2016 Policy Briefs

RIA works in the area of getting research into policy and practice. The unit thus prepares policy briefs on topical issues.

2016 POLICY BRIEFS

Disrupting Cycles of Violence in Africa - Unlocking Complex Dimensions of Human Security

S. MAPHOSA, A. KEASLEY, Y. SLIEP, M. HAAVELSRUD, C. HEMSON, V. MJIMBA, O. BIALOSTOCKA AND S. MUTANGA

This policy brief discusses a range of negotiation processes that can mobilise communities to engage in social actions that supply in their own security and peace-making needs. The discussion generates crucial insights and knowledge that may inform and strengthen community-based ‘whole-of-society’ strategies for the prevention of violence and its gendered dynamics.

Safe and sound? Violence and South African education

TL ZUZE, V REDDY, A JUAN, S HANNAN, M VISSER and L WINNAAR

The brief therefore recommends that policies to promote safe and drug-free schooling environments be closely monitored and periodically reviewed so that they remain relevant to the needs of schools and communities.

Rural water access and management in southern Africa: Does community involvement offer alternatives?

S KARUAIHE, M MOLOKOMME, J MATHEBULA and L SAKOANE

This policy brief reviews current and past approaches to rural water access and management in southern Africa, and suggests recommendations, using Namibia and South Africa as case studies.

Does it matter whether students enjoy learning science? Exploring student attitudes towards science in South Africa

A JUAN, V REDDY, TL ZUZE, C NAMOME and S HANNAN

Attitudes towards science are seen as key components of an individual's scientific literacy but are often overlooked in favour of achievement scores.While achievement scores convey levels of problem-solving skills and intelligence,attitudes convey the emotional evaluations of science and have a powerful influence  on behaviour, either  facilitating or hindering the learning  process.The 2011 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS)1 was used to investigate four broad categories of attitudes: value of science, enjoyment of science, confidence in ability to learn science (self-efficacy),and physiological states experienced when engaging in science tasks (anxiety, stress or excitement).

Female condoms in South Africa: Promoting availability and use

FM GUERRA, LC SIMBAYI and JC MTHEMBU

This brief suggests that the expansion of female condom programming could  be both strategically beneficial in reducing new HIV infections while also upholding the SRHR of South Africa’s women and girls. It makes some recommendations for both policy and programming efforts.

Have we reached gender equity in mathematics education? Evidence from TIMSS South Africa 2011

TL ZUZE, V REDDY, A JUAN, M VISSER, L WINNAAR AND S HANNAN

This policy brief examines gender differences in South African education as documented in the 2011 Trends in Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS). On average, across South Africa, gender differences in TIMSS mathematics test results were small or non-existent. When fee-paying, no-fee and independent schools were compared, boys and girls within each school grouping achieved similar results.

Museums in the palaces of the Cameroon Grassfields: Concerns about accessibility and sustainability

MA FUBAH

This policy brief argues for the construction of museums outside palaces in order to give visitors and the community an opportunity to fully explore museum collections and to facilitate sustainability of the museum for present and future generations.

Rewarding participants in public works programmes: Cash or food transfers?

S MOTALA, S NGANDU, S MASVAURE, T HART and Y GWENHURE

One specific component of the study focused on examining the comparative performance of cash versus food transfers with respect to household poverty, quality of life and food security in terms of EPWP benefits for participating households. This policy brief addresses findings in respect of this component.

Traditional male circumcision: How to prevent deaths and complications

M DOUGLAS, TX MALULEKE, D LABADARIOS, C HONGORO and A NYEMBEZI

This policy brief emanates from an intervention study that was conducted to develop a male circumcision healthpromotion programme in the Libode rural communities of the Eastern Cape province in the period 2009–2013.

Small-scale livestock farming and primary animal healthcare in South Africa: Challenges and policy implications

V REDDY, S GOGA, S CHIUMBU and F TIMOL

The policy recommendations provided in this brief emerge out of a pilot study on gendered dimensions of farming systems, rural farmer households and food security conducted in Marble Hall and Rhenosterkop, Limpopo, and a follow-up policy dialogue on PAHC in South Africa.

Teenage pregnancy in South Africa: Reducing prevalence and lowering maternal mortality rates

P REDDY, R SEWPAUL and K JONAS

This policy brief identifies a number of policy interventions that can (1) lower the prevalence of teenage pregnancy in South Africa and (2) provide better prenatal care for teenagers who are pregnant.

How can universities and colleges improve the alignment between education and work? A systemic, demandled approach to skills planning and development

G KRUSS and I PETERSEN

This policy brief proposes a framework that can be used by PSET organisations and skills planners to analyse the current alignment – or misalignment – between labour market demand and skills supply within a system. This framework provides a basis for identifying appropriate change mechanisms and intervention strategies to promote better alignment.

Body-image perception and dissatisfaction: Acknowledging the sociocultural factors of obesity in South Africa


ZJ MCHIZA, D LABADARIOS, W PARKER and N BIKITSHA

With regard to body-weight management, there is good reason to believe that implementing the recommendations in this policy brief would not only improve the personal well-being of the citizenry, but would also enhance the economy of the country by curtailing the costs and healthcare needs related to managing NCDs and their complications.

Winners and losers: Gender disparities in the South African labour market

C NDINDA and S NGANDU

Given the global context of women’s participation in the labour market, the fundamental question that this policy brief addresses is as follows: Do the changes in women’s occupational participation represent a holistic shift with respect to other indicators of labour-market participation?

Focus on 'the family'? How South African family policy could fail us

T MORISON, I LYNCH and C MACLEOD

This policy brief draws on research projects conducted by Tracy Morison, Ingrid Lynch and Catriona Macleod with funding support from the South African Research Chairs Initiative (SARChI) of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the National Research Foundation (NRF) of South Africa; the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Human Development; and the Ford Foundation.

Levering m-governance innovations for active citizenship engagement

E SEKYERE, O TSHITIZA and T HART

This policy brief focuses on the opportunities to give leverage to mobile phone innovations as a means of mitigating these constraints to effective and timeous communication between government and citizens. The brief considers the benefits that could accrue to both citizens and government; examines international evidence of mobile governance (m-governance)1 innovations; presents key research findings from the study by the NDA and the HSRC; and makes policy recommendations for the way forward.

How inclusive is Namibia's inclusive education policy?

O BIALOSTOCKA

This policy brief examines the scope of Namibia’s inclusive education policy and suggests revisions to make it more comprehensive. It is based on a study conducted in primary schools in Namibia’s Kunene region that was designed to understand people’s lived experiences with respect to multiculturalism in the school setting.

Understanding occupational choices of low-skilled workers in South Africa

B MNCWANGO, M VISSER, S NGANDU and A PATERSON

This policy brief explores some attitudinal factors based on work-seekers’ reflections on the most valued job attributes that affect workseekers’ labour market behaviour. It also recommends revisions of current labour market policies to incorporate the role of attitudinal factors.

Addressing Terrorism Threats around the Globe (What Africa could Learn from some of the Recent Terrorist Attacks around the World)

Dr Nicasius Achu Check
This policy brief examines the recent terrorist attacks in Africa and what Africa should do to prevent them. It equally examines global counter-terrorism measures and it implications for Africa.

Governing African Extractives for Development - Lessons from Ghana's Petroleum Revenue Management Law

Olivia Lwabukuna
This was driven by policy aimed at using Ghana’s new hydrocarbon wealth to achieve viable socioeconomic development. Whilst the policy and its associated frameworks are laudable, hurdles remain in implementing, institutionalising and overseeing them. Cooperation between public, private and civil society stakeholders will be a strong pillar in ensuring the success of the framework.

Fostering an inclusive development agenda in South Africa: Citizen voices and government policy responses

Y.D.Davids, B.Roberts, J.Struwig
The purpose of this policy brief is to identify the policy issues that are important to South Africans and to ascertain whether government is responsive to these challenges. Results from the South African Social Attitudes Survey series (2003 to 2014) are used to examine public opinion about the most important challenges facing the country as well as the public’s satisfaction with government performance. Download the policy brief.

Does it matter whether students enjoy learning science? Exploring student attitudes towards science in South Africa

A.Juan, V.Reddy, T.L.Zuze, C.Wokadala, S.Hannan
Attitudes towards science are seen as key components of an individual’s scientific literacy but are often overlooked in favour of achievement scores. While achievement scores convey levels of problem-solving skills and intelligence, attitudes convey the
emotional evaluations of science and have a powerful influence on behaviour, either facilitating or hindering the learning process. Download the policy brief.

Female condoms in South Africa: Promoting availability and use

F.M.Guerra, L.C.Simbayi, J.C.Mthembu
The female condom is the only female-controlled device that offers women dual protection from sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and from unplanned pregnancy. Access to female condoms is thus central to protecting the sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of South Africa’s women and girls. Download the policy brief.

Body-image perception and dissatisfaction: acknowledging the sociocultural factors of obesity in South Africa

Z.J.Mchiza, D.Labadarios, W.Parker, N.Bikitsha
This policy brief recommends that the South African Department of Health endorse the necessary strategies directed at (i) educating South Africans on how to correctly identify their body size; (ii) increasing awareness of a normal/healthy body size; (iii)advocating the importance of adopting a healthy body size; and (iv)restricting the use of the current terminology (i.e. ‘lose or gain weight’) in South African health messages. Download the policy brief.

Rewarding participants in public works programmes: Cash or food transfers?

S.Motala, S.Ngandu, S.Masvaure, T.Hart, Y.Gwenhure
What is the best way for public works programmes to remunerate participants so that they can achieve improved socio-economic status? Drawing on evidence from a study conducted by the HSRC on the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) Phase 2 (2009–2014) in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), this policy brief considers the appropriateness and outcomes of the programme’s wagetransfer mechanisms – namely, ‘wages’ in cash or as in-kind payments in the form of food parcels – by contrasting their socio-economic outcomes across programme beneficiaries. Download the policy brief.

Traditional male circumcision: how to prevent deaths and complications

M.Douglas, T.X.Maluleke, D.Labadarios, C.Hongoro, A.Nyembezi
There is a need to include traditional leaders as custodians of the circumcision custom in the planning and development of intervention programmes to reduce both the high mortality rates and the incidence of injury associated with the practice. The deaths of circumcision initiates are preventable provided there is mutual respect, understanding, cooperation and common purpose between the healthcare systems, the initiates themselves, traditional leaders and the local communities. Download the policy brief.

Rural water access and management in southern Africa: Does community involvement offer alternatives?

S.Karuaihe, M.Molokomme, J.Mathebula, L.Sakoane
Water scarcity is a major problem for Namibia and South Africa as both countries are classified as ‘water stressed’ based on their per capita water availability. The situation is exacerbated by the increase in water demand in excess of supply. Water provision in both countries has traditionally relied on supply-side approaches, and the potential for expansion is becoming dim, making efforts towards demand-management approaches more necessary and feasible (Karuaihe et al. 2012). Download the policy brief.

Safe and sound? Violence and South African education

T.L.Zuze, V.Reddy, A.Juan, S.Hannan, M.Visser, L.Winnaar
This policy brief makes an argument for the expansion of policy efforts that ensure the safety of all learners at South African schools. Violence in schools is considered more serious in South Africa than elsewhere. A clear link between the prevalence of school-related violence and high crime levels in communities was also found. Compared to public schools, independent schools were somewhat safer, but even in these schools, one in five learners reported being bullied on a weekly basis. The socio-economic status of learners was another important indicator for potential exposure to acts of violence. Download the policy brief.


2015 Policy Briefs

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