Strategic objectives

In acknowledgement of pertinent developments among our stakeholders/partners and in response to imperatives in our environment, during the 2019/20 financial year the four thematic sections in SoKIA will jointly pursue the following priority strategic objectives. It is envisaged that the pursuit of these strategic objectives will enable and shape the trajectory of SoKIA’s planned growth over the next three years. The following priority strategic objectives for 2019/20 are proposed in the context of a three-year perspective:

  1. The initiation of two new collaborations (research, knowledge brokering, and capacity building) in partnership with the Research, Budget, and Language Units in Parliament (initially prioritising the National and Gauteng and Limpopo Legislatures).
  2. Augmenting existing collaborations with Programme 5 at DST by initiating two new research collaborations with Programme 2 (Technology Innovation) in DST – specifically the Bioinnovation Chief Directorate – focused on the provision of decision support in the areas of IKS-based innovation, health innovation, and industry and the environment. These collaborations should lead SoKIA’s into doing substantive work in the areas of prospective studies/anticipation/futures literacy.
  3. Conduct research that deepens SoKIA’s knowledge of its collaborators, the pertinent digital eco-systems in which they and SoKIA operate, and informs the formulation of an appropriate digital business model and strategy for SoKIA . This strategy will include an appropriate human resource plan for SoKIA anchored to the digital sciences.
  4. Building upon the work done to develop a HSRC Dashboard of Indicators of Poverty and Inequality, initiate a project that uses collaborative web-based technologies in the areas of research, knowledge-brokering, and capacity building in furtherance of a Science 2.0 agenda.
  5. Pursue collaborations initiated by the DCEO: Research with the EU Joint Research Centre focused on their work on indicators and impact assessment. These collaboration may encompass (a) the provision of technical assistance to SoKIA by the EU Joint Research Centre, (b) a site visit by one or two senior researchers from SoKIA to the EU Joint Research Centre, and (c) the development of two or three related project proposals by the Indicators of Poverty and Inequality Task Team

[1] This has to take into account the following factors (a) the restructuring of RIA in 2018, which included the relocation of 15 staff posts to the offices of the CEO, DCEO: Research, and AISA – a 33% reduction in capability; and (b) the recommendation of the RIA review panel about capacitating RIA vis-à-vis e-Research (digital disruption in our industry) and the broader digital transformations affecting all aspects of social, economic and political life. Accordingly, SoKIA’s growth target over the next five years is to incrementally add 25 new contract positions for researchers and research professionals across the four sections.

[1] DST works with the following definition of decision support. “Decision support interventions help people think out the choices they face; they describe where and why choice exists; and provide information about options, including where reasonable, the option of taking no action. These interventions aim to help people to deliberate, independently or in collaboration with others, about options by considering short, intermediate and long-term outcomes with relevant consequences. Decision support interventions assist the process of constructing preferences and eventually decision-making in a particular situation.” DST Annual Performance Plan 2018-2019.

[1] See Peter Weill and Stephanie Woerner (2015) “Thriving in an Increasingly Digital Ecosystem” MIT Sloan Management Review Summer 2015 for a discuss of what companies need to do to better prepare for a digital future.

[1] See Katarzyna Szkuta and David Osimo (2016) “Re-booting science? Implications of science 2.0 main trends for scientific methods and research institutions” in Foresight Vol. 18 No. 3 2016 for a discussion of the open science, citizen science and data-intensive science trends and their implication for scientific research processes, knowledge brokering and capacity building.