I’m now coming to the end of my first quarter as Executive Director of Dignitas. It has been an interesting season – I have really enjoyed diving into our work, exploring our impact and engaging with the team.
One of the key tasks assigned to me by the board is to develop a roadmap to growth. Dignitas has an impactful program which seeks to ensure schools are a vibrant place for all children to develop the skills and strength of character to thrive and succeed, and an ambitious goal of seeing this vision become a reality for 300,000 children by 2022.
Dignitas improved the quality of education for 12,412 children in 2017 and are on course to impact more than 12,500 in 2018. However, this year will also have significant focus on laying foundations for considerable growth in 2019 and beyond so that the team can reach the 2022 target.
Our current Theory of Change sees the team working towards the provision of quality education to children in underserved and marginalized communities. Dignitas’ team are committed to working with educators and school leaders so that children are prepared to thrive. We also want to push donors, governments and other civil society actors to recognize the importance of school leadership development, and to invest in educators and school leaders so that all children have the opportunity to access education that will allow them to fulfill their potential.
A key highlight of my time with the team so far has been the opportunity to review strategic achievements aligned with this Theory of Change in 2017, and to consider a strategic plan for 2018. This allowed us, as a team, to ask deep, probing questions about where the organization is, how we drive impact, and where we might be headed. We had lengthy discussions exploring strengths and weaknesses of current program models, resources available and how we might use those to drive efficiency and effectiveness, and questions the team had about the potential growth of Dignitas.
I am excited to report that the result was a detailed strategic plan for 2018 which will guide the team in activities for the year and ensure we are on track in pursuit of our 2022 impact goal.
The 2018 strategy can be summarized in the four strategic goals highlighted below: (Acronym – GIVE)
Whilst we acknowledge the success of Dignitas’ programs to date, it is obvious we need to pick up the pace, and be strategic in selecting activities that will catalyze our progress in order to achieve our impact goal of 300,000 children by 2022. Therefore, we must innovate and collaborate!
The 2018 strategic plan sees Dignitas innovate by building and leveraging a community of alumni, exploring new types of partnership that will see Dignitas programs complement the work of other nonprofits and government, and introducing digital tools that will help our teams to work more efficiently, and ease the collection and management of data.
Collaboration will also be a driving force for the growth of Dignitas’ impact. Dignitas is seeking partners, from across the public, private and nonprofit sectors that will offer opportunities for growth, learning and development.
All in all, 2018 looks like an exciting year! We hope to be sharing more about our impact in the coming months, with a particular focus on how the Dignitas program helps children to thrive. We’ll also be showcasing some of our new partnerships and the exciting potential for growth and impact there.
Finally, 2018 will see the start of our 10th anniversary celebrations. With such a bright future, there is plenty to celebrate! Please do reach out to let us know how you can get involved.
Contributor: Deborah Kimathi – Executive Director