of […]

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10 Support young people to keep their grip on opportunity

The Work Preparation Programme: Facilitating the college to work transition

11 September 2015

With the third highest youth unemployment rate in the world at 24.3%, creative solutions are required to enhance the work readiness and skills of school leavers in our country. Increasingly, across Africa as well as in Europe, technical and vocational […]

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The Case for National Senior Certificate Second Chance Programmes: Evidence from DG Murray Trust Partners

2 June 2014

Two programmes implemented by our implementing partners, GADRA Matric School (GMS) and the Midlands Community College’s Maths Science and Technology (MST) programme, are successful models which give a second chance to young people who have not performed well enough in […]

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The challenges and lessons learned in securing post-school placements for township-based matrics: Achieving against the odds

7 October 2013

Annually the township matriculants participating in the IkamvaYouth programme exceeds all expectations in terms of their matric exam performance and 96% of them have accessed opportunity (educational/employment) within 5 months of matriculating.  But the untold story behind these impressive statistics […]

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Giving second chances: Midlands Community College’s Maths, Science, Technology ` Recovery’ Project

31 May 2013

One of the flagship programmes of the Midlands Community College focus on the development of Maths, Science and Technology with the aim of enabling learners to access tertiary studies in these fields.  Through this second-chances programme Midlands provides recent matriculants […]

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