On Wednesday the 14th of October, Prof Anton Ströh, Vice-Principal for Institutional Planning of the University of Pretoria, and Dr Michel Eddi, CEO of CIRAD (The French agricultural research and international cooperation organization working for the sustainable development in the South) have signed a five-year agreement establishing GovInn – the Center for the Study of Governance Innovation – as a joint center.
GovInn is the first research institution in Africa dedicated entirely to governance innovation. It analyses and accompanies the complexity of decision-making processes in contemporary political and economic affairs. It focuses on cutting-edge research, as well as on advocacy and support mechanisms for innovative governance.
As opposed to the more traditional ‘government’, the idea of governance presupposes a fragmentation and diffusion of authority. In this regard, decision making, policy development and governance overall, being multi-actor and multi-level processes, have become more complex and need innovative thinking and support instruments. Some of the most promising innovations in contemporary governance have to do with how we redesign our economic model and, how we find better ways to share limited resources, and which instruments to develop to support innovative governance structures. GovInn focuses on Innovation in the following areas: i) New Economic Governance, ii) Governance of the Commons, iii) Transboundary Governance and iv) Security Governance.
To promote the study of governance innovation, the University of Pretoria and CIRAD are now joining hands to establish GovInn as a joint center, reaching a critical mass with regards human resources, funding and experience. The aim is to become a recognized center of excellence in and for Africa, dedicated entirely to governance innovation, as an ‘innovation laboratory’ capable of generating new thinking about governance and development.