What We Do

Generally, DGSD conducts scientific research aimed at understanding and explaining the dominant trends in democracy, governance and service delivery. Research conducted is intended to promote effective and efficient democratic processes of governance and the delivery of quality services to the majority, particularly rural African inhabitants, who have historically been deprived of basic essential services such as water and sanitation, housing, electricity and health facilities. DGSD’s research is also intended to support the inclusion of marginalised communities in mainstream decision-making processes.

In formulating a set of strategies to help mitigate the governance and service delivery problems in South Africa, DGSD works to fulfil the following key objectives:

  • To conduct scientific research into the nature of and key trends in South Africa’s system of democracy, governance and service delivery
  • To undertake action-oriented research to diagnose and address the democratic, governance and service delivery challenges facing the country
  • To undertake research in which various approaches to strengthening and improving democratic practices, governance standards and service delivery are assessed and modelled through pilot interventions
  • To provide practical solutions and alternatives to the continuing challenges of deepening democracy, ensuring strong governance, maintaining the rule of law, ensuring equal access of sustainable basic services, improving state capacity and entrenching a culture of performance in the civil service.

How We Make A Difference

DGSD’s research output and findings are widely distributed and disseminated through peerreviewed publications, research reports, policy briefs and monographs. Additionally, public reach is extended through stakeholder engagement processes and through widespread use of both print and electronic media. Seminars, workshops, conferences, round-table discussions, public dialogues and debates are also organized with clients, collaborators and other important stakeholders to enhance constructive and critical debate and ensure uptake of important policyrelevant recommendations. 

Contact details: +27(0)12 302 2528