I spent the spring semester interning with SocialCauses, a startup nonprofit based in Cape Town, South Africa. SocialCauses believes in leveraging technology for social good; to that end they are developing a vetting and capability assessment system (NPGO) for nonprofits in the region.
My role this semester was to interview a variety of local nonprofit organizations (NPOs) to learn about how they conduct impact reporting and whether that data is used to measure the country’s progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). I found that most NPOs have not engaged with the SDGs and lack the resources to conduct robust monitoring and evaluation.
The data I collected will be used to inform capacity-building efforts in the sector to strengthen monitoring and evaluation systems. Additionally, the data will inform the design of NPGO, including using the platform to help NPOs identify how their work aligns with the SDGs to enhance NPOs’ competitive advantage when applying for funding.
Although my internship was completed remotely, I feel like I have had a unique experience getting to work closely with dozens of organizations to see how nonprofits do their work. This internship has helped me to develop skills in research design, survey creation, and data collection, synthesis, and analysis. More broadly, I have learned about nonprofit management systems and governance and monitoring and evaluation. As I prepare to enter the development sector, I believe this internship has added significant value to my degree at Maxwell.
Haley Hardie is an MAIR student who will graduate in December. She also interned at the Asian Development Bank and South Dakota Voices for Peace as part of her MAIR degree.