PAN

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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The purpose of this colloquium is to share resullts from a DFID/ESRC- funded project . Currently in South Africa lone mothers of working age are only entitled to social assistance for themselves if they are disabled. A means-tested Child Support Grant is payable on behalf of their children but, though important, it is small in amount and is not intended to contribute to the caregiver's living expenses. In the context of South Africa’s Constitution which declares that ‘everyone has the right to have their dignity respected and protected’ and that access to social security is to be progressively realised, this project explores the meaning of dignity in lone mothers' lives and the extent to which social security protects or erodes their dignity. Below are themed reports of the project:

Themed Working Paper 1: Defining Lone Motherhood in South Africa

Themed Working Paper 2 :The impact of poverty and inequality on the dignity of lone mothers in South Africa

Themed Working Paper 3: Social security and the dignity of lone mothers in South Africa

On the 16 May 2014 PAN: Children invited Mastoera Sadan from the Presidency to discuss the development of child related policy through a 20-year lens, elaborating on how far we have come and commenting on the future of child policy in South Africa. Ms. Sadan was involved in the development of the Twenty Year Review. The Review reflects on how South Africa has progressed since the dawn of democracy in 1994, the challenges it still faces and how these can best be addressed. It provides an evaluation of the policies instituted by government since the advent of democracy. While highlighting achievements, it also addresses shortcomings and looks at initiatives and operational plans for the future.

 

Document(s): 10year review.pdf

The First Decade of Freedom Review, conducted by government in 2003, assessing how far the new government’s Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) key objectives  which are: meeting basic needs, building the economy, democratising the state and society, developing human resources and nation building. Have been met through the work of its five clusters.

PAN:Children is hosting a Colloquium on lone mothers, social security and dignity in South Africa on 6 June 2014 at the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) in Pretoria. The purpose of this colloquium is to share results from DFID/ESRC -funded project that is nearing completion and to discuss with the attendees the emerging findings and policy implications. The project entitled ' Lone mothers in South Africa- The role of social security in respecting and protecting dignity' was led by Professor Noble at the University of Oxford and involved collaborations with colleagues at the Human Sciences Research Council and the University of the Western Cape. This event is for stakeholders in government and civil society.

PAN: Children is hosting a dialogue series titled: Children@20years: An overview of child related policy development in the 20 year review on 16 May 2014 at the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) in Pretoria and Cape Town . The Twenty Year Review provides an evaluation of the policies instituted by government since the advent of democracy. While highlighting achievements, it also addresses shortcomings and looks at initiatives and operational plans for the future. The main speaker of the dialogue is Ms. Sadan a programme manager of the Programme to Support Pro-poor Policy Development Phase II (PSPPD II), which is located within the National Planning Commission (NPC) in the Presidency. She will look specifically at the development of child related policy through a 20-year lens, elaborating on how far we have come and comment on the future of child policy in South Africa.

 

The Mediterranean journal of social sciences published an article entitled, The determinants of child poverty in a South Africa township: a case of Boipatong. The study  investigates the possible determinants of child poverty in the Boipatong Township. 

 The paper discusses the effects of the household’s total income, employment status, age of the household head, the number of people in the household and gender of head of household on child poverty.The results of the study indicate that the employment status of the head of the household; number of people living in the household and total income of the household are significant determinants of child poverty status in Boipatong. This may imply that policies that are aimed at dealing with poverty and child poverty in particular should consider ways of creating formal employment for people in the townships. 

 

This guide is a short introduction for decision-makers and researchers or anyone else considering whether a systematic review may be appropriate to fill a gap in knowledge or to use as a resource. It aims to help anybody planning or commissioning a review of what research is already out there. It would be of value to  analysts, evaluators, policymakers or commissioners.  The guide is aimed at anybody from central government, local authorities, public service providers, regulatory and advisory bodies, charities or the consultancy sector.

For the final issue of the From Evidence to Action for 2013/14 we have created a digest of five Department of Science and Technology DST Human and Social Dynamic Science Seminars and Policy Cluster Workshops held in the course of the 2013/14 financial year. We provide highlights and executive summaries, with links to presentations and useful references. Resources from a further six workshops will be provided in the next issue of From Evidence to Action as the information becomes available.

To provide some background, the Science Seminars are designed to better ensure that research feeds into active policy processes, and to serve as a vehicle for disseminating policy-relevant research results, sharing expertise and experience, facilitating policy dialogue, and building the capacity of researchers and policymakers in ways that bear on public policymaking.  The Government Cluster Policy Workshops are a key initiative of the Human and Social Dynamics in Development Grand Challenge (HSDD GC), which is one of five ‘Grand Challenges’ underpinning the DST’s 10 Year Innovation Plan. The DST contracts the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) to implement these workshops, which are similarly designed to better ensure that research feeds into active policy processes, policy-relevant research results are disseminated and that the capacity of researchers and policymakers is developed in ways that bear on public policymaking.

Please note that this is a work in progress and we are busy uploading presentations and related documents from the series. If you would like to access presentations please email vfichardt@hsrc.ac.za

 

In this issue of From Evidence to Action we focus on data curation, data sharing and the importance of data in the research evidence chain, as well as the use of data. The benefits of data archiving are vast, and include that it encourages secondary use of research scientific research and allows researchers to scrutinise research results, and allows for some comparative analysis, as well as providing a historical perspective. Data curation can also lead to new collaborative research networks, and it becomes possible to find out about other researchers working in the same field. Duplication is reduced as it is not necessary to repeat what has already been done, and, importantly, good, clean, well preserved data allows for greater focus on the research questions.

In our feature we profile the HSRC’s Data Curation (DCURE) unit and how it approaches its mandate for sharing data. Our guidelines are from the Royal Society and we shine our Spotlight on (UK organization). We share a policy brief recommended by the HSRC Data Curation team and as always we have collated resources on data curation, including events, opportunities, additional reports and links of interest to the data community.

If you would like to make any comments please email vfichardt@hsrc.ac.za or subscribe to our alerts on the Policy Action Network portal

policy research in South Africa

 Tim Hart, Senior Research Manager, Economic Performance and Development, HSRC  will present from 13h00 to 14h30 on 7 November 2013 and this seminar can be attended in Pretoria, Cape Town and Durban via VCR.

Policy Research typically focuses on improving policy that is inadequate, inefficient, or ineffective. Undoubtedly, some policies are poorly conceptualised and poorly implemented. But are all policies poorly conceptualised?

Some people benefit from policy making while others do not seem to be able to benefit from the same policies. If all policies were inherently good and well meaning would more people benefit? Is good policy implementable?

The presentation addresses these questions using examples from national statistics, local surveys and an ethnographic case study. Policy implementation is far from a simple technocratic process and is heavily influenced by the actors involved. The evidence suggests that policy research must adopt a more sociological and anthropological focus to understand the influences of the multiple actors along the policy implementation pathway. It is crucial to understand how policy is implemented in practice. The appropriate research question is not whether policy has succeeded or failed, but rather in what ways and why it might have succeeded or failed?

Kindly RSVP by 3 November 2013

Cape Town: Contact Jean Witten, Tel (021) 4668004, Fax (021) 461 0299

Durban: Contact Ridhwaan Khan, Tel (031) 242 5400, cell: 083 788 2786 or RKhan@hsrc.ac.za

Pretoria : Contact Arlene Grossberg, Tel: (012) 302 2811, e-mail: acgrossberg@hsrc.ac.za