business plan for the hsrc human sciences research council hsrc 2008 09 n.
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Business Plan for the HSRC Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) 2008/09

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Business Plan for the HSRC Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) 2008/09. Introduction. Business plan informed by Strategic Plan New HSRC Act National priorities- presented in parliament on the State of the Nation Ten year innovation plan Review of the HSRC. Organisational overview.

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  • Business plan informed by
    • Strategic Plan
    • New HSRC Act
    • National priorities- presented in parliament on the State of the Nation
    • Ten year innovation plan
    • Review of the HSRC
organisational overview
Organisational overview
  • Vision….a human and social sciences research council serving as a knowledge hub where public policy and discourse on current and future challenges for South Africa and the African continent are independently researched, analysed and informed, and where research-based solutions to human and social problems are developed.
organizational overview cont
Organizational overview, cont


….a non-partisan organisation that provides critical information to different role players to facilitate informed decisions.

….generate scientific knowledge, providing independent information, free from political, religious and/or racial bias.

main functions of the hsrc
Main Functions of the HSRC
  • To undertake, or promote and co-ordinate research on behalf of the State or any person or authority.
  • To advise the Minister (and key decision-makers) in respect to the undertaking and promotion, of social scientific research and its utilisation for the benefit of the country.
  • To co-operate with departments of State, universities and other education institutions, as well as other persons and authorities for the promotion and conduct of research.
  • To co-operate with persons and authorities in other countries conducting or promoting research in the human sciences.
  • To publish or encourage the publication of research results….. Current HSRC Act
strategic objectives
Strategic objectives
  • Consolidate and strengthen its public-purpose research activities
  • Focus on national priority issues partly through policy analysis unit and evidence-based demonstration centres.
  • Strengthen ties with HEI and continental institutions
  • Increase impact of HSRC work
  • Promote and affirm research excellence
  • Contribute to human capital development
  • Accelerate transformation in the HSRC
  • Retain and empower critical staff and skills in the HSRC.
  • Ensure the financial sustainability of the HSRC
centre for africa s social progress
Centre for Africa’s Social Progress
  • CASP is intended to become a continentalcentre of excellence that attracts leading African scholars and Africans in the Diaspora to reflect on critical issues of Africa’s social progress.
  • CASP will also serve as a platform for engagement with African leaders and other senior policy-makers. The way in which CASP is conceptualised therefore complements both the objectives of the Constitutive Act of the AU and the goals of NEPAD; and takes into account the continental purview contained in the new HSRC Act.
achievements to date eg
Achievements to date (eg.)
  • Work of Employment Growth and Development Initiative feeds directly into AsgiSA priorities and work, aimed at halving unemployment by 2014
  • Work on Employment Scenarios was featured in the October 2007 cover story of the Financial Mail, with its editor referring to EGDI’s Employment Scenarios as the ‘top economics story of the year’
  • PAU conducted policy dialogue on national health insurance and prepared policy documents to inform policy
achievements to date
Achievements to date
  • The Western Cape Department of Social Development has released its Integrated Care and Protection Plan for Children. The Plan is the culmination of CYFSD research on child protection over the past three years.
  • Project on extent and use of child pornography in South Africa, and commissioned by the Department of Home Affairs has been completed. The study focused on risks to children of exposure to perpetrators via the internet and mobile phones. The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs made reference to this study in the budget speech of 7 June 2007: “The results ….. will further inform both the task team's programme of action as well as the agenda for the planned Conference on Child Pornography in later this year.”
achievements to date eg1
Achievements to date (eg)
  • Emphasis on research excellence: During 2006/07 the ratio of peer-reviewed article in internationally-accredited journals per researcher (SRS/SRM or higher) was 1.11
  • Free downloads of publications are available from the HSRC Press website, alongside the option for conventional book orders
  • Free access to the HRD data warehouse and results from the national R&D survey (
  • Successful completion of pilot study under the Data Curation project made 2003 “South African Social Attitudes Surveys” (SASAS) available to the broader research community for free downloads and on-line manipulation
  • CeSTII completed the seminal NACI study “Benefits of Publicly Funded R&D” that will inform funding policy toward science, technology and innovation
new challenges
New Challenges
  • Ensure appropriate communication of, and compliance with, the new HSRC Act
  • Develop terms of reference for the 2009 HSRC institution-wide review
  • Address the need to promote the humanities using history, philosophy, arts, culture, heritage, language, religion and tradition to gain new insights into our society and make sense of our lives
  • Play a critical leading & facilitation role in the development of the human and social dynamics part of the 10 year plan
key challenges for 200 8 0 9 to 20 10 11
Key Challenges for 2008/09to 2010/11
  • Establishment of Centres of Excellence: Research Demonstration Sites
    • Centre for poverty, employment and growth (CPEG),
    • Centre for service delivery (CSD),
    • Centre for education quality improvement (CEQI) and
    • Centre for Africa’s social progress (CASP
center for poverty employment growth
Center for Poverty, Employment& Growth
  • Evidence-based employment scenarios:
  • Scenarios for employment and incomes
  • Indicators for the development path
  • Critical factors in reducing the inter-generational poverty cycle: the global experience.
  • Projections of immigration from the rest of Africa and policy implications
  • Employment creation, sector strategiesand reducing economic bias
  • Poverty and cost of living
  • Labour markets
centre for service delivery
Centre for Service Delivery
  • CSD will launch an action research project aimed at producing evidence-based knowledge and demonstrations leading to local interventions that will have a significant impact on the service delivery problem in the country and elsewhere in Africa.
  • Focus areas
    • To conduct scientific research into the nature of and key trends in South Africa’s system of service delivery
    • To undertake action research to diagnose and address service delivery challenges;
    • To undertake case studies in which various approaches to improving service delivery are assessed, modelled and alternatives considered through a number of pilot interventions;
    • To provide practical solutions to the continuing problems of achieving universal access, sustainable services and quality services.
centre for education quality improvement
Centre for Education Quality Improvement
  • The goal of CEQI is to support governmentand other key role-players by enhancing evidence-informed decision making processes for implementing effective strategies to improve education quality for all South African learners.
  • Focus Areas
    • Improving reading, writing and numeracy in South African schools
    • Development of systems and key indicators to monitor functioning of schools
    • Impact of free education on education quality in South African schools
the teacher education project
The teacher education project
  • At the macro level there is no absolute numerical shortage of teachers. But at the disaggregated level, there are shortages: of mathematics and science teachers; of language teachers; of teachers in certain rural areas; of teachers in certain schools, etc. The implication is that there is a need to shift investigation from an analysis of absolute systemic numbers of teachers to an analysis of shortages of teachers at school and classroom level.
  • More pertinently, however, there is a need to shift the entire debate about teacher shortages from a numbers game to an investigation of teacher quality. In these terms there isunequivocally a shortageof teaching knowledge and skills in South Africa.
  •  If the shortages are quality-related, then the emphasis needs to be on improving the quality of teaching. The quality of teacher education – in-service, pre-service and distance education – accordingly all become significant.
the dol project on skills development and equity in the workplace
The DoL project on skills development and equity in the workplace
  • We have instituted massive projects to identify the scarce and critical skills in the country; the skills base for the key sectors in the country; the evaluation of the learnerships; determining the training patters in small and medium enterprises; measuring the pool of designated groups that are suitably qualified in various sectors and occupational categories.
  • (UCT): Looking at Labour legislation; informal economy; Working conditions and poverty.
  • (WITS): Progress on the implementation of the Equity Act; Training of Masters student to provide analysis for the World of Work.
student retention and labour market destination
Student retention and labour market destination
  • Massive survey in 7 universities of why students drop out and how they get absorbed in the labour market
new policy dialogue developmental state 4 6 june 08
New policy dialogue - Developmental State, 4-6 June ‘08
  • There is no consensus among South African policy-makers and academics alike on the nature, policy objectives and institutional characteristics of a democratic developmental state. This, is likely tomake it difficult for South Africa to construct a democratic developmental state. The objectives are:
  • To contribute to theoretical insights on developmental state.
  • To contextualised the developmental state to meet the needs of South Africa.
  • To highlight how a democratic developmental state can address the challenges of the second economy (in other words the challenge of poverty).
  • To facilitate an interaction between senior South African government officials and some of the leading international scholars on the developmental state.
  • To highlight how a democratic developmental state can address the challenges of the second economy (in other words the challenge of poverty).
  • To enrich the knowledge of the South African government to enable it construct a democratic developmental state.
  • To highlight the complementarities between a developmental state and a knowledge-based economy
objectives of centre for africa s social progress cont
Objectives of Centre for Africa’s social progress, cont
  • Contextualize and conceptualize social progress in Africa in order for the continent effectively respond to its developmental challenges;
  • Theorize an alternative vision of African development that conceptually emphasizes the complementarities and synergies social progress and economic development;
  • Undertake and foster research; and gather, analyse and publish data relevant to Africa’s social progress;
  • Help build research capacity, infrastructure and collaborations that further Africa’s social progress;
  • Promote evidence-informed policy making and stimulate public debate about Africa’s social progress;
  • Facilitate engagements between African policy-makers and scholars around social progress; and
  • Place social policy firmly on the agenda of Africa’s development.
major goals
Major Goals
  • These goals are informed by targets reflected in the Strategic Plan for 2006/07 to 2009/09, expected levels of performance against targets set for 2006/07, and consultation with Executive Directors in the HSRC.
  • Targets for Indicators 13 and 14 have been adjusted upwards from those reflected in the published Estimates of National Expenditure (ENE), because of additional R1 500 000 allocated for human capital development
the paitecs performance indicators
The PAITECSPerformance Indicators
  • Public purpose
  • Africa focus
  • Implementation networking
  • Transformation: Equity and Representativeness
  • Excellence
  • Capacity building
  • Sustainability: Contracts and Grants
research to be conducted new focus areas for 2008 09
Research to be conducted (New focus areas for 2008/09)
  • Social protection, especially for children and families in communities’ hard-hit by HIV and AIDS.
  • Preparation for an Early Years Initiative
  • South Africa, Africa and the World: The Middle East
  • Society, culture and identity: Media, heritage
  • Human rights and governance: Traditional leadership, rural women’s rights
  • Greater emphasis on public health, including social determinants of health
new thematic research areas cont
New thematic research areas, cont
  • Implement a Citizen Report Cards Survey for crime in Gauteng
  • Analyze matric data by linking the results to local community factors.
  • Training and leadership development’
  • International exchanges and fellows
  • PAU
    • Meaning, costs & impacts of HIV and AIDS
    • Regulatory aspects of employment, social protection & economic growth
    • Capacity & procedural justice in service delivery
    • Investment, quality & choice in education
    • Coherence & performance of poverty reduction strategies
new thematic research areas cont1
New thematic research areas, cont
  • HIV/AIDS and culture
  • National and regional HIV/AIDS policy
  • Social aspects of treatment regimes: vaccines and antiretroviral treatment delivery models
priorities in support of programmes
Priorities in support of programmes
  • Review of current model for recovering external costs
  • Assisting programmes to budget appropriately and manage cash flow imperatives
  • Support for specialised contract and financial project management reporting in research programmes
  • Payroll problem remediation
  • Improving asset management system
  • Revision of comprehensive job description evaluation, grading system
  • Professional development support, e.g. project management and industrial relations training
priorities in support of programmes cont
Priorities in support of programmes, cont
  • Implementation of IT infrastructure remediation, partly supported by ring-fenced grant allocation
  • Migrate HSRC Internet and wide-area-network from Telkom to GEN3, UbuntuNet and the high-performance South African Research Network (SANReN).
  • Exploit SANReN bandwidth to launch researcher collaboration technologies in support of realising the HSRC as a knowledge hub.
priorities in support of programmes cont1
Priorities in support of programmes, cont
  • New international, large-scale opportunities (EU 7th Framework, NIH)
  • Outreach to other research institutions; arranging workshops for information-sharing
  • Involvement in internationally funded projects: NET4SOCIETY (task leader and participant in specific work packages), NIH
  • Involvement in database development for NET4SOCIETY and to support HSRC (with Corporate Communications and International Liaison) with Stakeholder Relations Management planning
  • The drivers of the HSRC budget for 2008/09 are:
    • To consolidate and strengthen research activities of four integrated research programmes, to improve external stakeholder relations affecting the work of the HSRC and to improve internal efficiencies;
    • To ensure a more transparent, equitable and performance-based approach to allocation of resources in the HSRC;
    • To allow for CEO discretion in allocating funds earmarked for special initiatives, such as seed funding to support new research initiatives;
    • To institutionalise and mainstream strategically important initiatives such as gender and development;
    • To bring closer alignment between strategic organisational priorities, performance targets and budgetary allocations, and
    • To reduce the pressure on external earning targets
conclusion we need to jointly address
Conclusion: we need to jointly address
  • Sufficient levels of baseline funding to provide market-related salaries and career growth opportunities for current staff as well as potential new researchers;
  • Financial support to enable the HSRC to scale up its successful pilot project on data curation, meet future financial commitments in relation to the lease of IT equipment, and address critical problems encountered with its outsourced payroll system;
  • Engagement with the NRF, AISA, higher education institutions and other role players (including international agencies and South African government departments) with an interest in social and human sciences, on the prioritisation, operationalisation and financing of research opportunities linked to the Grand Challenge of human and social dynamics, and
  • Lessons learned from work of the newly-established research and demonstration centres, and appropriate models for the managementand resourcing thereof.
  • Next year promises to be yet another hectic and ground breaking year
  • Support of the Minister, DG & Staff is hugely appreciated
  • Support of Council Chairperson and Council is valued very much
  • Support of Staff is vital to the success of the HSRC