SALDRU launches research into stimulus effects of Presidency public employment programme

Image: A still from the recording of the SALDRU and Agence Française de Développement research launch event on 7 February.

On the 7th of February SALDRU and Agence Française de Développement (AFD) launched new research into the stimulus effects of the Basic Education Employment Initiative (BEEI), which is the largest component of the Presidential Employment Stimulus (PES). The research, conducted by SALDRU’s Ihsaan Bassier and Joshua Budlender, examined how employment in the BEEI affected participant spending patterns, and then made extrapolations as to the kind of domestic economic activity this spending could support.

SALDRU was commissioned by the South African Presidency to conduct this research, and funded by AFD and the European Commission through the EU-AFD Research Facility on Inequalities. With the help of a variety of partners, the SALDRU researchers were able to identify how the programme affected participant spending at a large South African retailer. Joshua presented these research findings at the workshop at the University of Cape Town, where the Presidency’s Kate Philip introduced the PES and SALDRU’s Cally Ardington presented related research on how Funda Wande Teacher Assistants improved student performance in Limpopo.

The full (unedited) recording of the event is available here, while Ihsaan and Joshua’s working paper was posted in the AFD working paper series. Ihsaan and Joshua also published an op-ed about the research the following week in The Conversation.