Supporting Start-Ups in Zambia

For many start-ups, raising sufficient funds to go beyond an interesting idea to create a viable business or social enterprise can be a real headache. Limited information, high risk and lack of funding structures can all prevent potential investors from risking their capital, even where they are well disposed to supporting the next generation of leaders.  Continue reading

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New Partnership with Water Point Data Exchange

The following post is reproduced with kind permission of the Water Point Data Exchange. The original can be found here.

The Water Point Data Exchange (WPDx) is pleased to announce the launch of a new partnership with the Indigo Trust, a leading funder of technology-driven solutions that bring about social change in Africa. This new partnership will advance the objectives of transparency and accountability shared by WPDx and the Indigo Trust.

Clean water Benin

Photo: Arne Hoel, courtesy of World Bank (via Flickr)

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Personality & Grantmaking

Generally speaking, the decision to award a grant isn’t made by some objective algorithm – and if it was, I almost certainly wouldn’t have a job. Just like proposal writing, grantmaking is still very much a person-centric activity. And so personality has a (big) role to play. Continue reading

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The North-South Divide

I don’t think anyone has yet come up with a satisfactory term to describe the different blocs of countries that have historically been described as rich/poor, first/third world, developing/developed or, most recently, Global North/South. All are – to my mind – wholly inadequate, as they try to lump together such heterogeneous countries in just two categories.  Continue reading

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They Work for You: Monitoring Parliament and Why It’s Worth It

TWITTER Opposition Parties Parliamentary Monitoring GroupIt’s hard to trust our leaders. Across the globe, the gap between rich and poor is widening while seldom a week passes without a political figure or big brand being exposed for avoiding tax, involvement in corrupt practices or making decisions that blatantly work against the public good.

Now more than ever, it is critical that citizens are able to hold both public and private institutions to account so that the decisions they make serve us. We rely on them to ensure that people can access the services they need like good schools, effective healthcare and efficient waste disposal.

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South African MPs sing for their supper

Do you know how many debates your MP appears at? I don’t have a clue and I certainly don’t know what a good attendance rate looks like. South African voters now have a chance to compare the attendance record of their representative with that of other MPs to see who’s the hardest working and who’s sleeping on the job. Take a look at PMG’s attendance page and you’ll see attendance rates that vary between 0% and 100%. The following article – that recently appeared in South Africa’s Financial Mail – explains the work in more detail (apologies for the poor quality of the scanned article): Continue reading

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Easy online tool to find your MP or councillor

The following article is reproduced with the kind permission of GroundUp. The original article can be found here.

Website helps you to hold your elected representatives accountable


Screenshot of the People’s Assembly website for Philippi

Do you know who your local Member of Parliament (MP) or your ward councillor is? Do you know what they do and how to contact them? Many South Africans don’t. Continue reading

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