Enhancing evidence-informed grant making in Singapore with Octava Foundation

Females from a multi-generation Asian family in a kitchen during the preparation of reunion dinner

CEI's Singapore team have been supporting Singapore-based donor, Octava Foundation, to build capabilities in evidence-informed grant making and grant management.

Though a relative newcomer to the Southeast Asian foundation landscape (having been established in 2016), Octava has developed a portfolio that is holistic and distinct within Singapore. The Foundation supports children and youth from economically disadvantaged families to realise and achieve their aspirations, with the ultimate aim of supporting young people to have sustainable livelihoods as adults. Its portfolio includes a range of programs aiming to ‘strengthen the pillars of home, school, and society. This includes providing financial support for education and industry certification, mentorship, work experiences, out-of-classroom experiential learning and life skills development programmes.

Octava Foundation sought assistance from CEI to help transition their grant making toward a more evidence-informed approach, enabling a more robust sourcing and diligence of potential grantees and outcome-focused monitoring and evaluation.

CEI Singapore Director Cheryl Seah has led CEI's partnership with Octava Foundation since 2019. Key aspects of her support have included participation in ongoing guidance on program evaluation, participation in board meetings, assessment of evaluation frameworks, assessment of grantee logic models, site visits to grantees, provision of evidence syntheses, and capacity building with program staff.