“South Africa is significantly underperforming in education, particularly mathematics teaching and learning. Mathematics teaching is often poor quality, with teachers not able to answer questions in the curriculum they are teaching, one indicator of the challenge. Often national testing is misleading as it does not show the major gap at lower grade levels. Of the full complement of pupils who start school, only 50 per cent will make it to Grade 12 and only 12 per cent will qualify for university entrance. Fundamental reforms are needed in the public sector. Business leaders need to incorporate an understanding of private education and other market experiments and schooling innovations in their overall perspective and priorities for intervention and reform.“


"The Teacher Development Summit (‘the Summit’) of 29 June to 2 July 2009 represents an important historical moment: it has been a national gathering of all stakeholders, who have come together as a result of a call from teachers themselves through their organised formations and supported by the Department of Education, the Education Labour Relations Council (ELRC), the South African Council for Educators (SACE) and the Education, Training and Development Practices Sector Education and Training Authority (ETDP SETA).

The Summit has been a rare and important opportunity to think afresh and innovatively about the many challenges relating to teacher development. Practising teachers were strongly represented among the Summit participants, and made their voices heard both in the formal sessions and a special round table discussion in which they shared their experience of teacher development activities, both positive and negative."


“The Zenex Foundation initiated a metaevaluation of 23 of its mathematics, science and language projects in South African schools between 1998 and 2006. This forms part of its commitment to project evaluation and research as a way of strengthening its impact. The aim of each project has been to improve the quality of teaching and learning, and to achieve positive change in schools. The projects have achieved varying levels of success, but more importantly, the evaluations have provided invaluable information on critical success factors and the dynamics of school development. The lessons documented by the meta-evaluation have informed the development of the Zenex Foundation’s strategy for the next ten years.”

"[This guide] explains the Blended Finance opportunity and offers a framework for starting or scaling up activities for a range of development funder audiences. Each organization’s mission, motivations, staff profile, and operating context are, of course, unique. As there is no “one size fits all” method to adopting a Blended Finance approach, the framework provided in this document will need to be tailored to fit your own organization’s needs. This Guide has used the experience of the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development to illustrate ‘real world’ examples of how this process can be employed, but their experience will need to be adapted for your own context. The purpose of this document is to help your organization set goals to engage in Blended Finance and realize an action plan for successful implementation. Development funders can draw on a range of tools to engage private capital providers through Blended Finance."

Read the guide here

Source details: ReDesigning Development Finance Initiative A joint initiative of the World Economic Forum and the OECD, Sept 2015, http://www3.weforum.org

"The South African Business Development Services Provider1 (BDSP) space is active and growing. According to ANDE South Africa’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem map, there were almost 150 BDSPs2 supporting entrepreneurs in 2017, with estimates exceeding this figure. National development and transformation priorities, coupled with global trends, have seen a proliferation of these programmes in South Africa, yet little is known about their effectiveness and uniqueness in the South African context. In an effort to deepen understanding of the incubator and accelerator landscape in South Africa, ANDE hosted a series of breakfast roundtables in Johannesburg and Cape Town in 2017 and 2018. This document presents an overview of the key findings of the roundtables and provides recommendations for further research.

Guidance for corporate community engagement professionals to steer their international strategies and navigate differences across regions.

Giving Around the Globe: 2017 Edition is a treasure chest of insights and best practices on how business can be a force for good.The four topics highlighted are:

  1. How technology can be used to improve employee engagement. 
  2. How businesses can use their advocacy power to uphold human rights and good ethics. 
  3. How the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can be used as a road map for defining long-term business goals and recalibrating the positive contributions of business to society. 
  4. How businesses can deal with the rapid growth of voluntary disclosure and become a proactive force on critical issues. 

"The National Development Plan stresses that South Africa has set itself the goals of eradicating poverty, reducing inequality, growing the economy by an average of 5.4 percent, and cutting the unemployment rate to 6 percent by 2030. Education, training and innovation are critical to the attainment of these goals. Therefore improved learner performance, especially in subjects such as Mathematics, Science and Technology (MST), is critical in the Basic Education Sector.

"Over the course of the last 20 years informal adult learning applications, especially those referred to as either ‘mentoring’ or ‘coaching’ have become popular interventions in South Africa as well as abroad. By 2003 – 2008, their popularity began to filter to the education sector, which has witnessed various designs and approaches that purport to offer ‘help’ to this challenged sector. With the increased amount of investment and interest in using these types of methodologies to improve schools, it has become important to ask more specific questions about these interventions and about precisely how much they are helping.

Building on this background, and in a bid to understand ‘’the lay of the land” of these interventions, this research has proceeded to start in a different place. Instead of initially asking about the interventions themselves we began by asking what purpose they are intended to serve and whether they do indeed serve that purpose.

This problem statement led us to first examine what purpose education is expected to play in South Africa through an examination of history and context. We then analysed how education can be produced by examining the roles played by teachers and leaders. With this understanding we then proceeded to ask how best informal adult learning could best be positioned to truly serve the sector.

What we have found has surprised and excited us. On the first question: What is effective teaching and leading in schools (specifically low resourced and challenged schools in the South African basic education sector), we identified 30 findings. On the second question we identified 12 findings."

Read the Report

Source details:  Written by Lesedi P. Makhurane; January 2019;  Research funded by Old Mutual and conducted under the auspices of the SEED Educational Trust

VISION: To give effect to section 100 (1) (a) of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, 2002 (Act No. 28 of 2002), sections 26(1), (2) and (3) and 27(1),(2) and (3) of the Constitution, the National Housing Act, 1997 (Act No. 107 of 1997), the National Housing Code of 2009 and other related policies and legislation by ensuring that adequate housing, healthcare services, balanced nutrition and water are adequately provided to mine employees in South Africa.


“This evaluation report examines the effectiveness of the Inkanyezi Project, a Zenex Foundation funded initiative that enabled selected Black learners to attend public schools with a history of providing quality Mathematics and Science education.

Conducted by Quality Projects in Education and Schaffer & Associates from 2009 to 2016, the evaluation investigated, inter alia, whether the performance of the participating learners improved in Mathematics and Science, and what lessons could be learned in terms of expanding the project to more schools, and advancing Mathematics and Science teaching and learning in schools. The report contains a number of findings around mentorship, learner selection, project management and other elements of the project.” 

"Today’s fast-growing impact investing market is expected to top $300 billion by 2020. But back in 1983, when MacArthur made its first program-related investment (PRI), the practice we now call impact investing was little more than a hopeful experiment, aiming to fuel social and environmental gains. No one really knew if it could make a significant difference."

"This Review is a Showcase of the Outstanding Models and Practises that Make Up the Innovative Finance Ecosystem Across Africa. As this space has evolved over the past decade, there have been many breakthroughs in the design and implementation of innovative finance, and in advancing social innovation. During the five years of the Bertha Centre’s existence, the Innovative Finance Initiative has worked with social finance experts across the world and partnered with government, enterprises, and investors to research, incubate and test promising innovative finance models and vehicles across Africa."

"This insight paper synthesizes the findings of a survey commissioned by the ReDesigning Development Finance Initiative (RDFI) to: (1) generate a view of existing Blended Finance funds, facilities and supporting mechanisms (the "investment vehicles"), (2) derive insight into the implementation and motivations of these vehicles, and (3) analyse the additionality, impact and effectiveness of different Blended Finance approaches."

The Teacher Development Summit, held in July 2009, was a ground-breaking event, which brought together for the first time all the stakeholders from across the teacher education and development sector in South Africa, with the primary goal of highlighting and addressing the challenges being experienced in teacher education and development, especially by teachers.

The Summit resulted in a Declaration that called for the development of a new, strengthened, integrated national Plan for teacher development in South Africa. Stakeholders represented at the Summit continued to collaborate after the Summit towards the production of the new Plan. This document represents the outcome of their work.

"This Review includes an anchor article about philanthropy by Bhekinkosi Moyo of the African Centre for Philanthropy and Social Investment (ACPSI) at Wits Business School. It then explores stories of how philanthropy has engaged in different sectors such as health, education, sport, training, the arts, social justice and the environment. In addition, the Review includes articles pertaining to issues that philanthropy is exploring such as its tax status in South Africa; the shortage of data on philanthropy across the country; the role of philanthropy in relation to impact investment and shareholder activism; the role of community foundations; and the importance of monitoring and evaluation (M&E) in leveraging philanthropy’s eff ectiveness. This volume also features reviews of books asking fundamental questions about the true moral value of current philanthropic practice. The Review further includes some personal stories of families who have made the decision to formalise their giving in the form of structured philanthropic foundations."

Read The Annual Review of South African Philanthropy: 2019

Source details:  The Annual Review of South African Philanthropy is a publication of the Independent Philanthropy Association South Africa (IPASA); Editor: Shelagh Gastrow; First published  October 2019;  ISBN: 978-0-6399409-2-2

The Training and Teaching of mathematics is matter of teacher subject knowledge and pedagogy.  But its implementation in the school context is a matter of organisation and authority.

For an intervention to improve the quality of mathematics in a school to succeed, it is essential that the project design include both these dimensions:  the Mathematics teacher and the wider school organisational context.

This article provides examples of the dynamics and planning required of a typical school intervention programme to gain traction.

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