Research unit

Building a knowledge value chain for social benefits

Our Research Unit focuses on generating data from our projects to inform future innovative project models and expand the knowledge base for social sector actors.

Our project models are designed to address challenges that have systemic root causes. As part of our cutting-edge research work, we use project activities to collect data. We package the data in the form of research publication, which we use to add value to the body of knowledge for academic and non-academic audiences. Additionally, we leverage the content to develop both online and in-person courses and disseminate it through events and workshops.

Research Projects

Innovating agricultural systems for smallholder farmers in Makuthudamaga Municipality, Limpopo, South Africa

We conducted a feasibility study and facilitated a comprehensive systems mapping as inputs for developing a strategic business plan for an Agricultural Scheme in Makhudathamaga Municipality in Limpopo Province, South Africa. Using insights from the study and the systems map, we created a series of online Learning Events. The series was linked to four critical modules within the Systems Innovation Toolkit, providing a deep understanding of smallholder farming practices. This knowledge underpinned the design of our model, “Innovating Agricultural Systems for Local Economic Development,” while also identifying key strategies to guide the transition from subsistence to commercial farming.

Design sans titre (11)

Re-thinking the Futures of African Civil Society in post-normal times

We are undertaking a comprehensive reassessment of the effectiveness of African Civil Society Organisations working in the democratic governance space in the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Africa within their prevailing political, economic, and social contexts. The central goal of this study is closely aligned with championing bold and democratic solutions to address shared challenges as well as to promote justice, equity, and human dignity.

Design sans titre (28)

Repurposing coal mine land for transitioning to a low-carbon economy

We carried out a baseline research study in Lephalale Municipality, Limpopo Province, South Africa, in May 2021. The findings showed that there is an opportunity to repurpose coal mine land in Lephalale to secure the future and livelihoods of workers and communities in the transition to a low-carbon economy, through the creation of agriculture opportunities. We showcased the findings at the first-ever Innovation & Research Battlefield organised by the Development Partner Institute (DPI Mining), Business for Development (B4D), and Mining Indaba during the 2022 Mining Indaba event in Cape Town, South Africa. The baseline also served as the foundation of our “Experimental Policy Research for Building Sustainable Post-Mining Economies” model.

Design sans titre (26)

Join our community to read some of the articles from our research and project learning