Hands-on Learning Issue 17

Through our Hands-on Learning publication, we hope to play a helpful role in synthesising information from innovators and implementers in civil society, supporting them to share what they have learned so that others are able to draw from and build on their experiences.

As part of this learning exercise, DGMT CEO, Dr David Harrison penned an op-ed in which he reflects on what we have learned from responding to the COVID-19 pandemic over the past few months. Read it here.

Read below a short synopsis of what you can find in Hands-on Learning issue 17:

In a unique response to the COVID-19 pandemic in South Africa, Messages for Mothers (M4M) aims to provide answers to mothers’ pressing questions about the coronavirus – and its impact on their families. In this learning brief, we look at the factors that contributed to M4M’s rapid formation, as well as the lessons learnt when a crisis prompts mission-aligned organisations to come together to keep moms informed, connected and encouraged.

The COVID-19 lockdown with its repeated alcohol sales bans, has made it painfully clear that South Africans have a complex relationship with alcohol. While many South Africans do not drink at all, alcohol continues to permeate and threaten our families and communities. This is because those who do drink tend to do so often and in ways that are harmful both to themselves and to others. Trying to reduce the harms of excessive drinking is no easy task – particularly given the underlying structural drivers of poverty and inequality. This learning brief shows that interventions at the community level have an important role to play and warrant further development in the national effort to curb binge drinking.

Leadership transitions are a particularly risky time for nonprofit organisations (NPOs). Transitions can be intimidating, but they also provide the opportunity for renewal and growth when key management and leadership strategies are employed. While leadership transitions are inevitable, the anticipation thereof is frequently neglected, leaving NPOs vulnerable to crisis and possible demise when the time for transition comes. This learning brief explores the challenges experienced and lessons learned during the transition of founder leaders in NPOs in the Western Cape, identified through research in 2019.

Links for individual briefs:

Messages for Mothers: Cutting through the red tape to help moms during COVID-19. (download pdf here or read here).

Can community-level interventions help to reduce the harmful effects of binge drinking? (download pdf here or read here).

Exploring leadership transitions in nonprofit organisations: Challenges and lessons learned. (download pdf here or read here).