The Policy > Action Network (P>AN) is hosted by the Research Use and Impact Assessment Unit (RIA) at the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) and is supported by the Department of Science and Technology.

P>AN supports the policy community by sourcing information on social policy with the aim of contributing to rigour in policy making and greater participation in policy processes. This site contains a range of resources including case studies, policy briefs, research reports, events info and ‘how-to’ info on getting research into policy, and getting policy into action.

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Newsletter: From Evidence to Action

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This concept note from the Parliament of Kenya proposes the formation of the Parliamentary Caucus on Evidence-Informed Oversight and Decision-making, an informal network whose membership will comprise of members of both the National Assembly and the Senate who are committed to promoting responsible governance through evidence-informed oversight. The Caucus is unique in terms of its goal and expected deliverables as it aims to provide a structured platform to enable parliamentarians share experiences and work together to promote an evidence-informed culture in their work.

This seminar on rural democracy in the Eastern Cape aimed to provide a forum for the various stakeholders to engage constructively on pertinent questions related to the issues of traditional leadership, democracy, and land, and the policy implications these possibly have. Using the case of the Xhalanga District and the role that research played in the court judgement mentioned above, issues that could possibly be addressed include the following:

  • What are the policy implications of the court judgement, especially given the fact that there are already in office headmen who were not elected; what becomes of these headmen?
  • If headmen are elected, what become of municipal councillors who are also elected?
  • Are we heading for a situation of "two bulls in one kraal", if so, how do we deal with the spill over that result from this?

The first of two related Human and Social Dynamics (HSD) seminar series convened by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC).The seminar brought together stakeholders in the rural local government and land sector, which include among others, academics and researchers, representatives from government departments such as the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs and the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, non-governmental organisations, local government entities such as the Rural Democratisation Task Team in the Sakhisizwe Local Municipality, rural social movements such as Zingisa  Education and Development Organisation (Amathole District Municipality), Masifunde Education and Development Organisation (Ndlambe municipal area), the  Amadiba Crisis Committee (Mbizana area), as well as representatives from the Congress of Traditional Leadership of South Africa (CONTRALESA). Presentations to be loaded as the conference proceeds.

ANC discussion documents 2015

The African National Congress (ANC) will hold its 4th National General Council (NGC) from 9th to 12th October 2015. This NGC, like the three preceeding it, is convened in fulfillment of the resolution taken at the ANC's 50th National Conference in Mahikeng in 1997, which directed that the organisation should hold a General Council mid-term its 5 year conference cycle. The discussion document can be downloaded above. The following policy areas are prioritised in the document: 1.Balance of Forces 2.Economic Transformation 3.Education and Health 4.Legislature and Governance 5.Social Transformation 6.The battle of ideas, media transformation & diversity, and accelerating digital future. 7.Peace and Stability 8.International Relations 9.Rural development and Land Reform


Status of women in SA economy

This is the first government report on the Status of Women in the SA economy, since the Ministry in the Presidency Responsible for Women was established in May 2014, and serves as a baseline document for the work to promote the socio-economic empowerment of women and gender equality. This report articulates the current situation, while providing insight into some of the trends that are discernible in the data on women in the South African economy. It provides a step towards building a reliable knowledge base and disaggregated data that will inform women's socieo-economic empowerment, and the advancement of gender equality in the country. The Minister in the Presidency Responsible for Women commissioned the Development Policy Research Unit to develop the report on the status of women in the South African economy in March 2015.

On 14th August 2015, the Child Allowance Webinar Series will commence with a webinar dedicated to South Africa’s Child Support Grant. The webinar is supported by the International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth (the IPC-IG/UNDP) and UNICEF and hosted by The purpose of the Child Allowance Webinar Series is to present a variety of child allowance experiences including that of South Africa and Uruguay. Each country will have a dedicated webinar.

The webinar on Friday will showcase the experience of South Africa’s Child Support Grant. Alejandro Grinspun from UNICEF South Africa will moderate the event, which will be open to questions and comments from the audience – both during the webinar and in the weeks thereafter, as part of the platform’s online community. For further details about the platform and this specific CSG webinar, you should visit: and


The gap between research and practice or policy is often described as a problem. To identify new barriers to, and facilitators of, the use of evidence by policy makers, and assess the state of research in this area, Bio Med Central recently updated a systematic review. They searched online databases including Medline, Embase, SocSci Abstracts, CDS, DARE, Psychlit, Cochrane Library, NHSEED, HTA, PAIS, IBSS (Search dates: July 2000-September 2012). Studies were included if they were primary research or systematic reviews about factors affecting the use of evidence in policy. Studies were coded to extract data on methods, topic, focus, results and population.

REMINDER of Youth Day seminar today at 12h30.

In the context of Youth Month this seminar asks how youth activism has changed over the past 39 years since the student uprising that began in Soweto in 1976 – over (ostensibly) the issue of the medium of instruction in schools for black youth. Today we ask youth activists from three universities in South Africa to reflect on their experiences on education and transformation. The call to transform South Africa’s academic institutions is on the rise country wide in the wake of the Rhodes Must Fall movement. The transformation agenda is engendering a new form of youth educational activism that is focusing on issues, inter alia, curriculum reform; demographic diversity within the academy; institutional culture and institutional naming. The seminar seeks to engage the voices of students on these and other pertinent issues related to education and transformation in post-apartheid South Africa.

Xenophobic violence is increasingly becoming a longstanding feature in post-Apartheid South Africa and efforts to explain its underlying and immediate causes have intensified since the unprecedented wave of violence in May 2008. Unfortunately, a critical review of existing explanations reveals that, while valuable in identifying the socio-economic and political context within which violence occurs, they fall short as scientific explanations for the occurrence of the violence.Jean Pierre Misago from the African Centre for Migration and Society (ACMS) presented at the HSRC on 30 June 2015 and his presentation is attached.

Extensive literature review on knowledge utilisation from Development Research Uptake in Sub-Saharan Africa (DRUSSA). Issues addressed in five key essays: Shifts in science policy and the new university paradigm, Research tradtions of knowledge utilisation and its most influential models, Research to policy, Stakeholder engagement and porticipation, and, Science Communication.