Moderator: Dr Glenda Kruss, Human Science Research Council
Panellist: Dr Chux Daniels, Sussex University
Panellist: Dr Michael Gastrow, Human Science Research Council
Panellist: Dr Alexis Habiyaremye, Human Science Research Council
Panellist: Dr Peter Jacobs, Human Science Research Council
Panellist: Prof Heidi van Rooyen, Human Science Research Council
For South Africa’s National System of Innovation (NSI) to achieve its vision of inclusive development it has to address the range of social, political, economic and environmental obstacles to progress. Key amongst these is understanding and developing a comprehensive and coherent response to poverty and inequality. The complexity of poverty and inequality, and particularly the ways in which the multiple factors behind it come together, across a range of structural and psychosocial dimensions, require analysis, engagement, policy and programmatic intervention.In this panel discussion, we explore the extent to which poverty and inequality impacts inclusive development. We do so from three perspectives: i) from the vantage point offered by the Constitution to consider how we should transform the lives of the poor, ii) from a spatial perspective by looking at how to achieve inclusive growth through cities, and iii) by focusing on the psychosocial dimensions of poverty and inequality in order to develop explanations which account for its durability and persistence. Three flagship projects in the HSRC address these issues.
Dr Glenda Kruss, Human Sciences Research Council
Dr Glenda Kruss is the deputy executive director and head of the Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation Indicators at the Human Sciences Research Council. She is a skilled facilitator with wide experience of conceptualising and moderating multi-stakeholder policy roundtables, bringing together policy makers, researchers and practitioners. She has conducted research mapping how universities and public research institutes link with firms, how they build their capabilities to interact with marginalised communities to diffuse STI to enhance livelihood opportunities, as well as on IID strategy and STI policy. She has organised a number of national and regional research and policy workshops on higher education, public research institutes, innovation and development, to bridge the research-policy nexus.
Dr Chux Daniels is a Research Fellow in Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Policy at the prestigious Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU), University of Sussex, United Kingdom. In addition to research and teaching, he supervises PhD researchers and MSc students, and co-convenes the Innovation Systems module at SPRU. Chux is also the coordinator of SPRU’s Africa Engagement Programme. His current research include the Transformative Innovation Policy (TIP); and, a Political Economy (PE) analysis of Science Granting Councils (SGCs) in Sub-Saharan Africa, funded by IDRC, DFID and South Africa’s National Research Foundation. TIP research and policy engagement brings together six global actors to examine innovation systems and the future of innovation policy – its foundation, formulation, implementation, and governance. Alongside SPRU, the founding research organisations are from Colombia, Norway, South Africa, Sweden and Finland. Besides research and teaching, Chux is involved in active public policy work. He is currently working with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in developing innovation and capacitybuilding modules for policymakers. In addition, he is involved in the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the African Union “Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa” (STISA2024). Furthermore, Chux is part of SPRU team contributing to the formulation of South Africa’s 2017 White Paper on STI. He is a visiting fellow at several international research and policy institutes.
Dr Michael Gastrow is a Chief Research Specialist in the Education and Skills Development research programme of the Human Sciences Research Council. His research focus is on innovation, skills development, the public understanding of science, and science communication. In his research he aims for an inter-disciplinary understanding of the interface between science, technology, and society. He is currently working on the development of a monitoring and evaluation framework for the Department of Science and Technology’s Science Promotion Directorate. Dr Gastrow is currently leading research into the human development aspects of the SKA telescope and will draw on this research to raise questions about the developmental impact of big science projects.
Dr Alexis Habiyaremye is an African Research Fellow at the HSRC. He has conducted research to assess the potential of Living Labs to involve users in devising and implementing knowledge-based solutions to the local challenges they are facing. His contribution will discuss how Living Labs can be used to strengthen absorptive capacity of users in disadvantaged rural and peri-urban communities, as a means to stimulate their co-creation in the design of innovative solutions to the problems they are confronted with.
Dr Peter Jacobs is a Research Director at the HSRC, who has conducted extensive research on how innovation systems can be more effectively oriented towards addressing socio-economic development challenges in the largely neglected rural areas of South Africa. This research cuts across conceptualising and mapping the social dynamics of innovation value chains, understanding the delivery of innovative basic public services and constructing appropriate metrics to measure the workings and impacts of these innovations. He has designed a Rural Innovation Assessment Toolbox (RIAT) which is an action-oriented toolbox to promote a science and innovation culture in local municipalities and lasting networks with universities. A closely related set of monitoring and evaluation tools have been built for the Innovation Partnership for Rural Development Programme (IPRDP), an initiative aimed at supplying state-of-the-art water, sanitation and energy technologies to communities in remote and resource-poor municipalities.
Professor Ivan Turok, Human Sciences Research Council
Professor Ivan Turok is Executive Director of the Economic Performance and Development programme at the HSRC and Editor-in-Chief of Regional Studies. He will discuss the structural barriers to the growth and development of informal enterprises, including the spatial divides within cities and regions, and the regulatory and policy obstacles that stifle their expansion.
Professor Heidi Van Rooyen Is a psychologist and social scientist. Heidi is currently the executive director in the HSRC’s HSD unit. This multidisciplinary programme employs critical humanities and social sciences lenses to explore complex questions about society and groups of people living in adversity over the life course. For more than two decades her work has addressed HIV risks
and vulnerability as well as the broader contexts and inequalities that shape this risk. Her current research focuses on two areas: the influence of sexual orientation and gender identity as social determinants of health, and issues of race and identity. She will raise critical issues about the human dimensions of social innovation, particularly, from a gender perspective.