A non-profit organisation based in South Africa, seeking to address information shortages on middle- and lower-end economic segments.


Previously unemployed community members trained as field-agents


Companies participating in ongoing syndicated research

Who are we?


The Centre for Democratising Information (CDI) is an NPO based in South Africa, seeking to address information shortages on middle- and lower-end economic segments to stimulate more inclusive and especially more self-directed development. CDI sets out to challenge conventional thinking around poverty, welfare, sustainable business and development by designing, testing and implementing unique research and distributing the findings in a combination of free and paid-for platforms.

CDI is building a transformative data commons called Wakamoso, driven by the belief that an inclusive economy relies on individuals being visible and included in the digital sphere. We emphasise data as a personal asset, advocating for user ownership, control, privacy, and decision-making rights. Through harnessing the value of personal data, we create income and foster economic opportunities for individuals within marginalised communities, enabling pathways to formal employment. This initiative supports digital empowerment, economic growth, and social transformation, while upholding individuals’ ownership of their personal data. CDI’s approach ensures privacy protection and empowers individuals to shape the use of their data.

The pilot program would not have been possible without the following clients, funders and sponsors:

Our Objective

CDI core activities are devising, commissioning and distributing innovative insights from research projects that reflect the integrated / holistic realities of people’s lives – their hopes, fears, capabilities and constraints. In essence these insights become available to the communities who participate in this project as well as to the companies, social enterprises, NGOs, SMEs, institutional bodies and governments that serve and or influence them.

Crucially, CDI and its partners set up transferable community-based systems that allow local people to participate and share their lives with the world.

Case Studies

Explore some of our work

Deeds Registration

case study


Exploring Safety and GBV

case study


Presidential Economic Stimulus Project

case study


Our core values:

Social Justice

We believe in a fair and just society where all individuals have equal opportunities to succeed and reach their full potential. 


We strive to create a level playing field by addressing the root causes of inequality and marginalisation, and empowering those who are historically disadvantaged.


We believe in the value of diversity and aim to promote inclusivity by democratising access to information, resources and opportunities for all individuals, organisations, and communities.

Our Researchers

We have a team of wonderful people

Dr Mélani Prinsloo

Mélani is a distinguished researcher and strategist, renowned for her leadership at Infusion where she oversees bespoke context-relevant research and operates a community-based research and business platform in unevenly-developed markets. Her extensive client list includes notable names such as Microsoft, FNB, Sanlam, and more. Dr Prinsloo’s innovative approach to community-based research includes training unemployed individuals to act as information agents, gathering reliable data to investigate the context in which people live and make decisions. With a B.Com (cum laude), B.Com Honours, M.Com (cum laude) in Marketing from the University of Pretoria and a PhD from Lulea University of Technology, Sweden, Dr Prinsloo is a former academic with a wealth of experience in teaching and has presented at numerous national and international conferences. In addition to her work in Infusion, Dr Prinsloo focused the last 3 years on the development of the socio-tech platform Wakamoso, that will be supporting the community-based approach of CDI while also playing a role in the tech start-up Helium.AI. The latter focuses on the development of ground breaking business and revenue assurance tool sets that also supports the advanced analytics functionality of Wakamoso.

Rashika Padarath

Rashika is passionate about sustainability and has led organisations and projects in this space. She is the co-founder and owner of a boutique advisory firm called Andira Urban Services that provides urban planning, research and design, and facilitation and integration consulting services to private and public sector clients. With a 23-year career spanning government, academia, and private consulting, she has expertise in urban planning, land use, spatial and capital policy, and impact investing. She has taught Masters level courses on municipal planning and facilitated on various content areas for multiple universities. Her key areas of interest include personal mastery, dialogue, sustainability, stakeholder engagement, and business action research.

Shamima Vawda

Shamima is the founder of Systems Approach, a research company that has conducted studies across various sectors and applied different data-gathering techniques. She has led formative research for large-scale interventions, including the Grow Great Campaign to eradicate stunting in South Africa. Currently, Shamima is pursuing a PhD at the University of the Witwatersrand, exploring institutions that influence teaching in South African public primary schools. She is also a board member of the Rabia Khota Foundation and the Power of 1000. Shamima holds a BSC, HDip Ed, BEd, and MEd from the University of the Witwatersrand and is inspired by the works of Herbert Simon, Elinor Ostrom, and Amartya Sen in understanding human behaviour influenced by institutions.

Valerie Mthandeki

Valerie is an experienced educator and field researcher, who has made significant contributions to the work of Infusion and Centre for Democratising Information’s field team for over a decade. Her passion for working with people and communities led her to transition to the non-governmental organisation sector where she has made a significant impact in her role as a field researcher. Valerie is highly skilled in training and developing people, and is committed to seeing positive changes in their lives. Her extensive experience, knowledge, and passion for her work have made her a highly respected member of the Infusion and Centre for Democratising Information’s field team.

Nthabiseng Mabusa

Nthabiseng is a self-driven, people-oriented individual who is passionate about achieving great results through dedication and hard work. With experience in community building and leadership roles, she has also participated in the Nelson Mandela inauguration. Her expertise includes M&E, ECD, EGRA, NSNP, among others, and she is skilled in recruiting, moderating, and facilitating immersions and workshops. She strongly values confidentiality, integrity, credibility, and reliability, and is dedicated to delivering beyond expectations. Additionally, she recognises the importance of collaborating with others in the field, particularly in remote areas, to provide support to research companies with services like recruiting, transcribing, note-taking, and questionnaire building for both qualitative and quantitative research.


The Journey

Get involved

Contact Us

Great things happen when people work together. Our doors are always open for collaboration opportunities with other research partners, or corporate sponsors. Let’s explore how we can work together.

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