Research Use and Impact Assessment
Children’s health, educational advancement and overall well-being are greatly influenced by their access to basic services, including safe drinking water and sanitation. According to the Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities’ The National Plan of Action for Children 2012-2017 almost 1.4 million children in South Africa still live in households that rely on rivers or streams as their main source of drinking water. In addition, nearly 1.5 million children live in households with no toilet facilities at all.
‘The old world is dying, and the new world struggles to be born: now is the time of monsters.’ Quoting Antonio Gramsci, Dr Rasigan Maharajh, chief director of the Institute for Economic Research on Innovation at the Tshwane University of Technology, speaking at the HSRC Research Conference on the topic of inequality and justice and posing questions beyond the scope of the convention.
Professor Alinah Segobye, the Deputy Executive Director of the Research Use and Impact Assessment Unit of HSRC, has been appointed as honorary professor at the Thabo Mbeki Leadership Institute (TMALI) at the University of South Africa.
African ‘development’ is mired in the legacy of post-colonialism. Prof. Alinah Segobye of the HSRC's Research Use and Impact Assessment (RIA) unit, co-authored and article with Dr Alioune Sall which challenges African academies to break down barriers that prevent them from hearing one another, and from working together towards an African-led development agenda. With reflection, communication and action, Africa’s thought leaders can reconceptualise our development futures, eradicating Africa’s ‘poverty’ and embracing the wealth and abundance of the continent’s true potential.
Proposals for a National Health Insurance (NHI) are moving along rapidly towards implementation. In the past, the appropriateness of such a system was the subject of debate amongst health system stakeholders (Department of Science and Technology, DST 2012).
In this issue of From Evidence to Action we focus on PAN: Children, a knowledge portal launched just over a year ago in a partnership between UNICEF and the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC). Our Feature traces the ideas and inspiration behind the portal, where we are after a year online and our plans to expand PAN: Children’s facilities and reach.
This policy brief, on the relevance and possibility of attaining the Millennium Development Goals by 2015, is based on studies carried out by a number of national departments and international organisations. Key among them is a recent study that explores the economic impact of different options for creating and using fiscal space1 to attain outstanding Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) (Chitiga et al. 2011). In this exercise, which made use of a Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) model, fiscal space was simulated by mobilising additional revenue (resources) through increased domestic revenue, and a number of possible scenarios were drawn up and analysed.
Communication for research uptake is not a straightforward subject to get to grips with. Amit Makan, Research Uptake Manager at the PRogramme for Improving Mental health carE (PRIME) shares his insights about institutional arrangements aimed at enhancing research uptake and successful communication with policymakers. The newsletter also contains cas estudies, info about the Zimbabwe Evidence Informed Policy Network (ZEIPNET) and information on events, training, associations, toolkits and guidelines.
Turning around the disastrously poor literacy achievement of school students across the country now requires a carefully orchestrated national plan. There needs to be a national strategy and literacy campaign for South African schools. This campaign needs to involve both government and civil society in order to bring about the kind of change that guarantees students the necessary building blocks for their education and future prospects. And it is this that would improve national opportunities for innovation and socio-economic advancement.
These are the recommendations captured in an HSRC Policy Brief authored by researchers Dr Cas Prinsloo and Dr Kathleen Heugh, and based on various studies including Lessons learnt from a classroom study in Limpopo Province.
The new HSRC Press publication State of the Nation: South Africa 2012-2013, the sixth book in this series, was launched in Cape Town this week. The event featured a high-level panel discussion led by Democracy, Governance and Service Delivery executive director Judith February.
The book focuses specifically on inequality and poverty. Like the State of the Nation address that is delivered by the president annually, a new volume in this series is presented every year and grapples with some of the pertinent issues facing the country.