Research objectives and capacity

The Centre’s key role is to enhance the HSRC’s statutory mandate for initiating, undertaking and fostering strategic basic and applied policy research in the human sciences, to:

  • address developmental challenges in South Africa and Africa by gathering, analysing and publishing BRICS-related data and information that may provide useful lessons relevant to such challenges;
  • inform the effective formulation, monitoring and evaluation of BRICS policy; stimulate public debate through the effective dissemination of fact-based BRICS policy research results; and
  • foster inter-BRICS research collaboration, networks and institutional linkages.

Our research agenda and capacity

Our research agenda is informed by BRICS policy objectives as articulated by the BRICS Summits, BRICS Think Tanks Council (BTTC), BRICS Academic Forum, BRICS Business Council, and South Africa’s need for related policy research. For example the 2014 BRICS Heads of State Summit and BTTC meetings framed the BRICS long-term strategy objectives around the five pillars of cooperation for economic growth and development; peace and security; social justice, sustainable development and quality of life; political and economic governance; and progress through knowledge and innovation sharing. Over the short to medium term these pillars and their sub-themes will determine part of the Centre’s research programme. In this regard a specific focus for the Centre will be to coordinate, manage and undertake research on constructing indicators to measure development goals in South Africa in particular and in BRICS in general. Such indicators may be included in the proposed monitoring and evaluation system for BRICS and for comparative analyses across the BRICS countries.

Our research resource capacity

The Centre has a dedicated core team that includes a director, a post-doctoral fellow (to be appointed); a knowledge management and IT  researcher; a BRICS researcher, and an administrator. When necessary, specialised expertise is accessed from other HSRC units. In addition key expertise is accessed via a fellowship programme for visiting scholars from South Africa, other African countries, and the other BRICS member states.

The BRICS Research Centre Data Warehouse

Our data warehouse capacity for maintaining and managing all BRICS-related data, statistics and information is a key resource for the HSRC. This facility seeks to generate new indicators to measure the socioeconomic and political progress of BRICS countries. The Data Warehouse will be linked to similar BTTC facilities in other BRICS countries through the Brazilian-run BTTC BRICS data management facility.