Does research influence public policy and decision-making, and if so, how? This long debated question continues to be the subject of discussions among scholars, researchers and the international community of development agencies, donors and practitioners. For development agencies and donors, responses to this debate contribute to the larger question of how development aid affects public policies in the South. In over 35 years of supporting research in the South, Canada's International Development Research Centre has gained considerable experience in fostering research-policy links and carried out a learning-oriented evaluation to observe whether and how the research it was supporting was influencing public policy and decision-making.
Knowledge to Policy: Making the Most of Development Research encapsulates results of the evaluation and presents the key findings and summaries of 22 case studies from Asia, Africa and Latin America. It also addresses the methodology used in a reader-friendly, journalistic style, giving the reader a deeper grasp and understanding of the approaches, contexts, relationships and events. No other research-for-development publication has assessed such a wide variety of case studies of experiences from the developing world.
Subject Areas: Development Studies
This is the second working paper from GDN and ippr’s global research project, Development on the Move: Measuring and Optimising Migration’s Economic and Social Impacts. It is written with two purposes in mind: to present the first set of findings from the project and to illustrate the potential of the Development on the Move survey, providing a useful resource for the researchers we are working with in other countries, and to researchers outside this project.
Development on the Move is a large, innovative, policy-focused research project aiming to examine the impact of migration on development. It is run jointly by the Global Development Network, based in New Delhi, India, and the London-based ippr.
SAS2: A Guide to Collaborative Inquiry and Social Engagement represents a significant international effort to support the creation and mobilization of practical, authentic knowledge for social change. The guiding principle behind SAS2 (Social Analysis Systems, www.sas2.net) is that group dialogue and social inquiry are crucial for local and global development. Social issues must be addressed socially and in a multi-stakeholder mode, not by private interests and experts alone, and the insights that emerge fully integrated into processes of knowledge production, planning, and decision-making.
Part 1 outlines the concepts and skillful means needed to support multi-stakeholder dialogue. It also provides detailed instructions on how to integrate and ground collaborative inquiry in the projects, plans, evaluations and activities of multiple stakeholders. Part 2 presents a selection of techniques for collaborative inquiry and examples of real-life applications in South Asia and Latin America. The examples focus on a range of issues including land tenure, local economic development, agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and organizational development.
This book will be an invaluable resource for researchers, facilitators and activists working with people to solve problems and support inclusive inquiry and decision-making. It will also be useful to scholars and academics studying and teaching participatory action research in the Social Sciences.
Traditional leadership is an integral part of African society and is one of the oldest institutions of governance on the African Continent. The ushering in of a new constitutional dispensation in South Africa has placed it high on the agenda in terms of its continued recognition, protection and role beyond the apartheid era. Recent local government policy and legislative developments, notably the White Paper on Local Government; Local Government: Municipal Demarcation Act, 1998; Local Government: Municipal Structures Act, 1998; Local Government: Municipal Systems Act, 2000 and the Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Act, 2003 and the resultant provincial legislation has a marked impact on the institution of traditional leadership.
A key challenge presently and in the future is to unlock the development potential of traditional authorities and more specifically facilitate co-operative local governance. Traditional leaders can work in collaboration with the municipalities, elected councillors and community-based organisations to facilitate development and enhance service delivery thereby promoting the quality of life of the rural populace. At present traditional leadership is not “officially participating” in local governance until such time that the national government clarifies its role in local government. Consequently, the opportunity to stimulate and enhance development in the traditional authority areas is being missed as there has been little participation from the institution of traditional leadership in this initiative. How should these issues be addressed? What is the impact on service delivery, particularly in traditional authority areas? Are there any lessons that can be learnt from the African experience? The role of traditional leadership in local governance has to be finalized without any further delay, particularly in relation to integrated development planning and related development initiatives.
A highly successful two day conference jointly hosted by the Democracy Development Programme (DDP) and the School of Public Administration of the University of Kwazulu Natal was held in Durban on the 30– 31 July 2007 to address these critical issues. The proceedings have since been published in a book. The five parts of the Book are: Introduction; Traditional Leadership and Governance Re–Contextualised; Review of the African Experience; South African Experience: Review of Recent Legislative and Policy Developments; Traditional Leadership and Local Economic Development and Traditional Leadership and Service Delivery. The Book highlights key issues that must be addressed, namely:
- recognition of traditional leaders should be revisited with particular emphasis on the allocation of powers;
- status of amakhosi had to be respected : are they advisers or rulers?;
- impact of westernization and modernity on African traditions should be reconsidered;
- government support should be accelerated to enhance capacity in traditional authority areas; and
- collaboration between government structures and traditional leadership is critical and that partnership has to be strengthened.
Contact PS Reddy (Reddyp1@ukzn.ac.za) for more information.
In 2003, following a Parliamentary announcement by President Thabo Mbeki, a new cadre of public servants—community development workers—was introduced in South Africa to serve as agents of change within local government municipalities charged with the responsibility for social and economic development. This paper examines the context of this initiative, the role of community development workers, the progress of the Community Development Workers Program, and the challenges faced by this emerging occupational group. It begins with a discussion of community development theory and highlights the difficulties for community development workers as state employees whose goal is to foster support for and participation in government-initiated programs. It argues that community development practice can be a far cry from the sometime hortatory theory. Given the institutional confusion within which they operate and harsh practice realities in South Africa, success seems most unlikely.