Research and
development services

Research has the power to improve the quality of life and economic development of communities worldwide and provide decision-ready information to investors.
Latest publications

Areas of expertise:

Research and industry research

Our multi-disciplinary teams provide meaningful and deep analysis of research outcomes which helps organisations understand, anticipate and respond to changing contexts to support their long-term vision and targets. Our actionable recommendations provide shared value for investors but also contribute to the development of investment portfolios and sectors.

Next Generation’s research capabilities and competencies help companies:

  • highlight and maximise the potential positive effects of their projects
  • identify practical steps to tackle negative effects, impacts, risks and unintended consequences
  • minimise commercial, reputational and legal risk
  • prevent costly delays resulting from legal challenges
  • win local support by involving local people and stakeholders in investment and development decision-making processes

We report annually on global industry trends, forecasts and impacts. Development practitioners use our research to align strategies and programmes to ensure greater impact from their investment and development activities.

Reviews, opinions, sector comparative research and benchmarking

Next Generation is uniquely qualified to review strategies and policies on strategic, operational and programme levels. We ensure that the intended objectives in terms of sustainability, effectiveness, efficiency, impact, relevance and materiality are guaranteed. We use our benchmarking tools, analysis and expertise to generate valuable insights for our clients across the full range of corporate responsibility and sustainability issues.

Our customised benchmarking tools and analyses generate valuable insights for clients across the full range of investment and development issues. We compare companies’ performance across 75 essential aspects of investment and development to gain insight into how well businesses conduct social investment, community development and sustainability management. We also conduct issue-specific research into a range of development sectors, such as education, employment creation, youth development and skills development.

Next Generation helps companies:

  • discover their position in a sector or market
  • craft a strong business case for investment and development
  • identify what sets them apart from peers and where performance may lag expectations
  • align policies and processes to international standards and norms
  • identify market trends and future company direction

Baseline studies and due diligence

Baseline studies provide a scientific evidence base of information against which companies can monitor and assess the progress and effectiveness of their activities. Next Generation focuses on an extensive range of indicators to ensure that future interventions are strategically aligned to our clients’ objectives.

Due diligence is important, as it contributes to the impact and return on investment of development programmes. Our customised and proprietary due diligence framework assesses more than 50 aspects of accountability, responsibility, capability, competency, legitimacy and transparency.

Surveys: socio-economic and perception

Next Generation uses an extensive range of indicators to assess and research socio-economic data on national, provincial, district and local municipal level. We include economic, environmental, social, cultural and political aspects to provide extensive data and insights because information is vital to effectively plan, monitor, evaluate, assess impact, develop interventions, determine priorities and allocate resources.

We do perception surveys to determine and confirm the reputation of investors, beneficiaries and intermediaries, as well as other external and internal stakeholders.

Assessments: Social Impact, Opportunity and Management Assessments

With a focus on robust evidence and actionable insights, Next Generation investigates emerging issues and development/investment portfolios to generate solutions for our clients. We integrate global, local, provincial and national development priorities into our research to ensure equitable and inclusive development. This contributes to enhanced stakeholder relations and optimised resources.

Our proprietary management assessment tool provides invaluable insight into the relevance, materiality and sustainability of investment and development strategies. Before any attempt can be made to understand the difference a programme has made, one must understand what was intended (the strategy), how the process was implemented and managed (the operations) and what was chosen as priority areas (the programmes).

The benefits of assessments include:

  • testing assumptions and beliefs, and how they have progressed over time – from business models and funding models to development models
  • validating the appropriateness of strategic objectives against development outcomes
  • confirming and validating the investments in communities are making a difference – in terms of a change in the quality of life for the communities involved
  • providing evidence of accountability and responsibility of practitioners, intermediaries, beneficiaries and management in the use of company resources

Development services: performance measurement processes

Next Generation assists clients with the development of comprehensive theories of practice and change, logic model frameworks and performance management processes and systems to measure the outcomes, impact and return on investment of their programmes.

Our performance measurement process includes strategic, operational and programmatic guidance to ensure an integrated approach to investment and development. It not only assists with standardisation but also contributes to building the capacity of practitioners, implementing and development partners.