Inequality has emerged as one of the key challenges of our times. Since 2000, the average inequality within countries has been rising, pointing to the challenge to realise the Sustainable Development Goals’ principle of “leaving no-one behind” by 2030. This year, the United Nations Development Programme’s Human Development Report (HDR) will provide a comprehensive picture of the many forms of inequality that are shaping the 21st century. One of the experts recently appointed to provide intellectual advice and guidance to the HDR Office is Prof. Haroon Bhorat, director of the Development Policy Research Unit and a member of the PII.
The practice of policymaking and implementation – that is the focus of The Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance’s first fulltime masters semester course which concluded recently. The Mandela School promotes the development of strategic public leadership, including a strong emphasis on public sector reform, accountability and trust in governance. The course brought together students from five different countries and disciplines.
Given the high levels of violence against children which often make news headlines, colleagues from UCT’s Children’s Institute in partnership with Media Monitoring Africa hosted a workshop for members of the media on the ethics of reporting on children. The gathering, which took place shortly before the start of Child Protection Week, took a special focus on reporting on corporal punishment – an emotive topic which can be influenced by journalists’ personal, cultural or religious beliefs. Currently, a Constitutional Court ruling is pending on the unconstitutionality of the common law defence of ‘reasonable chastisement’ which allows parents to hit their children as a form of discipline.
The PII’s April 2019 seminar was honoured to host two of the co-authors of an expansive international study on the consequences of childhood poverty. Young Lives, a longitudinal study by the University of Oxford, investigated the changing nature of childhood poverty in four developing countries over a 15-year period. UCT’s Emeritus Prof. Andy Dawes and Prof. Colin Treroux presented the findings from following two cohorts of a total of 12 000 children in Ethiopia, India, Peru and Vietnam. Their presentation was followed by a discussion on the relevance of the findings for South Africa, led by Emeritus Prof. Viviene Taylor from the National Planning Commission. The seminar presentation is available online.