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Regional development relies on close co-operation to allow research projects to inform the formulation of policy. Picture: UNSPLASH/RACHEL MARIN
Regional development relies on close co-operation to allow research projects to inform the formulation of policy. Picture: UNSPLASH/RACHEL MARIN

The link between research and formulation of policy has never been more crucial as major development challenges face Southern Africa, while SA also needs bold action to turn its economic fortunes around. Such action must be founded on credible evidence-based research.

SA finance minister Enoch Godongwana and experts from the Southern Africa — Towards Inclusive Economic Development (SA-TIED) programme engaged on this topic during a virtual Business Day Dialogue, co-hosted by SA-TIED, on January 27.

Watch a recording of the event:

During the panel discussion, audience members learned more about SA-TIED’s diverse work and gained insights into bridging the gap between research and policymaking.

The SA-TIED programme provides a platform for researchers and policymakers to work together to address today’s major development challenges.

The programme’s unique design and core principles focus on tailored support for the policy environment, and is made up of six workstreams:

  1. Enterprise development for job creation and growth;
  2. Public revenue mobilisation for inclusive development;
  3. Macroeconomic modelling for policy formulation;
  4. Turning the tide on inequality;
  5. Climate change and energy transition as drivers of change; and
  6. Regional growth for Southern Africa’s prosperity.

The programme was launched in partnership with the UN University World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER), the National Treasury and the International Food Policy Research Institute with an ambitious target to produce at least 150 individual research studies during the three-year project.

Under the programme, a team of local and international researchers collaborated with key departments within the economic cluster of the SA government to address the region’s major development challenges. Upon completion of the project, more than 175 studies had been published.

The Business Day Dialogue also marked the launch of an SA-TIED report, A Platform for Evidence-Based Policy Formulation: Lessons from SA-TIED. It showcases the entirety of research produced under the SA-TIED programme during phase one.

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