Two LINC Fellows at the network's 2014 annual meeting


Leadership and Innovation Network for Collaboration in South Africa’s Children’s Sector

Complex social problems require a new thinking and a new way of doing.

While there is significant creativity in South Africa’s children’s sector, there is a need for innovative solutions in key focal areas where stakeholders don’t have all the answers. For South Africa to provide better quality and quantity of service delivery to children, stakeholders will have to think and much more innovatively.

The Leadership and Innovation Network for Collaboration in the Children’s Sector (LINC) is a cross-sector initiative to improve the effectiveness of systemic responses to vulnerable children in South Africa. A project of the Synergos Institute, LINC operates through a fellowship of over 100 leaders from government, NGOs, business, funders, and research/academic bodies in the children’s sector. They represent the only such cross-sectoral group in South Africa.

LINC works by:

  • Enhancing the leadership capacity of leaders in the sector as well organisations, to be more resilient, think systemically and proactively collaborate;
  • Shifting the nature of institutional arrangements in the sector to enhance cohesion, collaboration and coordination; and
  • Creating opportunities for leaders and their organisations to innovate and provide solutions around key challenges in the sector.

Goal and Objectives

The goal of LINC is to facilitate systemic improvements in the children’s sector in order that the sector can become more effective in the quantity and quality of service delivery to children. The objectives are:

  • Gather and disseminate knowledge from within the Fellowship
  • Promote personal mastery of key leadership skills among key stakeholders in the children’s sector
  • Create opportunities for collaboration among key institutions in the sector
  • Support innovative solutions to key challenges in the sector

LINC’s Approach

LINC’s approach is based on the U-Process and the Bridging Leadership methodologies which both follow a process of helping individuals define their purpose as individuals, followed by defining the purpose of the group and finally helping the group act together.

LINC’s Origins and Growth

LINC was launched in 2007 as a partnership between Convene Venture Philanthropy, Reos Social Innovation,The Synergos Institute and the South African National Department of Social Development (DSD) to explore the creation of a cross-sector initiative that could improve the effectiveness of the response to vulnerable children in South Africa. The focus of LINC was informed by detailed research and deep-dialogue interviews conducted with stakeholders in the children’s sector and was initially planned as a five-year initiative.

Based on the success of the model and recommendations offered by fellows, LINC was integrated into Synergos who since 2011 by building on what has proved to be effective, moved this work forward into a new phase. The model allows for periodic intake of new fellows to ensure key sectors are represented and membership in LINC follows the understanding that “once a fellow, always a fellow” because the investment is made in the leader and not the organisation. Research and the experience of LINC have shown that leaders may leave their organisations but remain in the children’s sector.

For More Information

Contact Synergos South Africa
25 Owl Street, 15th Floor
Milpark, Johannesburg
PO Box 291618, Melville 2109
South Africa
Tel: +27-11-726-8313/8199
Fax: +27-11-726-5646

Renald Morris, Programme Manager, LINC, Synergos

Marlene Ogawa, Programme Manager, South Africa, Synergos

More about LINC

Bringing the Voices of Children into South Africa’s National Development Plan

Inspiring Change and New Vision in South Africa’s Children’s Sector