The MTN Foundation, in partnership with Trialogue, launched the MTN Awards for Social Change in 2019, to encourage and reward good monitoring and evaluation (M&E) practice in the non-profit sector. A total of R1 million prize money was awarded to winning non-profit organisations (NPOs) in each of the three categories, as well as a fourth bonus award winner.
Teach A Man To Fish was the winner in the large NPO category (R300 000 prize).
Teach A Man To Fish helps schools create fully functional student-led businesses. The Entrepreneurial and Environmental Empowerment for South African Youth (EEESAY) programme started in 2016 to teach learners life skills that empower them to run environmentally responsible businesses. In the last financial year, Teach A Man To Fish which has an annual turnover of R19 million, spent R4 million on the programme.
Currently, Teach A Man To Fish trains teachers from schools in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape. The schools are provided with multimedia educational resources, ongoing coaching, WhatsApp communication and school visits. To further support the schools, youth advisory boards have been set up and Teach A Man To Fish hosts annual provincial events to showcase learners’ progress.
To date, EEESAY has worked with 3 967 young people in 35 schools. A total of 117 teachers have been trained since 2016. While the aim was 80%, only 45% of the learner-led businesses met the requirements of the environmental impact assessment. An unforeseen benefit is that several school businesses use part of their profits for social causes in their communities and to support disadvantaged learners.
M&E data is analysed at project, organisation and country level annually, and is used to determine impact and sustainability. Internally, annual organisational M&E reviews are used to refine the strategy, approach and content for training. Externally, Teach A Man To Fish shares data with district and provincial Departments of Education for participatory planning and problem-solving. Each school receives a report summarising learners’ progress. Additionally, data is presented to national education working groups.
“This organisation has a good grasp of the objectives of its EEESAY programme and can clearly articulate how it perceives the change that needs to happen. The problem statement is clear, with the design of the programme informed by government and academic literature, as well as consultations with key stakeholders to ensure the appropriateness of the intervention. Internal M&E practices appear strong and there is evidence of good use of data and the sharing of findings with stakeholders. The programme is yet to be externally evaluated to test the theory of change and assumptions but, overall, a strong application.”