Economic Performance and Development
The World Bank has contracted the Economic Performance and Development unit to appraise and strengthen the National Rural Youth Service Corps (NARYSEC) Exit Strategy. The NARYSEC programme is a flagship youth development intervention of the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLR), which started in September 2010. Through this programme, the Department recruits thousands of unemployed youths in resource poor rural districts, where youth unemployment levels are very high, and equips them with the necessary skills that can be ploughed back into sustainable socio-economic initiatives in their communities.
Professor Ivan Turok attended the inaugural meeting of the SHLC in Glasgow between November 13-15th. This is a major new research programme funded by the UK Government’s Global Challenges Research Fund. The EPD unit of HSRC is a core member of the Centre.
On 26 October the Business Development and International Liaison unit hosted representatives of the Limpopo Development Collaborative Platform (LDCP) to discuss how HSRC researchers might be able to contribute towards this substantial research initiative. Stakeholders in this collaborative platform include the Limpopo Provincial Government, private corporations and research agencies.
Anglo American Platinum and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) represented the LDCP. Three HSRC units (EDP, DGSD and RIA) participated in this meeting with their inputs, taken together, illustrating the impressive footprint of their diverse research initiatives in Limpopo. Dr Glenda Kruss, Executive Director of CESTII, chaired this exploratory conversation to consider how to bring social scientists and M&E experts into the LDCP initiative.
SALGA hosted its provincial Small Town Regeneration (STR) and Regional Economic Development (RED) conference in Delmas, Mpumalanga, on 24 and 25 October 2017, which was aimed at discussing ways to regenerate, restore and strengthen small town economies in the province.
The City of Cape Town hosted its annual Informal Economy Summit at the City Hall on the 10th of October 2017, which included an input session and panel discussion facilitated by two EPD members, Professor Leslie Bank and Dr Andreas Scheba. This years’ summit was organised under the theme “Building Sustainable Informal Trading Markets as drivers of Local Area Economic Development” and the objective was to discuss how informal markets in the City can be better supported to promote enterprise growth, formalisation and inclusive economic development.
The HSRC hosted the launch of the Gauteng Rental Housing Strategy on 12 October 2017. This follows the 2015 signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the HSRC’s Economic Performance and Development (EPD) unit and the Gauteng Department of Human Settlements.
The Department of Science and Technology, through its Innovation for Local Economic Development programme, hosted a seminar at the end of August to promote the ownership of innovation assessment tools among resource-poor local municipalities.
The Department of Science and Technology (DST), through its Innovation Partnership for Rural Development Programme (IPRDP), recently held a seminar in Polokwane to share experiences and learnings from the implementation of 525 Point-of-Use (POU) water filtration devices in two pilot communities in the Capricorn district.
The Economic Performance and Development (EPD) research programme of the HSRC, whose role in the project is to develop a fit-for-purpose monitoring and evaluation framework, attended and presented during the seminar. Other participants were from the DST, Department of Water and Sanitation, Water Research Commission, Centre for Public Service Innovation, Municipalities, the VulAmanz team, service providers, councillors and community members.
At the end of August 2017, the HSRC’s Economic Performance and Development research programme (EPD) completed a ten-month research and capacity building intervention for selected District Land Reform Committees in 10 districts across South Africa. Supported by the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform and the Belgian Technical Cooperation the project aimed at increasing the capacity of DLRCs to identify the land needs and use of the poorer segments of local land seekers in their districts.
To deepen insights into the nature and extent of land hunger in rural South Africa, the Economic Performance and Development research unit created a programme where young emerging scholars and ethnographers from universities across South Africa were funded on a competitive basis to join HSRC’s research teams in district municipalities. The post-graduate students, recruited through the academic networks of Anthropology Southern Africa, were asked to use their own initiative and apply ethnographic techniques, including in-depth interviews, life histories, observation and case studies to shed new light on land needs and hunger. A day of training took place prior to fieldwork, which was conducted during July and August 2017.