Change Ideas: Public policies to change our world

DGMT’s new initiative, Change Ideas, through policy briefs, advocacy and engagements with decision-makers and the public, aims to address issues facing South Africa, delve into their root causes, leverage proven research (both locally and internationally) and propose practical solutions that are readily scalable.

Change Ideas brings together DGMT’s 10 opportunities for change and draws on the established work of many of the projects within the organisation. Through this, Change Ideas aims to foster a more equitable and prosperous society through evidence-based research, collaborative partnerships, and actionable recommendations.

Key objectives:
  • Amplify DGMT’s 10 key opportunities: Change Ideas focuses on 10 pivotal opportunities for change identified by DGMT as crucial for driving sustainable change in South Africa.
  • Produce comprehensive policy briefs: The project will generate policy briefs that provide in-depth insights and actionable recommendations to policymakers, stakeholders, and the wider community.
  • Address multifaceted challenges: Change Ideas tackles various socio-economic and public health challenges, including youth unemployment, stunting, nutrition, early childhood development, alcohol harms, and literacy.
  • Empower stakeholders: Through collaboration with experts and stakeholders, Change Ideas seeks to empower individuals and organisations with the knowledge and resources needed to effect positive change.
  • Drive lasting impact: By shedding light on practical strategies and interventions, the project aims to break the cycle of poverty, promote equity, and improve public health.

On 6 March 2024 Change Ideas was officially launched with an event at the Greatmore Humanities Hub – Centre for Humanities Research, a research unit attached to the University of the Western Cape. 

Change Ideas urges politicians to unite for the well-being of South Africa’s children, emphasising their collective responsibility. Unfortunately, the harsh reality is that approximately 30 children succumb to malnutrition-related causes daily, and an estimated 1.5 million children lack access to early learning programs. Moreover, alcohol abuse is eroding the social fabric of communities, jeopardising children’s health and contributing to domestic violence.

Imagine a transformative future for the country if all 2,800 babies born today could experience sufficient nourishment, safety, and cognitive stimulation.

Moderator Mbali Ntuli, Founder of Ground Work Collective and former politician led a robust discussion with Herman Mashaba, President of Action SA; Siviwe Gwarube, Chief Whip of the official opposition (Democratic Alliance); Dr Corné Mulder, Chief Whip in Parliament and Western Cape leader (Freedom Front Plus); Axolile Notywala, Western Cape leader (Rise Mzansi); Cameron Dugmore, Leader of the ruling party in Western Cape Legislature (ANC) and Lukhona Mnguni, Founding member of the Rivonia Circle.

Together they unpacked parts of their manifestos and highlighted where it intersected with the work DGMT does, which was further explored upon taking questions from the audience.

If you missed this event, you can watch a recording below.


In the coming months, Change Ideas will develop policy briefs and related content. Six policy briefs have been developed as part of the launch. Explore them below.

Implementing the WHO Best Buys

This brief examines the World Health Organisation’s alcohol best buys and explores how they align with some of the proposed changes outlined in the draft Liquor Amendment Bill.

Download brief

Combatting alcohol harms: Introducing a Minimum Unit Pricing

This brief advocates for the introduction of a Minimum Unit Pricing policy as a crucial strategy to combat binge drinking.

Download brief

Closing the early learning gap for 3-5-year-olds

This brief explores universal access to quality early childhood development (ECD) at scale and how it can change the status quo and improve life trajectories.

Download brief

Double-discounted list of 10 budget-friendly food items

In this brief, DGMT and Grow Great focus on one practical intervention – 10 budget-friendly food items – which is about nutritious, cost-conscious foods.

Download brief

The Essential Package for Early Childhood Development

In this brief, we look at why an “Essential Package” of ECD services is needed to close the glaring gaps in ECD delivery.

Download brief

Children and Nutrition

In this policy brief, we examine the status and circumstances of our country’s children who feel the impact of hunger and malnutrition throughout their lives, starting in the womb.

Download brief
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