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The Social Dynamics of Open Data

Going to University: The Influence of Higher Education on the Lives of Young South Africans

Effectiveness of Anti-Corruption Agencies in Southern Africa: Angola, Botswana, DRC, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe

With reportedly over USD100 billion lost annually through graft and illicit practices, combatting corruption in Africa has been challenging. However, laws and policies at the continental, regional and national levels have been promulgated and enacted by African leaders. These initiatives have included the establishment of anti-corruption agencies mandated to tackle graft at national level, as well as coordinate bodies at regional and continental levels to ensure the harmonisation of normative standards and the adoption of best practices in the fight against corruption.

Yet, given the disparity between the apparent impunity enjoyed by public servants and the anti-corruption rhetoric of governments in the region, the effectiveness of these agencies is viewed with scepticism. This continent-wide study of anti-corruption agencies aims to gauge their relevance and effectiveness by assessing their independence, mandate, available resources, national ownership, capacities and strategic positioning.

These surveys include evidence-based recommendations calling for stronger, more relevant and effective institutions that are directly aligned to regional and continental anti-corruption frameworks, such as the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combatting Corruption (AUCPCC), which the ten countries in this current report – Angola, Botswana, DRC, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe – have all ratified.

Election Management Bodies in Southern Africa: Comparative study of the electoral commissions’ contribution to electoral processes

Over the past two decades, Southern African countries have entrenched the use of elections as the only means and medium for electing governments and representative institutions in governance. Electoral Management Bodies (EMBs) are central to the delivery and quality of elections. These institutions are mandated to manage most or all aspects of the electoral process. Informed by diverse factors - the design, mandate, extent of powers and even the number of institutions responsible for electoral matters vary in each country. This study is a collaborative effort between the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA), the Open Society Foundation’s Africa Regional Office (AfRO) and the Electoral Commissions Forum of the Southern African Development Community (ECF-SADC).

North-South Knowledge Networks: Towards Equitable Collaboration Between Academics, Donors and Universities

Since the 1990s, internationalisation has become key for institutions wishing to secure funding for higher education and research. For the academic community, this strategic shift has had many consequences. Priorities have changed and been influenced by new ways of thinking about universities, and of measuring their impact in relation to each other and to their social goals. Debates are ongoing and hotly contested.

In this collection, a mix of renowned academics and newer voices reflect on some of the realities of international research partnerships. They both question and highlight the agency of academics, donors and research institutions in the geopolitics of knowledge and power. The contributors offer fresh insights on institutional transformation, the setting of research agendas, and access to research funding, while highlighting the dilemmas researchers face when their institutions are vulnerable to state and donor influence.

Offering a range of perspectives on why academics should collaborate and what for, this book will be useful to anyone interested in how scholars are adapting to the realities of international networking and how research institutions are finding innovative ways to make North–South partnerships and collaborations increasingly fair, sustainable and mutually beneficial.

Cape Town Harmonies: Memory, Humour & Resilience

"Cape Town’s public cultures can only be fully appreciated through recognition of its deep and diverse soundscape. We have to listen to what has made and makes a city. The ear is an integral part of the ‘research tools’ one needs to get a sense of any city. We have to listen to the sounds that made and make the expansive ‘mother city’. Various of its constituent parts sound different from each other … [T]here is the sound of the singing men and their choirs (“teams” they are called) in preparation for the longstanding annual Malay choral competitions. The lyrics from the various repertoires they perform are hardly ever written down. […] There are texts of the hallowed ‘Dutch songs’ but these do not circulate easily and widely. Researchers dream of finding lyrics from decades ago, not to mention a few generations ago – back to the early 19th century. This work by Denis Constant Martin and Armelle Gaulier provides us with a very useful selection of these songs. More than that, it is a critical sociological reflection of the place of these songs and their performers in the context that have given rise to them and sustains their relevance. It is a necessary work and is a very important scholarly intervention about a rather neglected aspect of the history and present production of music in the city."

— Shamil Jeppie, Associate Professor in the Department of Historical Studies at the University of Cape Town