J-PAL Africa , based in SALDRU at the University of Cape Town, recently launched the Digital Identification and Finance Research Initiative (DigiFI Africa). Supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, this research fund is designed to study the impact of innovative government/ private sector payment systems and digital identification (ID) reforms on citizens and governments across Africa. The team is now seeking government partners and African Scholars who are interested in partnering with the initiative.
SALDRU’s Murray Leibbrandt co-Chairs the IUSSP Scientific Panel on Population, Poverty and Inequality together with Jocelyn Findlay of Harvard University. From 27-29 June 2019 the Institute for Social Research (ISR) at the University of Michigan played host to a large international conference organized by this Scientific Panel. SALDRU's Rocco Zizzamia presented joint work with Murray Leibbrandt and David Lam.
Over the past six months, a research consortium led by SALDRU has been supported by the Capacity Building Programme for Employment Promotion (CBPEP), to explore and apply lessons from the European Youth Guarantee model to the South African context. In July, the CBPEP supported a visit by members of the research and policy teams to Brussels to engage with EU experts from Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Finland and Ireland to share ideas and see what could be learned.
Towards the end of June, the fifth annual Siyaphumelela Conference took place at the Wanderers Club, Johannesburg. This conference provided a platform for those involved with Siyaphumelela to share and discuss the interventions they have undertaken over the last five years to tackle challenges in the university sector. SALDRU researchers Nicola Branson and Samantha Culligan presented the concept of a Stronger South African Nation website to the audience.
As part of the SALDRU-led research consortium to design a Basic Package of Support for young people who are not in education, employment or training, the project recently partnered with the youth leadership organisation, Activate!, to run workshops to gain a deeper insight into the challenges faced by young people in South Africa, their needs and their everyday experiences.
The Lumina Foundation set a goal for the US: The aim is for 60% of Americans between the ages of 25-64 to hold degrees, certificates or other high-quality postsecondary credentials by 2025. Lumina tracks the share of the population with such qualifications using the “Stronger Nation” interactive website. The Kresge Foundation is funding the Siyaphambili project within SALDRU to create a hub for post-school research in South Africa. One of the objectives is to develop the equivalent of a “Stronger South African Nation”, a user-friendly interface that can be used to track and monitor educational attainment.
South Africa is renowned for its stark and persistent unemployment level, especially among the youth. Many young people enter the labour force with limited skills due to low levels of school completion, limited access to post-school education and training, and poor post-school qualification completion rates. What do we know about where youth go to obtain their skills and where South Africans complete certificates, diplomas and degrees?
Women in Africa face substantial discrimination in the transport sector, both as transport users and as transport sector employees. This affects their wider access to work in every sector. Relevant skills acquisition, at an early age, is essential if women are to break through such barriers. A new multi-country research project aims to understand these challenges better.
The Economics of Tobacco Control Project (ETCP), which has been housed in SALDRU since its inception in 2011, will soon become an independent URC-accredited research unit in the School of Economics. From the very outset, the aim was to be an independent research unit, and the growth in the ETCP in the past years means that the formal ties with SALDRU will soon be officially broken.