ATLAS ‘Rural Africa in motion. Dynamics and drivers of migration South of the Sahara’ by CIRAD, FAO & GovInn, 02.11.2017

The Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation, FAO & CIRAD launched the first atlas on rural migration in sub-Saharan Africa in Rome, Italy.

Through a series of maps and in-depth case studies, the 20 authors of the atlas, representing different research institutions, think tanks and international organizations from and outside Africa, explore the complexity of the interrelated causes that drive people in Africa to leave their homes. They shed light on regional migration dynamics and perspectives and foster understanding of rural migration.


More information about the launch can be found here.
The atlas can be downloaded here. 

GovInn has a new constitution

The Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation has a new constitution that establishes its structures and relationships with the university and others, such as CIRAD. The Senate at the University of Pretoria approved this new constitution in September 2017. For those interested, you can read the document below.

New GovInn Constitution (2017)

‘Twenty years of ecosystem services: How far have we come and how far do we still need to go?’, by Lorenzo Fioramonti et al in Ecosystem Services


GovInn’s Director Lorenzo Fioramonti published together with others such as Robert Costanza the article ‘Twenty years of ecosystem services: How far have we come and how far do we still need to go?‘ in the journal Ecosystem Services

It has been 20 years since two seminal publications about ecosystem services came out: an edited book by Gretchen Daily and an article in Nature by a group of ecologists and economists on the value of the world’s ecosystem services. Both of these have been very highly cited and kicked off an explosion of research, policy, and applications of the idea, including the establishment of this journal. This article traces the history leading up to these publications and the subsequent debates, research, institutions, policies, on-the-ground actions, and controversies they triggered. It also explores what we have learned during this period about the key issues: from definitions to classification to valuation, from integrated modelling to public participation and communication, and the evolution of institutions and governance innovation. Finally, it provides recommendations for the future. In particular, it points to the weakness of the mainstream economic approaches to valuation, growth, and development. It concludes that the substantial contributions of ecosystem services to the sustainable wellbeing of humans and the rest of nature should be at the core of the fundamental change needed in economic theory and practice if we are to achieve a societal transformation to a sustainable and desirable future.

Read the full article here:!

Nelson Alusala

Book discussion: “The New Politics of Regionalism” and “Post Western World”

On Friday, 3 February the Center for the Study of Governance Innovation hosted roundtable discussion to promote two recently released books, one edited volume by GovInn’s Dr Frank Mattheis and the other by visiting scholar Dr Oliver Stuenkel, Associate Professor of International Relations at the Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV) in São Paulo. The discussion was moderated by University of Pretoria Department of Political Sciences lecturer Ms Sithembile Mbete and received presentations by Dr Mattheis on his edited volume, “The New Politics of Regionalism: Perspectives from Africa, Latin America and Asia-Pacific” (Routledge) and Dr Stuenkel on his book, “Post Western World” (Polity) before engaging with guests in an open table discussion.




Book Discussion: “The Rise of New Powers in Global and Regional Politics?”

The Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation (GovInn) and the Department of Political Sciences at the University of Pretoria invite you to join us on Friday 3 February for a discussion on the changing landscape of international relations with Professor Oliver Stuenkel (Getulio Vargas Foundation) and Dr Frank Mattheis (GovInn) who have both recently released books on the topic. The session will be moderated by Department of Political Sciences lecturer Sithembile Mbete.

In this provocative book Post-Western World: How Emerging Powers Are Remaking Global Order (Polity, 2016), Oliver Stuenkel argues that our understanding of global order and predictions about its future are limited because we seek to imagine the post-Western world from a parochial Western-centric perspective. Such a view is increasingly inadequate in a world where billions of people regard Western rule as a temporary aberration, and the rise of Asia as a return to normalcy.

The volume The New Politics of Regionalism. Perspectives from Africa, Latin America and Asia-Pacific (Routledge, 2017), edited by Ulf Engel, Heidrun Zinecker, Frank Mattheis, Antje Dietze and Thomas Plötze, brings together innovative contributions that focus on the role of regional actors and the making and interplay of regionalisms in the processes of reshaping social spaces within an evolving global order. Analysing these new regionalisms from the perspective of the Global South, the contributions in the volume departs from state-centred perspectives and focusing on the transformations and constructions of regionalisms across varying spatial dimensions.


Oliver Stuenkel is an Associate Professor of International Relations at the Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV) in São Paulo.

Frank Mattheis is a Senior Researcher at the Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation (GovInn) at the University of Pretoria.

Sithembile Mbete is a Lecturer in the Department of Political Sciences at the University of Pretoria.


Date: Friday, 3 February 2017

Time: 14h00 – 16h00

Venue: GovInn Headquarters, Old College House, University of Pretoria Main Campus (Hatfield)




More information on these books:



Poet Jessica Mbangeni paying tribute to Adv Madonsela

The Thuli Madonsela Good Governance Lecture, 1 November 2016

On November 1, 2016 the Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation (GovInn) in association with corporate sponsors Wiphold, held the inaugural Thuli Madonsela Good Governance Lecture at the St Georges hotel in Irene. This inaugural lecture was given by Advocate Madonsela herself, who has inspired dialogue around good governance in South Africa during the course of her tenure as Public Protector. Advocate Madonsela addressed the question of what good governance is, who governs and for whom. This event will be held annually, with good governance leaders and practitioners being identified and invited to speak on the importance of governance innovation as we strive towards good and ethical leadership in South Africa.

Below is a collection of images from the event.

The full audio and video of the lecture will be made available on the website soon.


Scared of a downgrade? Why it is time to question the politics of numbers

The Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) will host GovInn director Lorenzo Fioramonti on the 3rd of November 2016 as part of their HSRC seminar series in collaboration with the University of Pretoria. In this seminar, he provides a critique of the current ‘data fever’, especially in the context of credit ratings and international benchmarks, showing both the direct consequences and indirect implications of the increasing power of numbers. At the same time, it investigates innovative attempts to resist the invasion of mainstream statistics by providing alternative measurements or rejecting quantification altogether. An innovative and timely exposé of the politics, power and contestation of numbers in everyday life.

Kindly RSVP by 1 November 2016

Pretoria : HSRC Video Conference, 1st floor HSRC Library Human Sciences Research Council, 134 Pretorius Street, Pretoria. Arlene Grossberg, Tel: (012) 302 2811, e-mail:


Nepad Atlas

Atlas – A New Emerging Rural World in Africa (2nd edition)

The Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation (GovInn) and Centre de coopération internationale en recherche agronomique pour le développement (CIRAD) are proud to announce the results of their scholarly collaboration with NEPAD on a new, revised and supplemented edition of the atlas A New Emerging Rural World – An Overview of Rural Change in Africa. The atlas was officially launched at the second Africa Rural Development Forum, organised by NEPAD in Yaoundé from 8 to 10 September 2016. The atlas reports on the dynamics at play within the rural world in Africa and on territorial restructuring within the continent.

This second, revised and supplemented edition of the atlas A New Emerging Rural World takes stock of rural restructuring in Africa, both North and sub-Saharan. It relates data on demographics, population, urbanization and resource use with spatial and economic dynamics, both on a continental scale and through several regional examples. It is a totally original tool, and is intended to fuel the debate on the main regional and continental development issues.

It is published jointly by CIRAD and NEPAD (New Partnership for Africa’s Development, a technical body of the African Union), with financial support from the Agence française de développement (AFD), and fits in with NEPAD’s new Rural Futures Programme, which is intended to support territorial dynamics and structural change for sustainable development of the continent.

The atlas comprises 24 spreads and 77 illustrations, and is the fruit of collaboration between 53 authors, 23 from CIRAD and 20 representatives of African institutions (including six GovInn researchers). It will be supplemented and updated regularly.

The atlas was widely praised by the participants in the 2nd Africa Rural Development Forum organized by NEPAD in Yaoundé, Cameroon, from 8 to 10 September 2016, and is due to be presented shortly to the European Union, the main donors in the rural sector and African Heads of State at the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa in late January 2017.
It is available on line, in English and French.

For more information on the Atlas as well as a look at the fourth infographic spread click here, or the NEPAD webpage here, to view the other corresponding spreads visit the CIRAD webpage here.

Fees Can Fall Prize to be awarded to innovative students



The Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation (GovInn) will launch a ‘Fees can fall’ annual prize starting in 2017. The award will target students who have developed innovative initiatives aimed at fostering wellbeing in their universities. The details of the call for applications will be published at the end of October 2016. Stay tuned for more.