Disability statistics for inclusive development in SADC member countries

IMG_4926On July 21-22 2015, GovInn and the UNESCO-UNU Chair on Regional Integration, Migration and Free Movement of People, in partnership with the African Disability Alliance (ADA), hosted a workshop for practitioners from statistical offices, departments of social development and non-governmental organizations from southern Africa and member states of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to address some challenges in and provide a platform for the SADC region to share best practices on disability statistics and the development of expertise in methodologies of measurement of populations with disability.

The workshop, under the title ‘Strengthening Capacity for Disability Measurement across Africa’, brought together Bureaus of Statistics and Departments of Labour and Social Development, and Disability Federations from eight of the 15 member states of SADC as well as international organizations including, Christoffel Blindernmission (CBM), the European Union (EU), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The workshop, further, sought to benefit from ILO expertise in exploring ways in which statistics and research could enhance equal employment opportunities for persons with disabilities.

After two days of presentations and deliberations, the participants compiled a list of recommendations that identified practical ways for improving the quality and type of data collected on persons with disabilities in the SADC region through data collection methods such as national censuses, demographic and health surveys (DHS), quarterly labour force surveys (QLFS), etc. Download the workshop report here.

Population growth and regional development: African Economic Outlook 2015, coordinated by CIRAD

rapport-2015-perspectives-economiques-en-afrique_lightboxWith a population set to more than double by 2050 to over two billion inhabitants, half of whom will be under 25, Africa is facing unprecedented structural challenges. Population growth is an opportunity for economic growth, but it will undoubtedly upset regional equilibria. Those upsets will mean making in-depth changes to the approaches taken as regards development policy. This is what emerges from the 2015 edition of the African Economic Outlook, in which several CIRAD researchers participated, which was published recently.

The report contains thematic chapters whose topic varies each year. It is regional development that is the topic for the 2015 edition, of which CIRAD was scientific coordinator.

According to the Report, the African continent is predicted to receive a “demographic dividend” and to benefit for a few decades from a greater number of workers than of unemployed. This situation will free up potential to save, invest and boost incomes.

However, the report also contains a warning: it will be necessary to change the perspective of development policies, or else this “demographic dividend” will be lost and there will be a significant risk of a hitherto unseen rise in poverty and risks of conflict. This gift of more inhabitants and workers is an asset for the continent, on one condition: that the subsequent growth is inclusive and creates jobs.

Read the full presentation on CIRAD’s website

 Access the full report here

Thank you very much for being with us today!

Mandela Day at GovInn: re-discovering the University with the children’s eyes

At GovInn we believe that the university must be an open and welcoming place. That is why, to celebrate Mandela Day, we decided to invite local children and teenagers to visit the University with us. We, as well as our visitors, discovered a few gems of the campus, such as the Sci-ENZA lab, the library and its Makers laboratory, and the Camera Obscura. We ended our day with a funny -and fiercely competitive- football tournament at the Campus Sport fields.
We are looking forward to welcoming our new friends as students when they grow up!

International seminar on Local Urban Food Policies in the Global Food Sovereignty Debate

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On 11-12 June 2015, junior researcher Koen Dekeyser participated in an international seminar on Local Urban Food Policies in the Global Food Sovereignty debate, organised by the City of Gent in Belgium. The City of Ghent partnered with 12 European cities in the Food Smart Cities for Development project, financed by the European Union. The project aims at fostering the role of cities in changing urban food production and consumption patterns by promoting inclusive, resilient and fair local food systems.

The seminar brought together contributions and insights on local food systems from Belgium, Kenia, Italy, Sri Lanka, South-Africa, Central-America, UK, Colombia and Spain. The essays from the conference are bundled to give an overview of the participants’ various research trajectories in urban food policies and examples of already existing practices. Koen’s contribution was in the Governance of Local Urban Food Systems track titled ‘How can local food systems contribute to food sovereignty?’, written in collaboration with prof. Lise Korsten. Specifically the role of government in facilitating innovating local food participation was debated, together with discussions on local-global linkages and justice.

 

 

 

External perceptions of the EU research group

Workshop on the external perceptions of the European Union

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GovInn’s director Professor Lorenzo Fioramonti and junior researcher Kirsty Agnew participated in a three day workshop in Brussels as part of an ongoing project on the external perceptions of the European Union (EU). The project is funded by the EU as part of their expanding public diplomacy initiatives. The project is coordinated by the National Centre for Research on Europe (NCRE) at the University of Canterbury, the NFG Research Group from the Freie Universitat Berlin and the Public Policy Management Institute (PPMI) located in Lithuania. Research is also being conducted by nine other research groups located in the EU’s strategic partner nations around the world. Prof. Fioramonti and Kirsty are conducting research into South Africa’s perception of the EU with an aim to provide innovative growth to the relationship between EU governance structures and South Africa. The workshop in Brussels was to present data from the first stage of the research process.

Drop classification of pupils to treat ‘academic autism’ Business Day 23.06.2015

“In June 1976, SA’s youth led one of the most extraordinary protests against a discriminatory approach to education. Their rebellion reverberated across the world to become the symbol of the struggle for freedom in our country. Yet, almost 40 years later, our education system remains exclusionary and fragmented,” writes Lorenzo Fioramonti in his latest column for Business Day.

Drop classification of pupils to treat ‘academic autism’

“Our national debate on education tacitly assumes that SA is divided into a majority of poorly resourced (public) schools and a few, mostly urban, very well-developed (private) schools. This may be true if we limit our observation to the physical infrastructure of the “good” schools. I have indeed never seen as many rugby fields, Olympic pools, beautiful halls and playgrounds as I have in private schools and some of the best-resourced public schools (most of which are public-private hybrids previously known as Model C).

But if we scratch beneath this flashy surface, we find serious problems with the education model there. First, many of them reinforce pre-existing racial and class patterns. This is not only because of high tuition fees but also because of the values they project. It is common for these schools to expect students to wear expensive uniforms, glorify conspicuous consumption (for instance, by allowing companies to advertise to pupils) and teach children that excellence is the result of competition.”

Read the full article “Drop classification of pupils to treat ‘academic autism’” on Business Day 

THE ATLANTIC WEBINAR: REGIONALISMS ACROSS THE ATLANTIC with Frank Mattheis

ATLANTIC FUTURE is pleased to invite you to a webinar “Regionalisms across the Atlantic: divergences and convergences”, to be conducted by Frank Mattheis, Senior Researcher at the Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation at the University of Pretoria, and Andrés Malamud, Research Fellow at the Institute of Social Sciences (ICS) of the University of Lisbon, as discussant.

Read the original post on ATLANTIC FUTURE

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The prevalence of national and global interactions notwithstanding, regions have established themselves as a crucial space in international relations.  In addition, regions are also emerging as actors in their own right. Projects to build regions are particularly active in the four Atlantic regions (Latin America, Africa, Europe and North America) and some of them even transcend the continental divisions. This Atlantic Future webinar will investigate the logics of regional projects, the driving actors and the capacities of regional organisations. The participants will assess the different models and trajectories of regionalism on the four shores of the Atlantic space. Elizabeth Tedsen at Ecologic Institute will moderate the webinar and Laia Tarragona at CIDOB will present the Atlantic Future project.

Time: 16:00 CET

The webinar has been scheduled as a Google Hangout on Air. To view it, follow the link https://plus.google.com/events/cvcikkbrbi7nh3besmuciv8ieng

Ask questions: You can post questions prior or during the event. However, note that you need to have a Google+ profile or a Gmail address. Questions will appear on the right side of the screen, which is where you can submit your questions as well. Simply click “Ask a new question!” and the moderator will see it.

Requirements: You only need high speed Internet connection (please note that Explorer does not always work. This is why we advise you to use Google Chrome).

For more information, please send an e-mail to: ltarragona@cidob.org

Dr Frank Mattheis is Senior Researcher at the Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation (GovInn) at the University of Pretoria. He joined GovInn in 2014 and is currently carrying out his research on comparative regionalism, interregionalism and maritime security through a postdoc fellowship of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). Prior to GovInn, Frank Mattheis was senior research fellow at the Centre for Area Studies of the University of Leipzig from 2011 to 2014. He is trained in Global Studies with a M.A. from the Universities of Leipzig and Vienna and a Dr. phil. from the University of Leipzig.

Dr Andrés Malamud is Research Fellow at the Institute of Social Sciences of the University of Lisboa and Associate Researcher at IPRI. His work has been published in many internationally renowned academic journals. He served four year in the executive committee of the Latin American Political Science Association.

 

Linking up Africa to European Union

In this article for The New Age political commentator and former SA diplomat Tom Wheeler report on his participation to the launch of ESA-SSA (European Studies Association of Sub-Saharan Africa), during GovInn Week 2015.

“It was pointed out that unlike Europe and America, where there are many university departments of African studies, there are few if any of such institutions for European Studies in Africa. The result is often that Europe is dealt in Africa in terms of political rhetoric”

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Global Wellbeing Lab in Bhutan

GovInn’s director, Prof. Fioramonti, participated in a meeting of the Global Wellbeing Lab that took place in Bhutan from 8 to 17 May, 2015. As part of the programme, he met with the directors of the Gross National Happiness Centre, local civil society groups and political leaders. In this picture, Prof. Fioramonti is with Bhutanese former prime minister Jigme Yoser Thinley.

Bhutan prime minister

Water shortages about to put load-shedding in the dark – Business Day 05.05.2015

Business DayThis week on Business Day, South Africa’s leading business newspaper, GovInn director Lorenzo Fioramonti discusses the upcoming crisis that South Africa needs to address now: water shortage.

“WHILE load-shedding continues, there is an even more worrying prospect ahead: water-shedding. Like the energy crisis, the abysmal state of water in SA is a combination of at least three factors: resource depletion (and contamination), growing demand and inefficient infrastructure.

Rainfall levels are dropping quickly due to climate change. A recent study published by the World Economic Forum says droughts this century will become more recurrent and severe than in the previous millennium. We feel that already. Over the summer holidays, for instance, eThekwini municipality took the unprecedented decision of asking residents and holiday makers to drastically reduce water consumption to avoid systemic cutbacks, given that the Hazelmere Dam had reached dramatically low levels because of prolonged drought.

Besides climate change, we also have a skewed economy that is out of touch with natural equilibrium: it demands more and more water to fuel economic growth, while wasting and contaminating what we have.”

Read the full article on Business Day