to the EDP

Who we are

The Western Cape Economic Development Partnership, known as the EDP, was established in April 2012 by over 150 institutional stakeholders to improve the performance of the Cape Town and Western Cape socio-economic development system.

What we do

We help partners from different sectors – public, private, civil society, philanthropy, education and research – to address system challenges, to work together to support national plans to implement the SDGs, and to grow the local, metropolitan and regional economy in an inclusive way.

We specialise in partnering practices for whole-of-government – across silos, disciplines, departments, spheres, spaces and boundaries – and whole-of-society – connecting public, private, non-profit, community, knowledge sectors.

We offer these specialist services:

  1. Applied partnering skills, processes and tools, including stakeholder mapping and engagement, system and institutional partnering frameworks, connecting the ‘top-down’ authorising environment with the ‘bottom-up’ mobilising environment, collaborative workshop design, and partnership evaluation.
  2. Capacity development, including adaptive leadership masterclasses and simulations, executive short courses, and participatory and situated learning.
  3. Knowledge-sharing and learning, including building a knowledge base of what works and what doesn’t, learning organisation skills, and transdisciplinary partnerships with academic institutions.

Why is partnering important?

Many of the socio-economic problems facing our society are complex and persistent. Solutions to these problems are not easily found, and usually cannot be implemented by any single entity. Partnering, and an understanding of systems as a whole, are essential to finding the right people to work together to implement these solutions.

What we have done

The staff of the EDP have direct experience in facilitating cross-sector collaboration in many different localities and contexts and around multiple issues and challenges, e.g.:

Community safety
and cohesion

Inclusive economic growth, through strengthening township and informal economies

Area economic development

Municipal – business cooperation

Destination management

City resilience

Small business ecosystem support

Cross-municipal boundary collaboration

CBD and urban regeneration

Regional innovation

Precinct and neighbourhood management

Agriculture and rural development

Drought-responses, catchment management and water systems governance

Energy risk management

Smart city growth

Collaborative sector investment strategies

Inclusionary and social housing

Transport and mobility

Youth unemployment

Socio-economic data collaboration

Open data

Green economy development

We have expertise in town planning, economic and social development, environmental management, urban management, law, history and memory, water governance, organisational and leadership development, project management, and communications.

How we work: delivering impact through effective partnering and change processes

The EDP delivers impact by helping partners to develop capabilities to promote inclusive economic growth and social cohesion:

  • Diagnose the root causes and develop a common understanding of system problems
  • Deal with conflict, work with power, and balance diverse interests in sensitive contexts
  • Shift from polarised discourses to a common language
  • Build respectful relationships, trust and mutual accountability
  • Inclusive storytelling and communication
  • Deliver collective impact and shared value
  • Create an enabling public sector environment for community and business initiatives
  • Create safe spaces for experimentation, learning and doing things differently
  • Understand and navigate the public sector authorising environment
  • Convert policies, frameworks, strategies and plans into action
  • Develop a collaborative institutional culture
  • Achieve greater levels of influence over parts of the system you don’t directly control
  • Data and systems intelligence, and alignment of data producers and users
  • Participatory learning
  • Ensure that change is politically supportable and practically implementable

EDP governance and funding

The EDP is an independent not-for-profit company (NPC), and is governed by the Companies Act 71 of 2008 and a Board of Directors. The EDP is a Public Benefit Organisation (PBO) number: 930050144.
The EDP receives funding from the Western Cape Government, the City of Cape Town, other municipalities within the Western Cape, the South African National Government and ad hoc donors.


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