Seriti Institute strengthens community organisation for social health and local economic development. It uses large scale participatory methods, and in its systemic interventions forges partnerships involving communities, government departments, non-governmental organisations, civil society and business.

Seriti's programmes are all designed to achieve social scale impact, with participation of hundreds of people and collaboration of all actors within an activity system. A coherent theory informs Seriti’s approaches, and is perhaps best expressed in the Organisation Workshop which forges organisational literacy amongst a large group of participants, while creating enterprises and social cohesion.

Seriti is one of the Implementing Agents for the South African government’s Community Work Programme, and was one of the main partners in the Kwanda reality TV show.

SERITI’s mission is to strengthen community organisation for the realization of sustainable livelihoods and prosperity, through facilitation of partnerships and enhancement of community capabilities.

Continuing innovation: In addition to its major programmes, Seriti Institute continues to innovate in the sphere of community organization, to address social challenges, establish enterprises and in other ways strengthen livelihoods. In some cases Seriti nests its innovations in partner organisations.

Learning is the lifeblood of the Institute: The Institute fosters a culture of continuous learning at community level while ensuring that insights derived from practice inform development theory and government policy.



In October 2010 all staff worked together over a period of two afternoons to define the values that we want to carry forward in SERITI. The background to the conversation was the rapid growth of SERITI in one year, from a small “family” of 7 people to an organization of over 140 people. Through the valuable discussion the following core values were agreed upon:

  1. Integrity
    To uphold this value means to be trustworthy, honest and reliable.

  2. Communication
    When we say that we value communication, this relates to how we engage with people outside the organization as well as how we work within the organization. We will foster a spirit of openness and sharing of information and plans.

  3. Learning
    Growth of consciousness, a change in activity and improvement in our situations are all possible provided that there is learning. We will contribute to societal learning by finding ways to share insights from practice, advocating new ways of doing things, or affirming ancient ways of doing things.

  4. Accountability
    We will hold ourselves to the most exacting standards of professional performance. We are accountable to the goals we set ourselves, and to each other. Above all SERITI Institute is accountable to those living in the communities in which we work.

  5. Leadership
    We value leadership, and understand this to include learning, thinking, pro-activeness, responsiveness and accountability. Leadership means acting in light of the values we hold true and can be shown at every point in the organisation, by every single person working in it or by groups of people working together.

  6. Support and respect
    SERITI means at its first level “dignity” and this means that a key concern of our organisation is the relationships between people. We need to treat all those we work with and amongst with full respect, and accord dignity to all even when they are critical of us.

  7. Understanding
    The Institute works to improve conditions in society and specifically in those communities that suffer the worst impact of the inequality and poverty that characterize our country. We recognize that our organisation is at the service of those ‘at the bottom of the pyramid’ and will seek to engage as best we can with their struggles and actions to address social challenges.