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Firestarter: How innovation can light up South Africa

13 April 2018

South Africa has a vibrant civil society history. However, post-1994 and the country’s first democratic elections, many civil society organisations lost their spark. DGMT believes that if we reignite civil society, we can drive public innovation and light up South Africa. In a deep-dive discussion, David Harrison, DGMT CEO, examines the challenges and rewards of […]

Posted in: Opportunity 7: Reflection and Analysis


The butterfly effect

6 April 2018

An article from DGMT’s Annual Report, 2017 Annual reports tend to be self-congratulatory affairs. So let us cut ourselves down to size before we even begin. Last year, DGMT distributed the equivalent of just 0.02% of South Africa’s public expenditure for 2017. That’s tiny in comparison. If we were a species in the animal kingdom […]

Posted in: Opportunity 1: Reflection and Analysis, Strategy 2017


The ordinary magic guaranteed to change our country

2 March 2018

Building simple, loving connections for every child is Opportunity 7 in DGMT’s strategic blueprint. During a recent deep-dive conversation with our CEO, David Harrison, he explained how fostering such connections are essential to bringing about long-term change in South Africa. Let’s start by looking at the key concepts that form the premise of this opportunity: […]

Posted in: Opportunity 7: Reflection and Analysis, Strategy 2017


Homeopathic doses of early learning just won’t work

26 February 2018

Once the dust settles, it will dawn on us that much of the extra R57 billion allocated to higher education will be wasted as half the beneficiaries drop out. Why? Because their educational foundations are too shaky to cope with the demands of university or college. Over the next three years, more than a trillion […]

Posted in: Opportunity 4: Reflection and Analysis, Strategy 2017


What is undermining our investments in South Africa’s children?

15 February 2018

Returning to work following the December break, my colleagues at the Zero-Stunting Initiative and I, began to share stories of how our families view the work we are doing to tackle widespread and chronic undernutrition in SA.  Stunted children are short-for-age because they don’t get enough of the right foods, and this affects their ability […]

Posted in: Opportunity 5: Reflection and Analysis, Strategy 2017




How to communicate your work and achievements to funders

29 January 2018

Writing proposals and reports to funders can be one of the most stressful parts of working in the social change sector. To make it less nerve wracking, it can be helpful to remember that funders are just people. Many of them have also worked for non-profit organisations, social movements or government departments, and understand the […]

Posted in: Opportunity 1: Resources and Toolboxes, Strategy 2017


The South African Child Gauge 2017: Invest in children for sustainable development

28 November 2017

Most of South Africa’s children are surviving, but too many are failing to thrive and achieve their full potential, and this is costing the economy billions in lost human potential. Investing in children – and particularly in violence prevention, networks of care, nutrition, education and inclusive services – would drive the next wave of social […]

Posted in: Opportunity 4: Reflection and Analysis, Opportunity 4: Resources and Toolboxes, Strategy 2017


Where did the other half go? What is driving school dropout in South Africa?

24 August 2017

Most 17 year olds are attending school and will soon write their matric exam, even if not all of them pass. Right?  No! By the time a class of 30 children reaches grade 12, 50% of their peers have already left school without even making it to the grade where their can write matric. This […]

Posted in: Opportunity 10: Reflection and Analysis, Opportunity 10: Resources and Toolboxes, Strategy 2017


Create Change: Step Up for Young People

3 February 2017

South Africa has a resource with the potential to transform our economic and social reality. Unfortunately, we are missing this opportunity: It should go without saying that investment in children and young people is the source of future human capital. They should be at the forefront of strategies for economic growth and development in SA. […]

Posted in: DGMT Points of Interest, Enterprising School Leavers, Game-Changing Leaders, Opportunity 10: Resources and Toolboxes, Opportunity 9: Resources and Toolboxes


Early learning gets a boost – ELOM and SmartStart

19 September 2016

Research indicates that while children from better-off homes make good progress following Grade R, children from poor households do not, and the gap between these two groups widens with age.

Posted in: DGMT Points of Interest, Opportunity 4: Resources and Toolboxes




Early Learning: The Great Equalizer for South Africa

18 April 2018

Education has always been thought of as one of our greatest tools for liberation. We used it to overcome colonialism and Apartheid. But after 24 years of democracy, can education liberate us from the persistent legacy of racial inequality that continues to plague the country? Research suggests that an effective way of using education to […]

Posted in: Opportunity 4: Implementation Experience, Strategy 2017


Partnerships point the way to better public education

1 April 2018

Despite their dubious role in the financial crisis of 2008, some US banks were deemed by policy-makers to be ‘too big to fail’ because their failure would have led to a global economic meltdown. Rightly or wrongly, that conclusion triggered an unprecedented international effort to rehabilitate them and restore global financial prosperity. As South Africa […]

Posted in: Alerts, Opportunity 8: Implementation Experience, Strategy 2017


A million happy faces: Nal’ibali talks about the success of World Read Aloud Day 2018

16 March 2018

We were so excited by the fact that Nal’ibali mobilised South Africans to read to 1 294 345 children on World Read Aloud Day this year, that we asked them to tell us how they did it:    You have seen an 80% increase in the number of children who were read to on World Read […]

Posted in: Opportunity 6: Implementation Experience, Strategy 2017


Celebrating amazing teachers: Michael Peter Curry on saving lives

5 October 2017

Today we are celebrating the many teachers who go beyond their job description to help their learners reach their fullest potential. We are humbled and inspired by those who are approachable to their learners; who keep working long into their evenings; who make do with limited resources; and who are always open to learning about […]

Posted in: Opportunity 10: Implementation Experience, Strategy 2017


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 a greater effect on their educational achievement than their family’s socio-economic status. There is thus […]

Posted in: Hands-on Learning Briefs, Learning Briefs: Creative Learners, Opportunity 6: Implementation Experience, What we've learned