Past Events & Seminars
This seminar was hosted collaboratively by the African Centre for Cities (ACC), the African Centre of Excellence for Inequality Research and the Poverty & Inequality Initiative, all located at the University of Cape Town.
ACC researcher Dr. Sylvia Croese opened the seminar with an introduction and update to the voluntary SDG reporting processes. Thereafter, Dr Alexis Schäffler-Thomson, reflected on South Africa’s first phase of voluntary reporting for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Dr Schäffler-Thomson is a consultant at the advisory firm Pegasys, which was part of the voluntary national review (VNR) process led by Statistics South Africa in preparation for the United Nations’ High-Level Political Forum 2019, held under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council in July. South Africa’s VNR reporting process consisted of several government-led data collection efforts for the SDGs, building on the country’s Millennium Development Goals reporting initiative.
While representing a proactive stance towards data and country reporting, South Africa’s SDG transition reveals the challenges of developing new, integrated reporting platforms whilst ensuring domestic relevance. Using South Africa’s experience in reporting on SDGs 6 (water and sanitation), 14 (life below water) and 15 (life on land), the talk showed that this transition depends as much on developing reporting capacity as on the nature of partnerships and stakeholder clarity in the next reporting cycle.
Dr Schäffler-Thomson is an urban sustainability specialist whose work focuses on public sector sustainability strategies within the context of infrastructure, planning and value systems. Prior to joining Pegasys, Alexis led green infrastructure and green economy initiatives in Gauteng, where she was a trusted policy advisor to local and provincial governments. She is also a published author and academic in the sustainability sector.
At the start of women’s month in South Africa, the PII collaborated with UCT’s Klaus-Jürgen Bathe Leadership (KJB) Programme on the hosting of the KJB’s 2019 Inaugural Leadership Lecture. Pregs Govender, an educator and author of Love and Courage, A Story of Insubordination, focused on transformational leadership in an age of reductive advertising hype and government speeches. Govender asserted that the high level of gender-based violence demands an urgent transformation of South Africa's patriarchal, racist, and capitalist society.
Pregs Govender began her activism in 1974 in student struggles and learnt from other liberation struggles and community organisations, including women’s organisations, that she volunteered with. After teaching in schools and the university from which she had graduated, she joined South Africa's majority women clothing union. During the country's transition to democracy, Govender managed the Women’s National Coalition campaign, which mobilised rural and urban women to shape the negotiations and Constitution. An African National Congress MP in the first democratic parliament and member of its Finance Committee, Govender initiated South Africa's globally influential Women's Budget in the 1994 Budget debates and built an alliance with research non-governmental organisations. She steered the initiative’s political impact on the ‘98/99 National Budget. She also chaired Parliament’s Committee on Women, which ensured that 80% of women’s transformative legislative priorities, including the Domestic Violence Act, were enacted. Govender was the only MP to register opposition to the arms deal in the Defence Budget Vote and chaired public hearings on HIV/AIDS that broke the silence on treatment in the ANC Caucus. She resigned as MP in 2002 and wrote Love and Courage. Govender chaired the Independent Panel Review of SA’s Parliament (2008 - 2009), many of whose recommendations have strengthened Parliament’s oversight role. During Govender’s term as Commissioner and Deputy Chair (2009 - 2015), the South African Human Rights Commission linked individual violations to the structural injustice of inequality and poverty, initiating a water and sanitation campaign that had local and global impact.
This seminar, hosted by UCT's Poverty & Inequality Initiative and the Children’s Institute, discussed the main findings and policy recommendations of a book published by Policy Press in the UK: Tracing the Consequences of Child Poverty: Evidence from the Young Lives study in Ethiopia, India, Peru and Vietnam by Jo Boyden, Andrew Dawes, Paul Dornan and Colin Tredoux.
Dawes and Tredoux are UCT academics who have been associated with the Young Lives study in the Department of International Development at the University of Oxford for some years. Young Lives was initiated by the UK’s Department of International Development as a unique inquiry into the lives of children growing up in the first decades of the 21st century. Tracing the Consequences summarises the key findings of the Young Lives study and discusses their implications for child-focused policy and programmes across low- and middle-income countries as they strive to meet the challenges of the Sustainable Development Goals. While South Africa was not one of the study countries, the findings are highly relevant to this country as well as to others in the southern Africa region.
The purpose was to create a global public good, to shed light on the causes and consequences of the poverty experienced by many millions of children, and to inform strategies to improve life chances. Young Lives is a unique, comparative, mixed-methods longitudinal cohort study of approximately 12 000 boys and girls growing up in four low - and middle - income countries since the start of the millennium. Detailed information on a wide range of topics has been collected – including health, nutrition, education, time use and psycho-social well-being – as well as from schools attended by some of the children. With two cohorts in each of the four countries born seven years apart, the study is able to show cross country variations and similarities in the manner in which socio-economic, familial and institutional forces shape children’s development in rapidly changing societies.
The Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) partnered with the PII for the first lecture in a series of four as part of the HSRC’s 50/90 Anniversary Commemoration in 2018-19. The lecture, by HSRC chief executive officer, Prof. Crain Soudien, showed that the complexities of inequality and poverty in South Africa require explanations that acknowledge the power of economic structures but are able to engage with the full range of forces, including the ideological, that are at work in keeping South Africans poor and unequal. The lecture described how poverty and inequality come together and can be understood across a range of structural, psychosocial and cultural dimensions of the South African social experience. More information
The PII and the Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit hosted the Cape Town launch of the South African Child Gauge 2018 in partnership with the UCT's Children's Institute. The lead editor of the South African Child Gauge® 2018, Katharine Hall, and contributing authors shared insights from the latest publication. This thirteenth issue focuses on children in relation to families and the state, both of which are central to providing for children and supporting their development. The authors demonstrated the diversity and fluidity of families as they strategise for their own survival, for the development and protection of their children and the realisation of their dreams. Read more
The world over, access to education has increased but quality remains low. This new book explores at multiple levels (national, provincial, and school) how politics and institutions have influenced South Africa’s educational outcomes. Through a contrast of the performance of the Western Cape and Eastern Cape, it finds that there are limits to what can be achieved through bureaucratic reform. The school-level research provides new insight on the potential and limits of participatory governance - both as a complement to bureaucracy, and as a substitute when bureaucracy is weak.
This book launch and discussion brings together all four authors of the publication (Brian Levy, Robert Cameron, Ursula Hoadley, Vinothan Naidoo) and is hosted in partnership with The Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance. Read more
The MPhil programme specialising in theories of justice and inequality and UCT's Poverty & Inequality Initiative are hosting a workshop on inter/transdisciplinary theory, research, and practice this week.
Spurred on by recent demands for curriculum transformation, the MPhil in Theories of Justice and Inequality, based at the Department of Sociology, seeks to facilitate informed interrogation of the dominant paradigms that have guided our understanding of postcolonial social, political and judicial institutions and practices. Members of various faculty clusters are invited to reflect on and discuss different approaches to doing inter/multi- and transdisciplinary research and teaching in ways which will help realise the programme’s goals.
Speakers at the workshop will include: Jameelah Omar, Ari Sitas, Sumangala Damodaran, Nomusa Makhubu, Shari Daya, Trevor McArthur, Rike Sitas, Camalita Naicker, Denisha Anand, and Ayanda Nombila. See programme
The Mandela Initiative process, findings, and recommendations were informed by five years’ research that involved eight DST-NRF Research Chairs and 23 multi-sectoral action dialogues and other workshops on poverty and inequality topics and possible solutions to these challenges.
The seminar will be presented by Judy Favish, an affiliate of UCT's Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit and a member of the Poverty and Inequality Planning Group. Judy was part of the MI Secretariat and helped to solicit the final contributions to the report, shape the programme for the MI’s consultative workshop to discuss the draft report, and collate the final report.
The report, as well as a toolkit to reading the report, will be launched at the seminar with a few inputs by Emeritus Prof Francis Wilson, who was the national coordinator of the MI process.
UCT’s involvement in the MI was through the work of the Poverty and Inequality Initiative (PII), which also contributed significantly to the process as the operational custodian of the MI. This included taking on the consolidation of the work of the wider MI community for discussion at a national gathering earlier this year; and finalising the report of the MI process and its recommendations
Prof Leslie London is a specialist in Public Health Medicine who oversees the training programmes for health professional students and registrars in Public Health Medicine within the Division of Public Health and Family Medicine at UCT. He heads the Health and Human Rights Programme in the Division which has a broad research and training mandate addressing health as a socio-economic right, and examining human rights and ethical issues in relation to the practice of health professionals. The seminar is framed by the concept of Community Participation - is a key element of the redesign of the South African health system, which contains the promise of universal access embodied by the National Health Insurance and its accompanying programme to Re-engineer Primary Health Care. The National Health Act establishes structures for community participation in the form of Health Committees (HCs) to act as the interface between communities and the health services. However, the Act left the explicit roles and functions to provincial legislation. As a result, there is wide variation and inconsistency in the responsibilities, powers, and relationships of Health Committees across provinces, their institutional positioning and the extent to which they receive any support in their roles. Consequently, the ability of community voice to influence health policy and service delivery is limited and not commensurate with the policy intent of the Constitution nor with the stated goals of the National Development Plan.
Work conducted through the Learning Network for Health and Human Rights to strengthen community networks and health committees in various provinces of South Africa, and collaborating with others in the region, has demonstrated the importance of community agency is expressing community need, and in engaging holders of power, to challenge inequities in services. This seminar explores rethinking the existing model of community development to draw better on strengths and abilities that exist in communities in ways that neither rely for success on externally driven resource inputs nor shift the burden onto poor communities as a sustainable option for addressing many of the social determinants of health that characterise life in poverty.
Colin will present on the topic of his recent paper which assessed one element of the ANC’s policies and practices since 1994: its programmes of social welfare. The ANC has carried out a remarkable expansion of welfare provision. By 2016, pensions and grants reached almost 18 million people, or one in three South Africans. Welfare cash transfers have arguably been the most effective mechanism of redistribution used by the ANC. The paper discusses the evolution and architecture of the social security provisions; the technology that delivers it; how it is viewed and understood by senior ANC politicians; and its shortcomings. It concludes with locating the topic within the ‘politics and economics of redistribution’ as outlined so fruitfully by James Ferguson. Colin Bundy is an historian, who has retired after a career as an academic and university administrator. He served as Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Witwatersrand, Principal of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and Principal of Green Templeton College, Oxford. As a scholar he was best known for his Rise and Fall of a South African Peasantry; he was co-author (with William Beinart) of Hidden Struggles in Rural South Africa. Since 2012 he has published four books in the Jacana Pocket series: Govan Mbeki (2012), Short-changed? South Africa since apartheid (2014), Nelson Mandela (2015) and Poverty in South Africa: Past and Present. He has published over 50 articles and chapters on South African history and politics.
In this seminar, Dianne Bond (UCT’s Research Office) will present the Quacquarelli Symonds' (QS) Rankings results with the focus on the QS Subject Rankings in which UCT was placed in the Top 10. UCT’s publication titles and authors contributing to this field will be identified using the SciVal Research Management tool; benchmarking of publication and citation metrics against “competitor” institutions will also be shown. Dianne obtained a doctoral degree in Chemistry at UCT in 1986. She lectured in the Chemistry Department until 1990 when she left to devote her time to raising a family. She joined the Research Office in 2004 to develop the new SET stream of the Emerging Researcher Programme (ERP). She then lectured Chemistry at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology for a short period but returned to the Research Office to manage and implement the newly acquired Research Performance Management and Funding Opportunities databases. Her next role was as manager of the Information Management Cluster which included overseeing the Publication Count and the NRF Ratings projects. Dianne recently took up a new position as Senior Data Analyst in the newly created Research Internationalisation and Visibility Cluster in the Research Office.
Equality as a Development Strategy
Event date: Monday 29 August 2016
The economies in Scandinavia have for long periods had high work effort, small wage differentials, high productivity, and a generous welfare state. This seminar will explore the economic and political equilibrium in these economies and how they combine models of collective wage bargaining, creative job destruction, and welfare spending. Professor Karl-Ove Moene will give an overview of the wage bargaining systems and how they fuel investments, enhance average productivity and increase the mean wage by allocating more of the work force to most modern activities. Karl will also show how the political support for welfare spending is fueled by both a higher mean wage and a lower wage dispersion.
Karl-Ove Moene is a Norwegian economist and professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Oslo.
Equal Society Book Launch
Event Date: Thursday 11 August 2016
The Poverty & Inequality Initiative contributed towards the production of The Equal Society as a paperback edition and will host the book launch on August 11, 2016.
Prof. Crain Soudien, CEO of the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) will introduce the book and its central themes, and the book’s editor, Dr George Hull, will give an overview of the chapters and the topics they cover.
The Equal Society showcases various contributors offering original approaches to themes prominent in current social and political philosophy, including relational equality, epistemic injustice, the capabilities approach, African ethics, gender equality and the philosophy of race. The book’s editor, Dr. George Hull, is a lecturer in philosophy at the University of Cape Town.
The Equal Society: Essays on Equality in Theory and Practice was originally published outside southern Africa by Lexington Books in 2015. This paperback version is now available for R 399.00 from juta.co.za or your nearest academic bookstore.
Michael Grimm is Professor of Development Economics at the University of Passau, Germany. He is an IZA Research Fellow and affiliated with the DIW in Berlin and the Erasmus University Rotterdam. He holds an MSc from the Goethe University, Frankfurt as well as an MA and a PhD from Sciences Po in Paris. He has recently led a World Bank-funded research project on informal entrepreneurship in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and has advised the GIZ, the KfW, the ILO, among others, on related issues. He has published in leading field journals such as the Journal of Development Economics, Health Economics and Demography. Katharina Grabrucker is a PhD candidate at the University of Passau. She holds a Masters in International Economics and Economic Policy from Goethe University, Frankfurt and a Bachelor in Governance and Public Policy from the University of Passau. While studying she has spent two semesters abroad in Warsaw, Poland as well as in Bangkok, Thailand. Her research interests are micro- and small enterprises as well as social businesses in developing countries, inclusive growth and poverty reduction. Previously she worked as a consultant for the Boston Consulting Group in Dusseldorf, focusing on strategy, sales and organization projects for companies in the industrial goods sector. In this seminar Michael and Katharina will analyze the impact of crime on self-employment in South Africa. They will use official crime statistics and match it with micro level data from the national census, a community survey and a survey on employers and self-employed. Applying a fixed-effects and an instrumental variable approach, they first examine the relationship between crime and self-employment and, second, the impact of crime on business performance indicators, such as sales, profits and investment. In contrast to the existing literature, which focuses on perceived crime rather than actual crime rates, they do not find robust and economically significant evidence that high crime rates have a negative impact on self-employment in South Africa. Although the impact of robbery and burglary on self-employment is statistically significant and negative, it is economically small. Moreover, their results suggest a positive relationship between robbery and burglary, and sales of a business.
Humanitarians rely on rules and norms – from laws or principles, to religious and biomedical values, to best practice and ethical guidelines. The rules and norms create apparently coherent and predictable spaces. For humanitarians in the field, they establish locations in which the horrors they sometimes witness can be observed from a distance, or even set aside. The latter tendency is reinforced by life in compounds and aid towns in which a strange semblance of life at home is replicated. Humanitarians always need to balance empathy and self-preservation. They need to institutionalise engagement and, in-effect, excuse disengagement. However, there are obvious dangers, notably cognitive dissonance and humanitarian impunity. Cognitive dissonance and humanitarian impunity in the war zone of Acholiland in central northern Uganda are the focus of this lecture. The region has been affected by conflict for decades, with more than 30,000 young people being abducted or joining the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). Many of these people subsequently escaped or were captured by the Ugandan army; and they passed through reception centres on their way 'home'. The reception centres were managed with the support of international humanitarian agencies, but no-one knows what subsequently happened to most of those passing through them (including traumatised children). Many were left in internal displacement camps where conditions were appalling, and they had live with relatives who were aware they had spent time with the LRA, and had probably been required to kill or maim victims. They have been much more invisible than the so called ‘invisible children’ that have been the focus of media campaigns about the situation in the region. What has happened to these formerly abducted people is symptomatic of wider developments. There have been local consequences of the LRA war, and also ones that are of far reaching global significance, because it is here that the International Criminal Court focussed its first investigations, and it was the situation in this region that resulted in its first arrest warrants. Where do humanitarians fit in to the upheavals that have occurred, and the attempts to impose accountability for terrible crimes? The lecture will draw on long-term anthropological fieldwork from periods before, during and after the war. In particular it will present findings on what has happened to people who spent time with the Lord’s Resistance Army, based on interviews with 234 people (who were selected by taking a 10% random sample of records at a reception centre in Gulu). Aspects of social integration and exclusion in the post war setting of northern Uganda will be highlighted. One problem that many encounter is cen, a kind of malevolent emanation from those that have experienced or perpetrated violence. It can make social healing a fraught process. Another issue is the relative insignificance of local reconciliation rituals that have been a prime focus of those advocating traditional justice. There are big discrepancies between the lived experiences of those who have been caught up in the war and the normative assumptions of those purportedly helping them. Meanwhile, most of the humanitarian agencies that were active during the war have withdrawn, and media interest has shifted elsewhere. The International Criminal Court is prosecuting one of the Lord’s Resistance Army commanders, but the process is largely being ignored, and the accountability of others (including aid agencies) for what was described by a senior UN official in 2003 as amongst the worst of all humanitarian crises, is simply forgotten. Professor Tim Allen is Director of the Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa and Head of the Department of International Development at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He has carried out long-term field research several African counties, mostly in East Africa. His publications include the bestselling textbook, Poverty and Development (Oxford University Press 2000), as well as books and articles on ethnic conflict in Europe, media coverage of wars, links between culture and development issues, mass forced displacement, and global health. His latest books have been Trial Justice: The International Criminal Court and the Lord's Resistance Army (2006), and The Lord’s Resistance Army: Myth and Reality (2010). In recent years his research has focussed on justice and accountability in African war zones, and social aspects of Neglected Tropical Disease control. He has published extensively on the latter in collaboration with Dr Melissa Parker of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical medicine, focussing in particular on mass drug administration in endemic populations of East Africa. In addition to academic work, he has worked as a consultant with numerous international organisations, including UNDP, UNICEF, UNRISD, MSF, LWF, Save the Children, World Vision and DFID. He is also a broadcaster and has presented or contributed to numerous radio and television programmes, mostly for the BBC. He has been elected as a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences.
Recent debates about deworming school-aged children in East Africa have been described as ‘The Worm Wars’ on a World Bank website.The stakes are high. Deworming has become one of the top priorities in the fight against infectious diseases. Leading economists and epidemiologists have vigorously promoted the idea, claiming that it has the potential to end poverty, They cite historical examples from the USA, Japan and elsewhere, and give particular emphasis from data collected in Kenya since the end of the 1990s, and published in a key article in 2004. Staff at the World Health Organisation, the Gates Foundation and the World Bank (among other institutions) have endorsed the approach, and school-based treatments are a key component of large-scale mass drug administration. The current, integrated approach to mass drug administration has emerged as the largest global health programme that the world has ever seen. However, biosocial research in Uganda and Tanzania suggest that things are not as straightforward as has been claimed. Drawing on anthropological field research at sites spread across the region, and engaging with both biological and social evidence, this seminar shows that assertions about the effects of school-based deworming are over-optimistic. The results of the much-cited study on deworming Kenyan school children, which has been used to promote the intervention, are flawed, and a systematic review of randomised controlled trials demonstrates that deworming is unlikely to improve overall public health. Also, confusions arise by applying the term deworming to a variety of very different helminth infections and to different treatment regimes, while local level research in schools reveals that drug coverage usually falls below target levels. In most places where data exist, infection levels remain disappointingly high. Without indefinite free deworming, any declines in endemicity are likely to be reversed. Moreover, there are social problems arising from mass drug administration, which have generally been ignored. There is no doubt that curative therapy for children infected with debilitating parasitic infections is appropriate, but overly positive evaluations of indiscriminate deworming are counter-productive. In presenting the material Prof. Allen will also reflect on the the challenges and opportunities associated with doing critically-engaged ethnographic fieldwork on such an important and widely promoted intervention. He will pose several controversial questions about the nature of evidence, about how evidence relates to policy choices, about the ways in which large grants shape the evidence that is collected and the way it is presented, and about why it is possible to treat African children in schools without their parents’ permission (something that is unlikely to be considered ethical in other parts of the world). Professor Tim Allen is Director of the Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa and Head of the Department of International Development at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He has carried out long-term field research several African counties, mostly in East Africa. His publications include the bestselling textbook, Poverty and Development (Oxford University Press 2000), as well as books and articles on ethnic conflict in Europe, media coverage of wars, links between culture and development issues, mass forced displacement, and global health. His latest books have been Trial Justice: The International Criminal Court and the Lord's Resistance Army (2006), and The Lord’s Resistance Army: Myth and Reality (2010). In recent years his research has focussed on justice and accountability in African war zones, and social aspects of Neglected Tropical Disease control. He has published extensively on the latter in collaboration with Dr Melissa Parker of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical medicine, focussing in particular on mass drug administration in endemic populations of East Africa. In addition to academic work, he has worked as a consultant with numerous international organisations, including UNDP, UNICEF, UNRISD, MSF, LWF, Save the Children, World Vision and DFID. He is also a broadcaster and has presented or contributed to numerous radio and television programmes, mostly for the BBC. He has been elected as a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences.
Lunch Seminar by Dr Ariane De Lannoy on Youth Development
Event Date: Tuesday 14 June 2016
Dear Researchers and Colleagues
On the 16th June we remember the power of the younger generation. We celebrate the courageous students who defended their right to equal education, and we commemorate those who lost their lives in the struggle. In the week of this important day in our country, we will be reflecting on current efforts directed at developing young people. The Bertha Centre’s Education Innovation Initiative has invited UCT's Poverty and Inequality Initiative's Dr Ariane De Lannoy, a sociologist and senior researcher, to explore the idea that our country currently lacks a thorough analysis of youth-specific poverty data – including data that shows the extent to which poverty varies from one small, local area to another, or that can track possible progress over time. This kind of information is key to the development of these efforts.
This lunch-time seminar will explore ways in which the research community, and other stakeholders invested in youth empowerment, can contribute to the development of effective policies and interventions.
About the researcher: Dr Ariane De Lannoy is a sociologist and senior researcher, coordinating the work programme on youth within the Poverty and Inequality Initiative. Ariane holds Masters degrees in languages and international politics from the Universities of Ghent and Antwerp (Belgium) and a PhD in Sociology from the University of Cape Town (South Africa). Her research focuses on youth in rapidly changing urban environments. She is especially interested in youth transitions and decision-making in the complex context of post-apartheid South Africa. In 2015, De Lannoy was the lead editor of the multidisciplinary Child Gauge, which focused on Youth and the Intergenerational Transmission of Poverty.
Twenty-two years after South Africa’s transition to democracy, the situation for the majority of young people in the country remains precarious. Youth are disproportionately affected by poverty, unemployment and ill health. Racial and gender dynamics, along with spatial inequalities remain among the barriers to upward social mobility. Furthermore, large proportions of young people experience multiple and inter-related forms of deprivation simultaneously, including low levels of education, poor health and limited access to housing, basic services and economic opportunities. While post-apartheid governments have introduced various Youth Policies, agencies and “desks” across departments and local, provincial and national levels of governance, the interventions have clearly not managed to level the playing fields for South Africa’s youth. This seminar explores ways in which the research community can contribute to the development of effective policies and interventions aimed at youth development. An argument will be made that the country currently lacks a thorough analysis of youth-specific poverty data – including data that shows the extent to which poverty varies from one small, local area to another, or that can track possible progress over time. This kind of information is key to development efforts directed at young people. The seminar will further highlight the lack of a consolidated evidence-base on best practices in the field of youth development that could potentially be scaled up. Ariane De Lannoy is a sociologist and senior researcher, coordinating the work programme on Youth within the Poverty and Inequality Initiative. Ariane holds Masters degrees in languages and international politics from the Universities of Ghent and Antwerp (Belgium) and a PhD in Sociology from the University of Cape Town (South Africa). Her research focuses on youth in rapidly changing urban environments, using Mixed Method and a Qualitative approaches. She is especially interested in youth transitions and decision-making in the complex context of post-apartheid South Africa. In collaboration with Katherine S. Newman, current Provost at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (USA) she worked on After Freedom: The Rise of the Post-Apartheid Generation in Democratic South Africa, an ethnographic study investigating the social experience and political expectations of men and women in their late twenties. In 2015, De Lannoy was the lead editor of the multidisciplinary Child Gauge, which focused on Youth and the Intergenerational Transmission of Poverty.
Professor Michael Lipton is an eminent development economist, well known for his work on poverty and rural development (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Lipton). Periodically since 1994, he has worked on and in South Africa. In response to an invitation from the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, he has started to work on the proposed Regulation of Land Holdings Bill in the light of international experience of land reform, including the issue of ceilings and registration. Seminar participants may be interested in Professor Lipton’s book, Land Reform in Developing Countries:property rights and property wrongs (Routledge, 2009; also in paperback, e-book, and Googlebooks). There are extended sections on both ceilings and registration – these provide relevant background, comparative and analytic material not easily accessible elsewhere.
This is an area in which members of the PII and others in the UCT community have been working actively. Much of our work has been as part of national research projects, for example with our colleagues from PLAAS at UWC.
Professor Lipton will be in Cape Town on Tuesday 17 November 2015 and will lead an "engagement seminar" on the Bill with as many of us that as can make it.
The ATD Fourth World Movement was started in a camp for homeless families outside of Paris in 1956. A Catholic priest, Father Joseph Wresinki became chaplain to the 250 families living there. Determined to fight the poverty which he experienced through these families, he started a community development project with them.
From the outset, the ATD Fourth World Movement has targeted three priorities:
Learning from the most disadvantaged families;
Understanding how they became trapped in persistent poverty; and
Planning and developing projects with them.
The movement strives to honor the dignity of these families and their refusal to submit to poverty. Included in this is the commitment to record all traces of struggles and hopes of poor people. It seeks to work with the recovery of memory of marginalised people across the world, and to reflect the stories of whole neighbourhoods which were destroyed to make way for ‘improved conditions of life’. The synergy with the work of District Six Museum is immediately apparent, and the two organisations have found several points of intersection both in content and methods of working.
Diana Skelton is the International Director of the ATD Fourth World Movement, and one of the authors of ‘Artisans of Peace overcoming Poverty’. On 7 October, the Poverty and Inequality Initiative will host a conversation with Diana, and we invite you to join this conversation.
Dear colleagues and students
It is my pleasure to announce to you that French economist, Professor Thomas Piketty, will deliver a talk and then engage in a dialogue at Jameson Hall at the University of Cape Town on Wednesday, 30 September 2015, at 16h00.
The dialogue is part of The Mandela Initiative: Dialogue and action to overcome poverty and inequality, and will precede the Nelson Mandela Memorial Lecture, which Professor Piketty will deliver in Johannesburg on 3 October 2015.
Professor Piketty, who teaches economics at the Paris School of Economics, is famous for his work on inequality. His seminal book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, has sold over 1.5 million copies in French, English, German, Chinese and Spanish. For this work he collected and analysed tax records from Britain, the United States and France to track back income and wealth over the last century.
This dialogue is particularly important for all of us, as inequality continues to increase. Professor Piketty’s argument is that inequality rises when the rate of return to capital outstrips the rate of growth. This has been the case in parts of the developed world like the United States, where 1% own about one-third of all the wealth in the country, and in Europe, where about one-quarter own the same proportion. This phenomenon has extended to developing countries such as South Africa, where the gap between the haves and the have-nots continues to widen.
This talk is entitled Income, Wealth and Persistent Inequality, is presented in partnership with the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, University of Stellenbosch and the University of Western Cape.
Dr Max Price
Dear Colleagues and Students You are cordially invited to the second seminar in the “Preparing Professionals to Practice in Contexts of Poverty and Inequality” curriculum seminar series for 2015, hosted by the UCT Poverty and Inequality Initiative (PII).
The PII’s Curriculum Seminars aim to facilitate meaningful discussion and debate on how departments and programmes at UCT engage with matters relating to poverty and inequality in South Africa through their curricula. In 2014, the seminars reflected on blind-spots within our undergraduate curricula, and in 2015 the PII would like to take this further by focusing on ways which we are preparing the next generation of professionals.
Our upcoming seminar will profile innovative curriculum practices within the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) that provides pre-service teacher training and education. The redesign of the PGCE involved a number of people within the School of Education, and A/Prof Carolyn McKinney and A/Prof Rochelle Kapp will be presenting specifically on how language and diversity have been addressed within the redesign of the PGCE curriculum.
Presenters: A/Prof Carolyn McKinney and A/Prof Rochelle Kapp
Date: Wednesday, 26 August 2015
Time: 13h00 - 14h00 (light lunch at 12h30)
Venue: SoE Seminar Room, Level 4, New School of Economics Building, Middle Campus
RSVP: For catering purposes, please RSVP to Mpho Phoba (Mpho.Phoba@uct.ac.za) by 20 August 2015
Dear Colleagues and Students
You are cordially invited to the launch of the 2015 Curriculum Seminar series “Preparing Professionals to Practice in Contexts of Poverty and Inequality”, hosted by the UCT Poverty and Inequality Initiative.
The Diagnostic Report prepared by the National Planning Commission found that insufficient progress has been made in reducing inequality, infrastructure is poorly located, under-maintained and insufficient to foster higher growth, there is a widespread disease burden, public services are uneven and often of poor quality, and South Africa remains a divided society (NPC, 2011). As an institution we want to take stock of whether we are producing professionals who are equipped to deal with the challenges associated with the South African context of high levels of poverty and inequality.
The Poverty and Inequality Initiative’s Curriculum Seminars aim to facilitate meaningful discussion and debate on how departments and programmes at UCT engage with matters relating to poverty and inequality in South Africa through their curricula. In 2014, the seminars reflected on blind-spots within our undergraduate curricula, and in 2015 the PII would like to take this further by focusing on ways which we are preparing the next generation of professionals.
The launch will profile innovative curriculum transformation in the Allied Health and Rehabilitation Sciences that placed the issue of social justice at the center of its curriculum review. Presenters are A/Prof Harsha Kathard, A/Prof Roshan Galvaan, and A/Prof Elelwani Ramugondo.
Many previous empirical studies have suggested that cooperation and trust affect economic growth. However, the precise relationship between trust and cooperation (i.e. whether trust leads to cooperation or cooperation leads to trust) remains unclear and it is not known how the level of economic development affects the level of cooperation and trust.
In this seminar, Prof Junyi Shen will speak to two recent experimental studies carried out in four regions of China. In the first study, a series of lab and artefactual field experiments were conducted to investigate the relationship between trust/trustworthiness and cooperation. The groups selected for the study were middle school and undergraduate university students and community residents. The experiments comprised two public goods games, a gambling game and a trust game. The issue on whether General Social Survey (GSS) questions can predict trusting/trustworthy behaviour were also investigated. In the second study, issues on how the level of economic development affected cooperative and trusting behaviors were investigated. The experiments were carried out applying the same experimental designs as in the first study.
Prof Shen obtained his PhD from the Osaka School of International Public Policy, Osaka University, Japan. March 2006. His dissertation was on “The Role of Environmental Consciousness in Transport Modal Choice and Economic Growth”. Prof Shen is currently a Professor, at the Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University, Japan.
Event Date: Wednesday, 8 October 2015
The Poverty and Inequality Initiative (PII) invites you to attend our upcoming "Blind-spots in Mainstream Undergraduate Teaching: Are we adequately preparing graduates in Economics to deal with the challenges associated with poverty and inequality" lunch-time seminar, which forms part of the Curriculum, Poverty and Inequality Seminar Series.
Reflections on whether our curricula equip graduates to engage with challenges related to poverty and inequality, and on how universities should be contributing to building a new social order premised on different conceptions of human progress, are pertinent in the current South African context. The Curriculum, Poverty and Inequality Seminar Series thus aims to facilitate meaningful discussion and debate on how academics at UCT engage with matters relating to Poverty and Inequality in South Africa through their curricula.
Panellist Dr Iraj Abedian is the founder and CEO of Pan-African Capital Holdings. He obtained his BA Honours and MA in Economics from University of Cape Town (UCT) and received his PhD in Economics from Simon Fraser University in Canada. He has served as a consultant on economic policy issues to public and private sector organisations in South Africa, as well as internationally. His involvement in the development of South Africa includes: The Transformation of the Development Bank of Southern Africa; The RDP White Paper; Growth, Employment and Redistribution, Medium Term Expenditure Framework; the Presidential Review Commission; membership of the President's Economic Advisory Panel and Economic Advisor to Minister of Mineral Resources (South African Government). Professor Abedian was awarded, in 2003, the title of Top Economist of the Year by the Association of Black Securities and Investment Professionals. (http://mba.nmmu.ac.za/node/681)
Panellist Ismail Lagardien is a South African political economist whose main interests are in global capitalism, and the reproduction of inequality, dominance, abuse of dominance, and all forms of violence and injustice in the global political economy. He was educated at the London School of Economics, and holds a doctorate in International Political Economy from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. Lagardien has worked as a journalist, as a strategist and speechwriter for the Chief Economist of the World Bank, and a professor of International Political Economy and International Relations at Elon University in North Carolina, USA.
Chaired by Prof Anthony Black (School of Economics).
A conversation with Professor David Kennedy of the Harvard Law School, Dr Aninka Claassens of the Rural Women's Action Research Programme, and Professor Alan Hirsch of the Graduate School of Development Policy and Practice on property rights, political choice and development in the South African context. Co-hosted by the PII and the Centre for Law & Society. 11 September 2014, 12h00–14h00,School of Economics Seminar Room, Level 4, New Economics Building, Middle Campus, UCT
‘Youth in South Africa: Uncertain Transitions in a Context of Deprivation – A PII collloquium
In August 2014, the PII hosted a colloquium to address the key challenges facing young people in South Africa, including youth unemployment and access to the labour market, entrepreneurship and skills development, youth transitions and issues around 'identity'. The Colloquium was a multi-disciplinary engagement with reflections from academics and practitioners alike, to deepen our understanding and analysis of young people’s experiences of life in deprivation, and of their halted or uneven transitions into adulthood.
A key aim was to create an opportunity for participants to reflect on the best ways for policy engagement, actions and programmes to reduce the levels of precariousness and un(der)employment among South Africa’s youth. By bringing together a range of stakeholders from academia, civil society, politics and business, the PII also aimed to contribute to the identification of policies, actions and programmes - and key areas of intervention - that can help reduce the levels of precariousness and un(der)employment among South Africa’s youth.
Emerging from the lessons learned and key issues identified at this first colloquium, the PII now continues to foster and facilitate reflective and action-oriented knowledge exchange between researchers, policy-makers and practitioners, through the format of smaller 'working groups' around particular themes. Each of these working groups will collaboratively set an agenda for further work, which ultimately aims to contribute to change in the lives of young South Africans.
Final Programme Presentations Audio
A PII public seminar led by Professor Jonathan Wolff, followed by a panel discussion with Dr Mamphela Ramphele and Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge. LT2 Kramer Building, Middle Campus, University of Cape Town
Blind-spots in mainstream undergraduate teaching: Philosophy, Ethics and Epidemiology – Curriculum, Poverty and Inequality Seminar Series
This series aims to facilitate meaningful discussion and debate on how academics at UCT engage with matters relating to Poverty and Inequality in South Africa through their curricula. Panelists: George Hull (Philosophy), Buhle Zuma (Psychology) and Anwar Mall (General Surgery). School of Economics Seminar Room, Level 4, New Economics Building, Middle Campus, University of Cape Town
Social Justice, Law and Development – PII seminar
A PII colloquium for researchers, policy makers, community practitioners and donors to engage on key issues facing youth in South Africa. Graduate School of Business
This series aims to facilitate meaningful discussion and debate on how academics at UCT engage with matters relating to Poverty and Inequality in South Africa through their curricula. Panellists: Sue Parnell (Environmental and Geographical Sciences), Martine Visser (School of Economics) and Harro von Blottnitz (Chemical Engineering). Room 3A, Humanities Bldg, Upper Campus, UCT
Blind-spots in mainstream undergraduate teaching: Economics and Sociology’ – Curriculum, Poverty and Inequality Seminar Series
This series aims to facilitate meaningful discussion and debate on how academics at UCT engage with matters relating to Poverty and Inequality in South Africa through their curricula. Panellists: Ari Sitas (Sociology), Edwin Muchapondwa (School of Economics) and Nicoli Nattrass (School of Economics and CSSR). School of Economics Seminar Room, Level 4, New Economics Building, Middle Campus, University of Cape Town.
Launch of Poverty and Inequality Initiative seminar programme
An introduction to the Poverty and Inequality Initiative and seminar programme, co-hosted by the PII and SALDRU. Speaker: Pro Vice Chancellor for Poverty and Inequality Professor Murray Leibbrandt. School of Economics Seminar Room, Level 4, New Economics Building, Middle Campus, University of Cape Town
Launch of the ‘Curriculum, Poverty and Inequality Series’
Professor Melanie Walker of the University of the Free State will speak on the role of universities in promoting equity and social justice by developing professionals with a social conscience at the launch of the ‘Curriculum, Poverty and Inequality’ Series. The series aims to facilitate meaningful discussion and critical debate about how academics at UCT engage with issues of poverty and inequality through their curricula. Mafeje Meeting Room, Bremner Building, UCT
‘Building a Cohesive Society in South Africa’
A workshop co-hosted by the PII, the Graduate School of Development Policy and Practice and Kobe University. School of Economics Boardroom, Level 4, New Economics Building, Middle Campus, University of Cape Town