Game-changing Leaders

Game-changing Leaders
Learning Brief

enke: Make Your Mark

Interrogating our strategy

Category: Game-changing Leaders | Youth leadership pathways | 2 November, 2012 - 17:00


enke: Make Your Mark is founded on the basis of several assumptions regarding the most effective programmatic structure and support. We have long had several organisational questions surrounding these initial premises and assumptions. We work with Grade 11 learners, but why is this the right age group? Should we work with participants in groups from different schools? Is a smaller or bigger group more effective?

These primary decisions have never been interrogated. As an organisation, we feel that we are at the point that requires that we can back up our theories and premises with research and facts. We have reached a point of stability with our programs and their success rates. Now we need to question how we’ve arrived at this point and whether we need to change our fundamental strategy of implementation.

In 2011 we brought 146 grade 11 delegates together for a weeklong forum. Participants underwent a curriculum of leadership development and project planning, emphasising the development of their own community action projects (CAPs), which they would then implement in their communities over the next 9 months. These two components (the forum and the project implementation) formed the enke: Youth Award.


At the close of the 2011 Youth Award, we had gathered statistics on the CAP conversion rate and impact. Using this information we analysed for the success rate of delegates according to province, number of delegates from a single school, and by funder. We define success as participants that started a Community Action Project in their community. Conversely, we analysed for the drop out rate according to the same factors.

To do this we segregated information by delegate, funder, province, and number of delegates from a single school. Results were calculated according to percentage of the entire group, as well as percentage of each group of segregated information (e.g. percent of delegates from a single province that started a project in relation to the entire group, as well as in relation to the number of delegates from the single province).


After analysis we reached some interesting conclusions. At the 2011 forum we had 32 schools sending 1 delegate, 20 schools sending 2 delegates, 4 schools sending 3 delegates, 12 schools sending 4 delegates, and 2 schools sending 5 delegates. Noticeable points that arose from analysis included:

  • The number of delegates from the same school had no impact on the drop out rate
  • The highest drop out rate relative to the number of participants in each group was from schools sending 3 delegates
  • Lowest rate of projects started relative to the number of participants in each group was from schools sending 5 delegates
  • Schools sending 1, 2, or 4 delegates attempted and completed more projects than any other group

From this information we can conclude that delegates attending the forum by themselves, or in groups that can pair off have a higher chance of success through the Youth Award.

Analysis according to province yielded interesting results. The 2011 forum was attended by delegates from 7 of the 9 South African provinces:

  • Gauteng - 51 delegates
  • Kwa-Zulu Natal - 24 delegates
  • Free State - 4 delegates
  • Western Cape - 14 delegates
  • Limpopo - 23 delegates
  • Mpumalanga - 5 delegates
  • Eastern Cape - 23 delegates

The results we saw included:

  • Free State had the highest relative drop-out rate, while Gauteng had the highest drop-out rate group wide
  • Mpumalanga had the highest conversion rate of any province, followed by KZN
  • Mpumalanga was the only province with no drop out rate (and simultaneously the highest conversion rate - our ‘most successful’ province)

From this we can conclude that delegates from Mpumalanga had the highest success rate, as well as the lowest drop out rate. This is most likely affected by the combination of fewer delegates sent from this province, as well as by the combination of pairings of delegates from this province.

Finally, we analysed the data according to our key funders. The 2011 forum was attended by delegates funded by:

  • Engen - 30 delegates
  • Investec - 26 delegates
  • Nedbank - 31 delegates
  • Old Mutual Foundation - 32 delegates
  • Independent - 25 delegates

Noticeable points:

  • Engen delegates had the highest relative conversion rate
  • Nedbank delegates had the highest relative drop out rate
  • Independent and Engen delegates had the lowest drop out rates
  • Investec delegates had the second highest drop out rate and the lowest conversion rate
  • OMF delegates had roughly equivalent drop out, completed, and started project rates

We believe that these results speak largely to the levels of support delegates receive while running their projects. Funders that invest more time in the follow up of their delegates, and push us to follow up with our participants harder, have a greater conversion rate (e.g. Engen). Independent delegates also have a higher conversion rate and a lower drop out rate in comparison with the group. I hypothesize that both of these facts are due to greater and more easily accessed support levels.

We were able to conclude that delegates perform better throughout the Youth Award (greater conversion rate, lower drop out rate) when they attend the forum by themselves or in pairs from one school (e.g. delegates from Mpumalanga came to enke in identified ‘successful numbers’ - one delegate from Fundijobo HS and 4 delegates from Kwandebele Science School). In addition to this, and perhaps most importantly, delegates that can access greater support, through their funder, school, or home, have greater conversion rates and lower drop out rates.


This analysis allowed us to see which of our initial assumptions bore true, and what areas we need to consider changing. The biggest impact this has had is in regards to our approach to supporting our delegates through the duration of the programme. The results are conclusive that greater support levels lead to greater success. Our challenge now is to work out how to identify participants that need greater levels of support and how best to accommodate them.


  • Draw up a list of assumptions that underlie the organisational foundations. Interrogating the correctness of these assumptions can help to identify areas that need change or reinforcement
  • Identify trends within participants data that will help define new assumptions

New Questions

  • How do we identify participants that need greater levels of support?
  • How do we provide the type of support that participants need?
  • How do we implement the findings of this study?

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