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Ten years on: Reflections on CGA’s impact and the work ahead

  • Jun 4, 2021

Charlie Goldsmith

Ten years of CGA

This month marks ten years since the formation of our company, now named CGA Technologies as part of our integration into the Corus International family.

We are proud to have served communities in South Sudan, Sierra Leone, Malawi and Somalia for all or most of that time, and to now also be working for Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Sudan and Mali, as well as multi-country clients.

In that time, we have been a part of tripling South Sudan school enrolment to 2.7m in 2020, despite fighting, flood and famine. We continue to serve the South Sudan's education ministry and learners on data, finance, teaching and learning materials and school ‘planting’ and construction. We have helped the Government of Sierra Leone get real time information to know health workers are at work and to know who is teaching in its schools. Our efforts have contributed to the expansion of cash transfers, which now reach 10% of families across Malawi.

We are grateful for the partnership of a wide range of funders who support this impact, including KfW, GPE, UK Aid, USAID, UNICEF, Global Affairs Canada, World Bank, the Governments of Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands, and of our clients.

Upcoming work

I am excited about the planned scale-up of work we did on teacher HR and pilot attendance systems in Sierra Leone’s education sector and about our work in Malawi supporting the transition to e-payments to Social Cash Transfers Programme recipients - a transition that should make life easier for almost 300,000 families.

I look forward to seeing the impact of the work we are developing with the wider Corus family as well, including the 3D Next Gen Core Participant Database solution, and the Mountain Harvest commodity tracing system for coffee producers in Uganda.

New Managing Director, Hannah Graham

Earlier this year, I asked the Board to let me return to full time technical work within CGA in order to be able to continue driving this impact. Following a competitive recruitment for a new Managing Director, I am now delighted to tell you that our Board has appointed our colleague and friend Hannah Graham. She will take over from me as Managing Director on 1st July 2021.

Hannah joined CGA in 2011, following degrees at Glasgow University and King’s College, London, as one of our first “Fellows.” She has played a distinguished and productive role in the company over the last ten years, first in South Sudan, then Kenya. More recently, she has focused on West Africa, primarily overseeing our education and health work in Sierra Leone with Muniru and the team. For the last few years, Hannah has combined her work at CGA with legal studies and volunteer work, including with the Just Right Scotland law centre for refugees and asylum seekers in Glasgow, where she’s now based. 

Hannah has led a number of programmes and research assignments supporting the access to education of vulnerable children and the role of cash assistance. She and the Sierra Leone team have delivered sustainable impact, well-embedded in country systems and with a platform that is ready for further growth. Beyond this work on CGA’s projects and programmes, Hannah has played a central role in CGA’s organisational development, leading for us on safeguarding, pastoral and DEI.

I know Hannah has the combination of the technical and functional skills, and the commitment to the poor, and to what is right, to be a ‘good shepherd’ for this firm and deliver high quality work.

I look forward to supporting Hannah and the team to take our work further and to carrying on developing useful, frugal and scalable systems for clients, for the wider development sector, and for the good of those in greatest need.