Learning Lessons from Further Afield

Learning Lessons from Further Afield

19 May 2015

Following a meeting on Twitter, we came across South African Social Enterprise Kwantu and we think they’re really interesting…

Kwantu is a social enterprise working exclusively in the international and social development sectors, established in 2004 with offices in Brighton (UK), Cape Town (South Africa) and Noida (India).

Their work focuses on challenges associated with performance, impact, effectiveness, accountability, citizen engagement, transparency and value for money.

They work with NGOs, Governments and others that need software and associated consultancy to support their work in one or more of these areas.

Examples of projects that they have supported include: 

Community Work Programme

A Government social protection programme in South Africa that reaches 400,000 people needing social support and is implemented by five NGOs covering different provinces.  CWP needed a management information system to manage 30,000 projects in a consistent way. 

This included:

  • Participant registration
  • Tracking daily attendance on 30,000 project sites
  • Tracking project outputs
  • Managing monthly payroll and cash transfers for 400,000 people.

Citizen Engagement Programme

A DFID, DANIDA and Irish Aid funded programme in Mozambique.  CEP uses the community scorecard tool to engage citizens in a process to improve the quality of the services in over 600 schools and health facilities.  CEP needed a monitoring and evaluation system that could:

  • Monitor activity level data for community scorecards
  • Track the progress of implementation for each site
  • Aggregate data from facility level to district, province and national levels
  • Monitor logframe indicators


An independent international organisation working to prevent violent conflict and build safer lives.  Saferworld uses it’s participatory community security approach to work with citizens to identify causes of violence and develop strategies to mitigate them. 

Saferworld needed:

  • An intranet to support knowledge management and collaboration
  • Integrated forms to track community level activities
  • Reports to aggregate data for analysis, learning and evaluation
  • Workflow to track the status of projects, proposals and publications under development.

Kwantu’s work with partners generally covers two areas:

Process Mapping Consultancy

Mapping field or office activities as processes.  This breaks down each activity into a series of steps with names that make sense to all staff.  For each step we define forms needed to collect or review data.

As part of this process, they also define roles for key staff to collect or review data and approve key stages in the process.

Finally, ensuring indicators needed to monitor the process are incorporated into forms at the most relevant step.

BetterData Platform

Once they understand the needs, they can then configure, their flexible web and mobile platform – BetterData -  to meet them.

BetterData is designed to make it easy to implement complex projects to manage, and monitor, large-scale activities, allowing the team to analyse data for learning and evaluation.

BetterData provides tools to create any form needed to collect data, link several forms together using a workflow and create custom reports that track the implementation of your project activities.

In the future they plan to explore and test some ambitious ideas, including:

  • Can multiple NGOs or Government agencies share the same processes (including data collection forms, indicators and data definitions?)
  • Where will context specific changes be needed to adapt the process to specific requirements?
  • Can this be done without changing the underlying comparability of the data collected?
  • Is it feasible to aggregate detailed activity and indicator level reporting across multiple organisations implementing the same activity in different places?

If you'd like to learn more about Kwantu, you can visit their website or get in touch with them on Twitter at @Kwantu

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