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Background and Mandate

The Southern Africa Trust was established in 2005 to support civil society organisations in southern Africa to participate effectively and with credibility in policy dialogue so that the voices of the poor can have a better impact in the development of public policies.

The Trust mandate is to work on a non-profit basis, to undertake activities that contribute to the reduction of poverty and inequality and shall include activities related to public policy, official poverty reduction processes, human rights, stakeholder engagement, human and economic development, research, training, and capacity building. In delivering its mandate, the Trust will endeavour to strengthen the voice of poor people in public policy processes, to reduce poverty and inequality in Southern Africa in ways that promote regional linkages and a regional agenda.

Vision and Mission


An integrated southern Africa with policies and practices that end poverty and inequality.


To strengthen the voice and agency of poor people in regional policy processes.


Create functional mechanisms and relationships leading to engagements among various actors in regional policy processes and practice.

A pro-poor knowledgeable and informed policy community. Regional policies integrate women and youth priorities.

Mobilise marginalised groupings of the poor and civil society actors to hold governments to account on development policy issues.

Cutting edge regional policy interpreter, ecosystems and platform builders, supporting credible voices, innovative income generating initiatives.

Southern Africa Trust - Theory of Change Impact
Southern Africa Trust - Theory of Change Outcomes
Southern Africa Trust - Theory of Change Outputs
Southern Africa Trust - Theory of change Processes
Southern Africa Trust - Theory of change Inputs


Evidence based Policy Advocacy and Capability Builder for non-state and intergovernmental institutions for pro-poor policy. Convener of dialogues for policy influence.

Creator of alliances, networks and coalitions in policy influence. Builder of public-private-civil society collaborations.

Promoter of African philanthropy initiatives for sustaining the civil society sector. Knowledge hub and interpreter of regional policy space.

Broker of systemic change through innovative approaches. Regional Grant Maker and Re-granting Facility (various sizes of grants to many sectors across countries to different types of organisations.

Click here to download the Southern Africa Trust’s strategy.