Research Use and Impact Assessment

Electronic data-collection methods are feasible, acceptable, accurate and usable

A new policy brief from the HSRC, titled Evidence for the feasibility, acceptability, accuracy and use of electronic data-collection methods for health in KwaZulu-Natal states that there is evidence that electronic data-collection methods are feasible, acceptable, accurate and usable. After reviewing the literature and weighing up the evidence, recommendations are made for district and provincial-level health management.

Almost 1.4 million SA children still rely on rivers for drinking water

10 February 2014  | 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 ongoing challenge of development

17 January 2014  | Research Use and Impact Assessment

‘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.

Prof. Alinah Segobye, head of RIA, appointed honorary professor

12 December 2013  | Research Use and Impact Assessment

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.

How do we realise the elusive vision of an Africa-led development agenda

28 November 2013  | Research Use and Impact Assessment

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.

The NHI: the focus should be on how to address challenges

27 November 2013  | Research Use and Impact Assessment

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).

Knowledge platforms for the progressive realisation of children's socio-economic rights

23 October 2013  | Research Use and Impact Assessment

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.

Relevance and possibility of attaining the MDGs by 2015 in SA

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.

Communicating for research uptake: Lessons from the field

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.

Orchestrated national plan needed to turn around disastrous literacy levels in SA schools

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.

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