The Poverty & Inequality Initiative newsletter has focused on themes related to poverty and inequality with the aim of profiling UCT research and projects involved in these areas, especially those intended to help grow the empirical evidence base for policymaking.
This issue of the Poverty & Inequality Initiative newsletter leads with several contributions on African inequality:
- The African Centre of Excellence for Inequality Research (ACEIR), which is hosted by UCT’s Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, is one of the 13 centres of the African Research Universities Alliance which stand to benefit from a partnership with the Global Challenges Research Fund of UK Research and Innovation.
- Linking up with our lead story is a World Bank podcast interview with Prof. Haroon Bhorat, director of UCT’s Development Policy Research Unit, on analysing inequality in Africa.
- The role of social innovation, systems change and higher education to help address South Africa’s status as the most unequal country in the world will be discussed at a forthcoming dialogue of UCT’s Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the Graduate School of Business Alumni Relations department.
- Also read about a recent discussion forum, at Duke University, where South African inequality and the effects on social cohesion were in the spotlight, and with input from the PII’s Prof. Murray Leibbrandt.
In other news:
- Progress of the SALDRU-led coalition project to design an intervention programme that can provide tailormade support for some of the nation’s most invisible young people – those who are not in employment, education or training.
- The recent African Centre for Cities seminar on African countries’ data readiness to monitor SDG progress, while the next seminar in this series will focus on fiscal constraints and opportunities for local government to participate in this global process.
- The appointment of Prof. Haroon Bhorat to the Advisory Board of the Human Development Report that is published by the United Nations.
- Health economist Emeritus Prof. Di McIntyre, who was a PII member until she retired, was awarded for her lifetime contributions to the advancement of health economics in Africa, and globally.
- The completion of The Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance’s first fulltime masters semester on the practice of policymaking and implementation.
- A workshop for members of the media on the ethics of reporting on children, hosted by our colleagues at UCT’s Children’s Institute (CI) in partnership with Media Monitoring Africa.
- And, as Child Protection Week kicks off, news that Prof. Shanaaz Mathews, director of the CI, will deliver the keynote address at an upcoming trans-disciplinary African regional conference on child trauma.
This issue of the Poverty & Inequality Initiative newsletter takes us from the corridors of the United Nations in New York City to an open-air local dialogue session led by community health activists in Gugulethu.
We lead with two items that touch on some of UCT’s past and present work in relation to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development:
- The involvement of Prof Haroon Bhorat, Development Policy Research Unit, in the post Millennium Development Goals process which helped to shape a framework for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and plans underway to draw on his experience to help coordinate the University’s contributions to the 2030 Agenda.
- An all-year seminar series on the challenges and opportunities of implementing the SDGs locally, hosted by the African Centre for Cities.
Other news includes:
- A recent lecture by Prof. Crain Soudien, co-hosted with the Human Sciences Research Council, which addressed significant drivers of poverty and inequality beyond the conventional economics focus.
- A workshop of local and global researchers, policymakers and advisers to review research evidence that could help the design of a model of support for the country’s young people as part of a project led by the Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit.
- A community dialogue on the social determinants of health, hosted by the Community Systems Strengthening for Health Project, a pilot partnership project managed by UCT’s School of Public Health and Family Medicine.
- The appointments of Adv Vusi Pikoli and Dr Ian Goldman as new adjunct professors at The Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance.
- The launch of a book that reflects the challenges of socio-spatial transformation based on a study of the African Centre for Cities.
- A webzine that showcases the profiles of the first 100+ fellows of the Leading in Public Life: Emerging African Leaders Programme of The Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance.
This issue of the Poverty & Inequality Initiative newsletter is packed with news from university partners and their associates, illustrating the vibrancy and range of current collaborations on poverty and inequality-related research and stakeholder engagement.
Some of the highlights are:
- A new coalition project led by UCT’s Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit (SALDRU) to investigate the viability of a “Youth Guarantee” for South Africa;
- The PII's February seminar, held jointly with SALDRU and in partnership with UCT’s Children’s Institute to reflected on the latest findings and value of the South African Child Gauge;
- Calls for expressions of interest in UCT’s 2019 Engaged Scholarship Programme;
- A call for papers from the African Research Universities Alliance, in partnership with the University of Nairobi, for an international conference and workshops on the theme “Africa and the Fourth Industrial Revolution: Defining a Role for Research Universities”;
- The first lecture in a series of four as part of the Human Sciences Research Council’s 50/90 Anniversary Commemoration to be held in partnership with the PII in March;
- A series of seminars and discussions on the Sustainable Development Goals to be curated and hosted by the African Centre for Cities.
We also share news on the new director designate announced for The Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance.
This issue continued the focus on contributions from the PII community to research that can benefit policy, practice and implementation. In particular:
- The four panel members from the University of Cape Town who served on the Motlanthe High-level Panel, who shared insights on being part of this important review of the impact of post-1994 legislation on the country’s transformation;
- The findings of the Mandela Initiative, and what these could mean for the University’s social responsiveness agenda;
- A short course aimed at assisting government and NGO support staff to implement the National Adolescent & Youth Health Policy, which is offered by the Desmond Tutu HIV Centre in UCT’s Health Sciences Faculty.
Other news include: Recent interdisciplinary workshops which contribute to the debates on curriculum transformation in light of a proposed new MPhil specialising in theories of justice and inequality; a new book by UCT authors who explore at multiple levels how politics and institutions have influenced South Africa’s educational outcomes; a regional conference on inequalities in southern Africa, the 2030 Agenda and the operationalisation of inequality reducing policies which was hosted at UCT last week; the launch of the thirteenth issue of the South African Child Gauge which focuses on children in relation to families and the state.
This issue took a special focus on empirical contributions by PII associates to policy development, reform and implementation. These include:
- several PII partner units’ partnerships with a government programme to support pro-poor policy development;
- the findings of the Mandela Initiative, a national multi-sector platform to investigate and develop strategies to overcome poverty and inequality, which was hosted by the PII for five years;
- the Children’s Institute, whose business has been to get child-focused research into policy and practice for nearly two decades;
- research contributions by the African Centre for Cities towards policy on the informal economy; and
- a study on translating health research into policy which has helped inform a Western Cape Health Department project in collaboration with the School of Public Health and Family Medicine.
We also paid homage to the legacies of the late Dean of the Health Sciences Faculty, Prof. Bongani Mayosi, in contributing to a better understanding of rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease, which are known to affect especially children and youth living in conditions of poverty. And, our 'in the spotlight' feature focused on the UCT Knowledge Co-op for its contributions to engaged scholarship targeted to student research.
Read the August/September 2018 newsletter
The theme for this issue was inequality, and we reported on some of the excellent work done in this sphere by our PII affiliates at UCT, in particular:
- Involvement in the high-level international processes of the SDGs, and climate change, respectively;
- The regional establishment of the African Centre for Inequality Research;
- National policy processes for universal health care, and low carbon emissions; and
- Several knowledge exchanges on inequality, including the labour market, employment and youth; and on income and wealth inequality.
For Youth Month 2018, we focused on insights from two PII projects developed in the past years:
- A Youth Multidimensional Poverty Index, and
- The Youth Explorer – an online, interactive platform where youth-centred data on several domains of youth well-being can be explored from the national to municipal and ward level.
- These two tools informed a new policy brief on the status of youth well-being in South Africa, and which can be downloaded from the newsletter.
This issue discussed the work of PII associates under the theme of social cohesion:
- A new and significant study on the relationship between social cohesion and inequality in South Africa.
- The implications of higher education funding choices for social cohesion.
- Social cohesion as an enabler for sustained growth.
- The role of social cohesion in the success of land reform agricultural projects.
In #YouthMonth2016 it was only appropriate to have a similar focus in our newsletter.
Read about Dr. Ariane De Lannoy's work for the PII's youth theme, in particular these projects or events:
- Indicators to Monitor Youth Well-being
- 2015 Youth-focused South Africa Child Gauge
- Yazi - PII's Youth Information Portal
- Systematic Overview of Youth Unemployment
- Ongoing Youth Policy Dialogues
- Lunch Seminar with Bertha Centre, 14 June 2016