Get to know CAPSI Research Student: Matilda Owusu-Ansah

Matilda Owusu-Ansah

Get to know CAPSI Research Student: Matilda Owusu-Ansah

Matilda Owusu-Ansah

Matilda Owusu-Ansah is a PhD student who is passionate about philanthropy and making a positive impact in her communities. The experience she has gained in philanthropy has allowed her to be a positive and motivating force in her projects.


Q: What are you researching and what inspired you to take this path?


My decision to pursue a doctoral in the field of philanthropy comes after several years of work in both government and non-governmental organisations. It is borne out of a deep and growing desire to challenge myself academically, to contribute to existing knowledge in the humanitarian sector through empirical research and to understand the giving behaviour of people better. It is also to explore opportunities for personal development, network, skills transfer with experts and to find ways to improve the lives of the vulnerable in society. Since 1993, I have had the privilege of making a difference in the lives of children, young people and communities by working with two international NGOs, and this has influenced my thinking and experience with philanthropy. While working with the Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana and the SOS Children’s Villages International in various capacities, I have come to appreciate the need to attract local sponsors to support the work of the civil society. I am curious to understand the motivations for philanthropic giving in Africa.


Q: What have you learnt or seen that has been vital for your career or that has stood out most for you?


After two and a half decades of working in environments that were less rigorous and exact, I realised quite early that this new academic pursuit would be challenging and exciting. It would require long hours of careful and methodological work, a fair dose of frustration and confusion, and the right balance of work, school and family life. What stood out for me was the vital and supporting role of the supervisory process and how this could either enhance or impede achieving my academic goal.


The importance of establishing mutual expectations that would lead to an effective supervisory process was critical, and I have come to appreciate the essential role of the supervisor. Regular meetings to discuss my work, clarifying misunderstandings, reading drafts, being available and responsive in the most appropriate manner has facilitated my progress. Without being pampered or favoured, supervision has included the provision of relevant material, expert advice, suggestions in the topic area and both positive and corrective feedback. My exposure to other academic opportunities like conferences, workshops and seminars have provided the space to interact and exchange with other scholars.


Q: What is the potential impact of your research in the social investment space?


A study on what motivates charitable giving among Ghanaians is relevant for researchers, practitioners and policymakers in many ways. Firstly, it will provide an in-depth understanding of how intrinsic and extrinsic motivations are associated with altruistic behaviours of Ghanaians. Secondly, knowledge and understanding of influencers to charitable decision making provides a model and profile of the individual Ghanaian donor that is relevant and useful to those who work in the non-profit sector. The social, political and economic environment which non-profit organisations work within, requires a deeper understanding of donor motivations to better connect and communicate with them. Most charitable organisations are experienced in attracting public and private sector funding, but do not have empirical data on individual donors. There is a need to understand personal preferences and what makes people want to donate. Understanding personal preferences will make it possible to keep existing donors and attract potential and new resources required for projects. Thirdly, a study that helps to describe and understand what influences Ghanaians to donate, can be useful in soliciting and re-channelling philanthropic activities to align with government priorities. Finally, with many existing studies and literature on philanthropy, mainly from countries in the developed economies, the uniqueness of giving in Ghana is almost non-existent in the literature. This study will contribute to providing information specific to the Ghanaian context.

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The Carnegie corporation of new york

Established in 1911 by Andrew Carnegie, the Carnegie Corporation of New York is one of America’s oldest grantmaking foundations and promotes the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding.

Their work focuses on international peace, the advancement of education and knowledge, and the strength of our democracy.

The corporation supports CAPSI with research and development of a new cohort of scholars.

The Charles mott foundation

An automotive pioneer, philanthropist, and leader in the community, Charles Stewart Mott cared about innovation, fairness, and communities.

By working toward a world where each individual’s quality of life is connected to the well-being of the community, both locally and globally, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation continues this legacy.

A founding funder of the Centre, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation supported the establishment of the Chair and continues to support our programmes.

The Ford Foundation

As an investor in transformative ideas, individuals and institutions, the Ford Foundations is one of the founding funders of CAPSI.

They have supported the planning and establishment of the centre and continue to support our programmes and operations.

Their invaluable work includes providing grants, investing in individuals through fellowships, and challenging inequalities through civic engagement, creativity, free expression and more.

The southern africa trust

Established in 2005 to respond to high levels of poverty and inequality, the Southern Africa Trust aims to increase the voices and agency of the poor.

This is in the hopes that it enables them to reach the necessary audiences and influence regional public policies as unrepresented stakeholders.

They are a founding partner of CAPSI and acted as a fiscal sponsor for Mott and Ford grants in the establishment of the Chair.

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Susan Maposa

With 22 years of professional experience in Africa and Asia, Susan Maposa has developed a wide range of skills and expertise in the fields of philanthropy and social development.

This has established her as a leader in her work with multilateral and bilateral agencies, non-governmental organizations, research institutes and universities as well as consultancy firms. Her experience includes programme conceptualisation, design, management, implementation, evaluation and documentation.

She describes herself as a “pracademic”, and is passionate about working across the field of theory and development practice building one into the other. Read Susan’s complete bio and an excerpt from her research project.

Wycliffe Nduga Ouma

Wycliffe Nduga Ouma is a PhD candidate and a Research Assistant at the Wits Business School in Johannesburg.

Mr. Nduga has worked as a Research Associate with the Kenya School of Monetary Studies, a Central Bank of Kenya Research Institute mainly concerned with the Monetary Policy, Exchange Rates Movements, and Balance of Payments. He has also consulted and conducted training on Financial Markets and Investments for Organizations such as Knight Frank Commercial and Residential Properties in Kenya. He was part of the broad team that conducted research and wrote the Integrated Economic and Development Plan (Document) for Turkana County, a regional government authority in Kenya.

For the better part of 2017, Mr. Nduga consulted in the Finance and Accounts Department for the Italian Chamber of Trade and Industry, Johannesburg. Currently, alongside the PhD dissertation, Mr. Nduga assists in Teaching and Facilitation of the Financial Investments Decisions for the MBA students, Finance and Accounting, Financial Risk Management, Research on the Connection Between Finance and Corporate Philanthropy, and advising on research and classwork for MBA and Master students at the Wits Business.

He has a passion for research and consultancy in the areas of Financial Markets, Financial Risk Modelling, Investments and International Trade.

Keratiloe Mogotsi

Pan Africanist, pracademic, researcher, lean six sigma coach, project management professional and African Philanthropy Lecturer at the University of the Witwatersrand — Keratiloe Mogotsi does it all.

She is currently a lecturer here at the Centre on African Philanthropy and Social Investment at the Wits Business School. Her research areas include disaster philanthropy in Africa, venture philanthropy, African philanthropy and philanthro-capitalism in Africa.

As someone who is passionate about the continent and its people, she uses her skills as an educator and coach to excel in everything that she does.

Alan Fowler

As a co-founder and long-time associate of INTRAC, Alan Fowler’s professional life has seen many changes. From being an Organisational Development Advisor, Foundation Programme Officer and Researcher, he is now an academic as he serves as an honorary professor and Chair in African Philanthropy, a role the first of its kind, at the Wits Business School. 

A career spanning some forty years devoted to civic agencies and NGOs has produced eleven books and dozens of papers about their role in international development, as well as numerous capacity building materials, conference presentations, lectures, and seminars. Combining theory and practice as a ‘pracademic’ continues as the thread in his contribution to citizen-driven social justice.

Bhekinkosi Moyo

Dr Bheki Moyo is a writer, author, researcher and thought-leader with keen interest in questions of African resources, democracy and governance.

In addition to championing the African discourse on philanthropy, he has contributed to the growth of many African civil society formations and participated in most African processes of development and governance.

Over the course of his career, he has written extensively about African philanthropy, civil society, and governance. Additionally, he has extensive experience in leadership, management, and strategic roles.

Xolani Dlamini

As an experienced Digital Publisher specialising in academic/scholarly publishing, particularly Open Access journals, Xolani Dlamini has been involved in managing and publishing various academic journals in different fields of study.

Thandi Makhubele

Thandi Makhubele, the current Programme Manager (Acting) at CAPSI, joined us from the SABC (South African Broadcasting Corporation) where she worked for twelve years in various departments, including TV News and Current Affairs and Supply Chain and Legal services.

She holds an Honours Degree in International Relations and is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in Security at the Wits School of Governance with a focus on Philanthropy and Women’s development.

In addition to volunteering with Hand of Compassion, providing help to young pregnant women and displaced women, she hopes to bring her passion for human development, security, and creativity to the Centre.