‘Sub-contracting the public administration of water in South Africa: The metamorphosis of a policy network’, by Magalie Bourblanc in Gouvernement et action publique.

GovInn’s Senior Researcher Magalie Bourblanc published the article ‘Sub-contracting the public administration of water in South Africa: The metamorphosis of a policy network‘ in Gouvernement et action publique.

The role of consultants in South African water resource management is a striking phenomenon that pertains to all aspects of the policy-making process. At first sight, the outsourcing phenomenon seems to directly stem from the implementation of New Public Management reform in the post-Apartheid period. Yet, our socio-historical analysis of the State “at work” shows that this outsourcing phenomenon is actually part of the Department of Water Affairs’ institutional culture which, since the 1960s, has featured a tradition of collaboration with civil engineering consulting companies. Indeed, this interdependence is so great that it is fair to claim that the Department’s officials and engineer consultants belong to a common policy network that, through history, has been reshaping the frontiers between the public and the private. We examine the transformations of this policy network over time, stressing the influence of political factors on the evolution of the water policy configuration at various stages.

Read the whole article here: https://www.cairn.info/revue-gouvernement-et-action-publique-2018-2-p-75.htm

Foresight4food: Three lessons for better fishing

Decades of negative communication about hunger and hopelessness in developing countries has resulted in a general public’s perception that the fight against poverty does not work. There is a need to have new narratives that show that it is possible to change the world. People are searching for meaning and purpose in their lives – lives that are not solely defined by economics and business, but which also encompasses social cultural and environmental aspects, wrote Myriam Perez (Director of YPARD).

 

Read the full post here: https://ypard.net/2018-05-30/foresight4food-three-lessons-better-fishing

‘The African Continental Free Trade Area: An Opportunity for Informal Cross-Border Trade’, by Lily Sommer and Chris Nshimbi.

GovInn’s Director Chris Nshimbi co-authored together with Lily Sommer the article ‘The African Continental Free Trade Area: An Opportunity for Informal Cross-Border Trade‘ in Bridges Africa.

Informal cross-border trade (ICBT) can play a key role towards the attainment of the continent’s structural transformation and poverty reduction objectives contained in the African Union’s Agenda 2063. The informal economy employs the majority of Africans. A large share of people engaged in the informal economy operate as informal cross-border traders. ICBT contributes about 30-40 percent of total intra-regional trade in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region and 40 percent in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) region.[1]

In the absence of sufficient formal economic opportunities, ICBT is crucial to addressing vital issues of income generation, job creation, and food security, particularly for Africa’s most vulnerable people, such as women and youth, who usually constitute the majority of informal cross-border traders. In West and Central Africa, women represent nearly 60 percent of informal traders. In Southern Africa, they represent about 70 percent of them.[2] ICBT, which has proven to be more responsive to food crises and shocks when compared to formal trade, is largely practiced by the officially unemployed and micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), and is therefore also important for strategies of inclusion.

What may come as a surprise is that ICBT also offers significant opportunities in terms of economic diversification, value addition, and the development of competitive cross-border value chains. This is because the scope of ICBT is wide and extends beyond basic agricultural products, such as maize and raw milk, to also include manufactured goods (e.g. processed foods, clothes, electronics and car spares) and services (e.g. bicycle and car repairs, hairdressing, and artisanal work).

Read the full article here: https://www.ictsd.org/bridges-news/bridges-africa/news/the-african-continental-free-trade-area-an-opportunity-for-informal

GovInn and ESA-SSA at European Union in International Affairs 2018 (#EUIA18) – Brussels, Belgium

GovInn and ESA-SSA at EUIA

This year, the sixth conference on the European Union in International Affairs (EUIA) took place once again at the Royal Academy of Sciences in Brussels (Belgium). Over 300 members of the academic community gathered in the centre of the European city from 16 to 18 May 2018.

As in the previous 2016 edition, GovInn was well represented with a delegation comprising research fellows John Kotsopoulos and Frank Mattheis. For the European Studies Association of Sub-Sahara Africa (ESA-SSA) the two researchers organised a panel on rethinking EU-Africa relations, which was well-attended and covered in social media. In addition to presenting their research stemming from GovInn’s research project “EU-Africa Relations in a Changing Global Order (ERGO)”, the two researchers also served as discussants in this and another panel. The full programme can be found on the conference website.

The conference was also an ideal venue to advertise the ESA-SSA network to new members and to advance collaboration plans, ranging from joint future workshops to a trilateral Memorandum of Understanding in the making between the University of Marburg(Germany), the Catholic University of East Africa (Kenya) and GovInn.

The EUIA Conference is organised every two years by the Institut d’Études Européennes at the Université Libre de Bruxelles(IEE-ULB), the Institute for European Studies at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel(IES-VUB), theUnited Nations University Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies(UNU-CRIS) and Egmont – the Royal Institute for International Relations.

“Curbing Inequality Through Decolonising Knowledge Production in Higher Education in South Africa”, by Leon Mwamba in The Australasian Review of African Studies.

GovInn’s Research Fellow Leon Mwamba published the article “Curbing Inequality Through Decolonising Knowledge Production in Higher Education in South Africa” in The Australasian Review of African Studies.

In South Africa, the question of whether a Western education system can lead to the achievement of equality among citizens is quite a problematic one. Thus, the question that has since the advent of the post-apartheid South Africa been a subject of contestation among scholars, is that of, how can the higher education system that was founded on colonial and apartheid white supremacy and hegemony be transformed into a transformative tool that addresses inequalities characterising South African society in the democratic era? This article seeks to provide a de-colonial perspective of how the higher education system of the post-apartheid South Africa can be transformed to  different developmental needs of a heterogeneous population. The purpose is not to dictate answers, but to create avenues of (re)thinking the knowledge production in the South African higher education sector in the quest for an equal and inclusive society. The article’s key argument is that a higher education system such as that in South Africa which was founded on colonial and apartheid ideologies, interests and agendas needs a de-colonial transformation in order to respond to the developmental needs, challenges and aspirations of its heterogeneous population. After an engagement with the myths and assumptions of a decolonised world that conceals coloniality of knowledge, this article, delves into the South African higher education system and the quest for equality that confronts the country. The need to ‘unthink’ and ‘unlearn’ present forms of imagining higher education in South Africa is emphasised.

Read the full article here: http://afsaap.org.au/assets/vol39no1june2018_tshimpaka_53-80.pdf

Dickson Ajisafe graduates with a Master’s in African and European Cultural Relations.

ESA-SSA and GovInn’s Dickson AJisafe recently graduated with a Master’s in African and European Cultural Relations at the University of Pretoria‘s Autumn Graduation Ceremony. Dickson was the first Nigerian scholar to be awarded the Erasmus Plus Scholarship to study in Europe in 2016.

 

 

 

Read the full article here : http://www.up.ac.za/en/news/post_2669944-conquering-the-world-through-academic-excellence

‘What is “the Local”? Exploring grassroots justice systems as a means of understanding the local’, by Cori Wielenga in Kujenga Amani.

GovInn’s Senior Researcher  Cori Wielenga published the article ‘What is “the Local”? Exploring grassroots justice systems as a means of understanding the local’ in Kujenga Amani.

Although a lot of lip-service is given to the concept of local ownership and agency in interventions related to peacebuilding and transitional justice, what is not always well understood is that the local is embedded in its own systems of norms and values that may differ significantly from those that provide the basis for international interventions and national reforms.

 

Read the full article here: http://kujenga-amani.ssrc.org/2018/04/17/what-is-the-local-exploring-grassroots-justice-systems-as-a-means-of-understanding-the-local/

Book review ‘Creating the Third Force: Indigenous Processes of Peacemaking’, by Cori Wielenga.

GovInn’s Senior Researcher Cori Wielenga published the book review ‘Creating the Third Force: Indigenous Processes of Peacemaking‘, edited by Hamdesa Tuso and Maureen P Flaherty, in the South African Journal of International Affairs.

There is a growing awareness of the failure of the ‘global transitional justice project’1 and, more broadly, the ‘liberal peace’2 in post-conflict contexts in the global South. This failure has led to a renewed – or perhaps new – interest in indigenous approaches to peace and conflict resolution. Although this is not the framing that Hamdesa Tuso and Maureen Flaherty prioritise in Creating the Third Force, it is an important part of the context from which this edited volume emerges.

Rather than focusing on the transitional justice and liberal peacebuilding debate, the editors position this book within the emerging openness towards indigenous knowledge systems. They see the origins of this in the historical emergence of cultural relativism, an acceptance of a diversity of people holding legitimate belief systems outside of Christianity, and a growing interest in ‘traditional’ knowledge

Read the full review here : https://www-tandfonline-com.uplib.idm.oclc.org/doi/full/10.1080/10220461.2018.1412348

Evaluating ‘home grown’ research networks in Africa.

GovInn’s Senior Researcher Camilla Adelle published together with Nico Elema, Ereck Chakauya and David Benson the article ” Evaluating ‘home grown’ research networks in Africa” in the South African Journal of Science.

 

Attempts to improve the policy environment have led to a growing pressure on governments in Africa to embark on policymaking that is more evidence based and considers a wide spectrum of scientific and indigenous knowledge. Local – or ‘homegrown’ – research networks on the continent can help strengthen the role of scientific knowledge in policymaking by increasing the capacity of researchers and by enhancing the visibility and communication of the research produced. While a large number of regional and sub-regional research networks have sprung up in Africa, the mere existence of networks does not guarantee their success. In reality, the impact of research networks on the science-policy interface depends on how well the networks operate in practice. We present a framework for evaluating the effectiveness of research networks in a way that is comparable across networks.

 

 

 

Read the full article here: https://www.sajs.co.za/article/view/4814

 

Iris Nxumalo on ‘the role of the youth in African peacebuilding’ at the ‘Future of Peacebuilding’ event in Abuja, Nigeria

GovInn’s former emerging research, Iris Nxumalo, spoke to Wilton Park on the role of the youth in African peacebuilding.

 

 

 

 

Watch the full clip here: https://twitter.com/WiltonPark/status/976790070823936000