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Challenging inequalities through policy relevant academic research.

NEWSLETTER

December 2019
Dear friends,

Each month of this year it has been our great privilege to report, through the newsletters, on the work of the extraordinarily talented and committed team of people that work in SALDRU. We are sure that you will agree with us that these communications reflect a year in which we have dedicated our expertise to making a difference; via our research, our training and capacity building, and our participation in various fora and policy dialogues.
 
Our December newsletter is very brief, as the SALDRU team takes a well-deserved break. At the start of the year, we had concerns about spamming you with material. But your engagement with us in response to these newsletters has itself been amazing. It is a privilege too for us to acknowledge this, and to tell all of you how much this means to us in the trenches of SALDRU. It is energising and inspiring for us to have this engaged relationship with a broader community that shares our commitment to improving the wellbeing of all in our country and on our continent.
 
We are sure that you too are exhausted at the end of a year in which you have given your all, and we wish you a restful, rejuvenating and festive break.
 
Best wishes,
Murray Leibbrandt
Director, SALDRU
Vimal Ranchhod
Deputy Director, SALDRU
SALDRU NEWS

J-PAL co-founders awarded Nobel Prize

Image: Pixabay on Pexels

This week, the Nobel Prize in Economics was awarded to Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) co-founders Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo, and J-PAL affiliated professor Michael Kremer. The J-PAL Africa office, based in SALDRU, celebrates their win this week. On 8 December, the laureates delivered their Nobel Prize lectures. Abhijit Banerjee, one of the two J-PAL Africa Scientific Directors, spoke about Field Experiments and the Practice of Economics and Esther Duflo presented on Field Experiments and the Practice of Policy, highlighting one of J-PAL Africa's main policy projects - Teaching at the Right Level. Lastly, Michael Kremer spoke about Experimentation, Innovation, and Economics. Read more about the Nobel Prize in Economics.

NEW PUBLICATIONS

The agency and resilience of NEET youth and what we can do to support them. Evidence from a synthesis of qualitative research with young people in South Africa

Adding voices of young people to statistical analysis allows for a more in-depth understanding of how they cope with situations of deprivation and ‘NEET-hood’, and what solutions they themselves suggest. This working paper consolidates available qualitative data on the barriers to youth well-being in South Africa, and young people’s request for supportive interventions. Access here.

Citation: Baldry, K., Graham, L., & De Lannoy, A. (2019) The agency and resilience of NEET youth and what we can do to support them. Evidence from a synthesis of qualitative research with young people in South Africa. Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit Working Paper No. 253. Cape Town: SALDRU, University of Cape Town & Centre for Social Development in Africa, University of Johannesburg.

Towards a Basic Package of Support for Youth in South Africa. Policy review report and recommendations on an institutional approach

This policy review provides an overview of the relevant departments, ministries and agencies that have a mandate to serve youth. It proposes an overarching institutional framework that could ensure sufficient resource allocation to a more comprehensive, integrated approach to support young people who are NEET in the country; and safeguard the quality, integrity and coherence of a programmatic intervention when rolled out at scale. Access here.

Citation: Graham, L., De Lannoy, A., Rosa, S. & Breakey, J. (2019) Towards a Basic Package of Support for Youth in South Africa. Policy review report and recommendations on an institutional approach. Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit Working Paper No. 254. Cape Town: SALDRU, University of Cape Town & Centre for Social Development in Africa, University of Johannesburg.

For more SALDRU working papers, journal article contributions and policy briefs, please visit OpenSALDRU.

SPOTLIGHT

ARUA Conference

Photo: Prof. Vimal Ranchhod

In November, the SALDRU Director (also the Director of the African Centre of Excellence for Inequality Research – ACEIR) participated in the Second Biennial Conference of the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA), held in the Kenyan capital. The theme of the conference was (defining) the role of research universities in the fourth industrial revolution, and Murray Leibbrandt participated in a policy roundtable as part of the final session of the conference.

Workshop on Higher Education Funding and Resources

Over the period of 2009 – 2016, total nominal income and expenditure in South African public universities increased by 88% and 98% respectively. Comparatively, CPI inflation between June 2009 and June 2016 was approximately 44%. Image: Prof. Vimal Ranchhod.

In late November, Prof. Vimal Ranchhod participated in a Kresge funded executive leadership workshop on 'Higher Education Funding and Resources'. The workshop was organized by Universities South Africa as part of its Higher Education Leadership and Management (HELM) programme. Prof. Ranchhod's presentation focussed on three different aspects of higher education funding. Firstly, demographic trends suggest that the demand for higher education in South Africa will continue to increase for the foreseeable future. Secondly, operating costs have been increasing substantially above CPI inflation due to increases in personnel costs. And thirdly, the challenges associated with the recruitment and retention of highly skilled personnel are likely to become more acute as the returns to higher education in the general labour market have been increasing significantly in the recent past.

IN THE MEDIA
Business Day, 26 November 2019
Gender equality a pipe dream unless men relinquish their patriarchal dividend
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