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The futures of Governance and the Governance of the Future

English version

The primary objective of this research project is to i) take stock of what the futures of governance could look like, ii) explore to what extent the use of anticipation and the development of futures literacy in governance can be by itself  a governance innovation, and iii) explore and discuss implications  for present and future governance of the future. It is also an applied research project whose second objective is to connect this knowledge generation process with empirical work, in dialogic way, with a particular, but not exclusive, focus on Africa. For this purpose, it is designed to be a process of collective investigation involving i) people with a taste for future-oriented postures and interested in the issue of governance and ii) people facing governance issues who are interested in using the future.
A fuller description of the project can be seen in this draft concept note for building and engaging an extended peer community into this collaborative research project. It seeks to involve people who have future-oriented competences and an interest in governance innovation, or people who are working in the field of governance and have an interest in future-oriented approaches. It is a conceptual and action research with a special focus on Africa, on territorial development and on the SDGs.
If you want to know more or/and you are interested in joining and contributing, please contact robin.bourgeois@cirad.fr

Access the draft concept note here (English version)

Version Francaise

Les futurs de la gouvernance et la gouvernance du futur

L’objectif principal de ce projet de recherche est de: i) faire un état des lieux sur les futurs de la gouvernance; ii) explorer dans quelle mesure l’utilisation de l’anticipation et une culture du futur peuvent être des innovations en gouvernance, iii) explorer et discuter les implications pour la gouvernance actuelle et à venir du futur. C’est aussi un projet de recherche appliquée dont le deuxième objectif est de relier ce processus de génération de connaissances à un travail empirique, de manière dialogique, avec un accent particulier, mais non exclusif, sur l’Afrique. A cette fin, il est conçu comme un processus d’investigation collective impliquant i) les personnes ayant un goût pour l’anticipation et intéressées par la question de la gouvernance et ii) les personnes confrontées aux problèmes de gouvernance et intéressées par l’anticipation.
Une description plus complète du projet est accessible dans cette note conceptuelle provisoire visant à construire et à engager une communauté de pairs étendue dans ce projet de recherche collaboratif. Un accent particulier y sera mis sur l’Afrique, sur le développement territorial et sur les ODD.
Si vous souhaitez en savoir plus et / ou si vous souhaitez vous inscrire et contribuer, contactez robin.bourgeois@cirad.fr.


Accédez à la note conceptuelle ici (version Française)

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Policy Brief: ‘The end of the global transitional justice project: What future for justice in Africa?’ by Cori Wielenga and Chris Nshimbi

GovInn’s latest policy brief: ‘The end of the global transitional justice project: What future for justice in Africa?’ by Govinn’s Senior Researcher Cori Wielenga and Deputy Director Chris Nshimbi

This policy brief makes the case for the provision of more appropriate support to the mechanisms and forms of justice practiced in communities by people at the grassroots during periods of transition, instead of looking at how to integrate informal justice systems into the existing normative transitional justice framework

Read the full policy brief below.

9421 UP ISPA Policy Brief HR

‘Everyone should be a Madonsela’, 02.10.2016

In his latest op-ed for Business Day, GovInn director Lorenzo Fioramonti reflects on the legacy of former Public Protector Advocate Thuli Madonsela and considers what it means to practice good governance. Are strong institutions, governments or individuals responsible for this and how does the future of South Africa, our institutional governance and  our future leaders look from here on in? Read the full article here.

Inaugural Thuli Madonsela Good Governance Public Lecture

GovInn director Lorenzo Fioramonti and senior research fellow Prince Mashele with Adv Madonsela.

GovInn director Lorenzo Fioramonti and senior research fellow Prince Mashele with Adv Madonsela.

The Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation (GovInn) and the University of Pretoria are proud to announce the inaugural Thuli Madonsela Good Governance Public Lecture with former Public Protector Adv Thuli Madonsela. An esteemed official who has given her all to the nation deserves appreciation by a grateful public. Given Adv Madonsela’s contribution to strengthening governance at a challenging at time in the history of South Africa, the University of Pretoria through its prestigious Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation has judged it fit to formalize regular remembrances of the good deeds of Adv Madonsela, who has left a positive mark on the face of South African society. Once every year this prestigious lecture will be presented by a shining international or local good governance champion whose work embodies the indomitability of spirit and moral zeal that characterized Adv Madonsela’s tenure as Public Protector. The invite-only event will take place on 1 November and will be broadcast live on PowerFM and ENCA.

Africa remains a target as Global South ‘land rush’ moves to production

“Africa remains a target as Global South ‘land rush’ moves to production” The Conversation, 11.10.2016

This article was originally published on The Conversation

Now, almost ten years have after the term “land grabbing” first entered the popular imagination, large-scale land acquisitions remain shrouded in secrecy.

The Land Matrix Initiative aims to shine some light in the deals by providing open access to information on intended, concluded, and failed land acquisitions that have taken place since the year 2000. Over recent years, both the quality and the quantity of the data have improved considerably.

This led us to take a fresh look at the current trends in international large-scale land acquisitions.

The start of production

The Land Matrix records more than 1,000 deals covering 26.7 million hectares of contracted land, equal to about 2% of the arable land on Earth.

Most of these deals cultivate pure food crops, and crops that have multiple uses, such as oil seeds. Palm oil is the single most important crop driving large-scale land acquisitions.

Palm oil production in Côte d’Ivoire. Thierry Gouegnon/Reuters

One of the most striking things we found about land deals is their increasing rate of implementation. While speculation was discussed as one of the main drivers of the “rush for land” in earlier years, our data indicates that about 70% of the deals have now started activities on the ground.

Compared to previous figures published in 2012, the number of operational projects has almost doubled. For most deals, it takes less than three years to enter the production phase.

Development of size under contract and size under operation. Authors’ calculation based on the Land Matrix data, April 2016, Author provided

For a subset of deals – 330 out of 1000 – we are familiar with the area under production. This means we are able to look into the implementation of these deals over recent years.

The chart above shows that while the area under contract increased rapidly since 2004, (red bars), the area under production has only increased since 2011 (blue bars). Today, about 55% of the contracted area is under production.

Africa remains a target

Africa remains the most important target area of land acquisitions, with deals concluded in many countries across the continent.

Africa accounts for 42% of the deals, and 10 million hectares of land. Land acquisitions are concentrated along important rivers such as the Niger and the Senegal rivers, and in East Africa.

The second most important region is Eastern Europe, mostly due to the large average size of land per deal: 96 deals covering 5.1 million hectares of concluded deals. One single deal in Ukraine by the company UkrLandFarming covers an area of 654,000 hectares alone.

Another emerging trend is that investors from the Global South have gained in importance. Malaysia is now the leading investor country, with Singapore at number four (the USA and UK are second and third). Global South investors show a strong preference for investment in their own region.

Most investors are still based in Western Europe, and their interests in 315 concluded deals cover nearly 7.3 million hectares. Private sector investors account for more than 70% of the concluded deals. So we know that governments are not the main driver of large-scale land acquisitions.

But investors are part of complex chains, which often include state-owned entities. This means the indirect impact of governments through these entities, and also through policy and trade agreements, is likely bigger than what we can see in the data.

Increased competition

We find that land acquisitions take place in relatively highly populated areas, dominated by existing croplands. About one-third of the area acquired was formerly used for smallholder agriculture – implying an increasing competition over land use between investors and local communities.

We will only see the full impact of the deals in years to come. Positive impacts of large-scale land acquisitions generally include more local jobs and better access to infrastructure. On the negative side, loss of access to land and natural resources, increased conflict over livelihoods and greater inequality are frequent issues.

Given their increasing rate of implementation, the topic of land acquisitions remains hugely important, with many deals entering the production stages for the first time. The fact that land deals often target areas that have been used before hints at considerable socioeconomic and environmental implications for the target regions. And the more we know about these deals, the better we can understand how they will affect local people.

 

Robin Bourgeois

‘Brexit opportunity for Britain to find the courage to change’, Business Day 27.05.2016

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THERE is much talk about a potential exit of the UK from the European Union (EU), which will be decided by British citizens through a referendum in June. There are a number of unanswered questions over how this may affect Europe-Africa relations.

The latest polls indicate a neck-and-neck battle, with voters divided on the issue in roughly equal percentages. Politicians are split between those wanting to stay in Europe provided that Britain’s special status is preserved, and those who call for a unilateral exit regardless of the conditions offered. Only a minority believes in the intrinsic value of a united continent. This is perhaps not surprising for a country that has never been enthusiastic about the European integration project.

Please click here to read the entire article.

“What next for environmentalism?”

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Institute for Futures Research will be hosting a debate entitled “what next for environmentalism?” which considers the relevance of the environmentalism narrative to a broader audience and the role of the environmental movement in the achievement of an equitable future. Issues such as the role of ecomodernism in creating a new narrative for environmental sustainability and the question of a more integrated view of the environment in economic development will form part of the discussions.

Participating in the debate is GovInn friend and We-Africa partner, Saliem Fakir, head of the Policy and Futures Unit at the WWF South Africa.

Gauteng-Invite

 

Date: Thursday 2 June, 2016

Time: 15:30 for 16:00-18:00

Venue: CSIR International Convention Centre, 1 Meiring Naude Road, Pretoria,

RSVP: Nazirah Davids, ndavids@wwf.org.za

“The state of Ubuntu in South Africa: driver of change or buzzword?” 23 Nov 2015

On Monday 23 November, The Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation, in conjunction with the Department of Political Science at the University of Pretoria, hosted a one day public discussion to position the state of Ubuntu in South Africa. The meeting was attending my many well known academic and independent thinkers on the subject of Ubuntu, and below we have short gallery.

To see the full programme click here.

 

 

Lorenzo Fioramonti speaking in Austria about political alternatives to a GDP-focused world

VIDEO: Beyond GDP and political alternatives

Watch GovInn Director Lorenzo Fioramonti speaking about political alternatives to a GDP-focused world at an event hosted by Impulszentrum Zukunftsfähiges Wirtschaften on 9 October 2015, in Graz, Austria.