The Sugar Industry Trust Fund for Education (SITFE) was founded in 1965 and is regarded as one of the oldest trust funds in South Africa. SITFE aims to be an organisation that positively influences the development of education in South Africa’s sugarcane growing regions. Over the last 49 years SITFE has embarked on a range of initiatives to support education, from providing school infrastructure and teacher development, to early childhood support and maths and science programmes for secondary school learners. Its flagship programme remains the bursary programme which has seen over 10 000 bursaries awarded primarily to disadvantaged students from deep rural areas of the sugar cane growing region.
In 2008 Trialogue assisted the South African Sugar Association (SASA) in formulating a CSI strategy for SITFE. That strategy called for an approach that leveraged the funding available for development through the establishment of partnerships, pilot programmes and advocacy work. The outcome of the review was more streamlined programmes and SITFE currently supports four such programmes in early childhood education, at schools, at an education centre and through a study assistance programme.
With SITFE is entering its 50th year, and a number of leading projects reaching the end of a programme funding cycle, this was seen as an appropriate time to assess the Trust’s programme and streamline the strategy. This project aimed to review the existing strategy and refine it where needed. More specifically the objectives were to:
- Review the overall programme, with reference to leading CSI practice and Trialogue’s strategy framework,
- Review and position the main focus areas and initiatives of the CSI programme.
After reviewing the programme, Trialogue helped SITFE to understand specific areas where it had strayed from its CSI strategy and to identify the reasons for this. This information was used to determine the best way forward, including how to leverage the resources available for a greater developmental impact. A more proactive approach to selecting and managing projects and engaging with stakeholders was advised.
SITFE’s monitoring and evaluation process was also reviewed and Trialogue assisted in developing this to ensure more value is obtained, that can lead to greater developmental understanding and impact.