GRID VIEW LIST VIEW

The Delusion of Knowledge Transfer: The impact of foreign aid experts on policy-making in South Africa and Tanzania

With the rise of the ‘knowledge for development’ paradigm, expert advice has become a prime instrument of foreign aid. At the same time, it has been object of repeated criticism: the chronic failure of ‘technical assistance’ – a notion under which advice is commonly subsumed – has been documented in a host of studies. Nonetheless, international organisations continue to send advisors, promising to increase the ‘effectiveness’ of expert support if their technocratic recommendations are taken up.

This book reveals fundamental problems of expert advice in the context of aid that concern issues of power and legitimacy rather than merely flaws of implementation. Based on empirical evidence from South Africa and Tanzania, the authors show that aid-related advisory processes are inevitably obstructed by colliding interests, political pressures and hierarchical relations that impede knowledge transfer and mutual learning. As a result, recipient governments find themselves caught in a perpetual cycle of dependency, continuously advised by experts who convey the shifting paradigms and agendas of their respective donor governments.

For young democracies, the persistent presence of external actors is hazardous: ultimately, it poses a threat to the legitimacy of their governments if their policy-making becomes more responsive to foreign demands than to the preferences and needs of their citizens.

Change management in TVET colleges: Lessons learnt from the field of practice

The Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) college environment is marked by increasingly stark juxtapositions between what needs to be achieved in the post-school education sector and the increasing difficulty of current conditions. The ‘triple challenge’ of poverty, inequality and unemployment weighs heavily on the social, political and economic fabric of the country and expectations are high that the TVET colleges can make a pivotal contribution to counter these challenges. Despite laudable increases in TVET enrolment, the education system needs to work harder to accommodate the weight of demand for post school further education and training (FET) band qualifications from young people not in education, employment or training. At the same time, it is vital to secure adequate quality in TVET programmes which depend so much on the competence and commitment of college lecturers. This collection offers a set of research papers that provide new analytic and empirical material on:

• The political economy of TVET types in different countries which, by comparison, illuminate the South African case; • A periodisation of government interventions in the TVET sector over the last three decades;

• The unsettled state and status of TVET lecturers in relation to their job requirements and conditions of service;

• The halting evolution of collegial relationships between college lecturers towards higher collegiality;

• Employer expectations of college graduates and how colleges are responding; and

• An analysis of the outcomes of a college improvement intervention in Limpopo and the Eastern Cape.

This book will offer valuable information and insights for decision-makers as well as analysts of institutional change concerning links between education and economic growth, with particular regard to TVET graduates’ employment rates.

Election Management Bodies in West Africa: A comparative study of the contribution of electoral commissions to the strengthening of democracy

This report is an in-depth study of electoral commissions in six countries of West Africa – Benin, Cape Verde, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal and Sierra Leone – assessing their contribution in strengthening political participation in the region. As institutions that apply the rules governing elections, electoral management bodies (EMBs) have occupied, over the last two decades, the heart of discussion and practice on the critical question of effective citizen participation in the public affairs of their countries. The way in which they are established and the effectiveness of their operations have continued to preoccupy those who advocate for competitive elections, while reforms to the EMBs have taken centre stage in more general political reforms. Election Management Bodies in West Africa thus responds to the evident need for more knowledge about an institution that occupies a more and more important place in the political process in West Africa. Based on documentary research and detailed interviews in each country, the study provides a comparative analysis which highlights the similarities and differences in the structure and operations of each body, and attempts to establish the reasons for their comparative successes and failures.

One world, many knowledges: Regional experiences and cross-regional links in higher education

Various forms of academic co-operation criss-cross the modern university system in a bewildering number of ways, from the open exchange of ideas and knowledge, to the sharing of research results, and frank discussions about research challenges. Embedded in these scholarly networks is the question of whether a ‘global template’ for the management of both higher education and national research organisations is necessary, and if so, must institutions slavishly follow the high-flown language of the global ‘knowledge society’ or risk falling behind in the ubiquitous university ranking system?Or are there alternatives that can achieve a better, ‘more ethically inclined, world’?

Basing their observations on their own experiences, an interesting mix of seasoned scholars and new voices from southern Africa and the Nordic region offer critical perspectives on issues of inter- and cross-regional academic co-operation. Several of the chapters also touch on the evolution of the higher education sector in the two regions.

An absorbing and intelligent study, this book will be invaluable for anyone interested in the strategies scholars are using to adapt to the interconnectedness of the modern world. It offers fresh insights into how academics are attempting to protect the spaces in which they can freely and openly debate the challenges they face, while aiming to transform higher education, and foster scholarly collaboration.

Castells in Africa: Universities and Development

Castells in Africa: Universities and Development collects the papers produced by Manuel Castells on his visits to South Africa, and publishes them in a single volume for the first time. The book also publishes a series of empirically-based papers which together display the multi-faceted and far-sighted scope of his theoretical framework, and its fecundity for fine-grained, detailed empirical investigations on universities and development in Africa. Castells, in his afterword to this book, always looking forward, assesses the role of the university in the wake of the upheavals to the global economic order. He decides the university’s function not only remains, but is more important than ever. This book will serve as an introduction to the relevance of his work for higher education in Africa for postgraduate students, reflective practitioners and researchers.

Moçambique como lugar de interrogação a modernidade em Elísio Macamo e Severino Ngoenha

Moçambique como lugar de interrogação: a modernidade em Elísio Macamo e Severino Ngoenha é uma tentativa de procurar respostas para algumas questões que se apresentam quando pensamos dentro do escopo da ciência moderna a partir das periferias globais. Como fazer ciência sociais ignorando a historicidade destas disciplinas e os sentidos que incorporaram desde o seu surgimento e ao longo do processo de exploração colonial? O livro não pretende negar a possibilidade de desenvolvermos ciência de forma crítica a partir dos nossos lugares de fala ou tampouco negar a importância desta produção em nossos contextos. Pelo contrário, nos desafia a refletir sobre caminhos para esse pensar crítico e assume que do nosso lugar de fala, é fulcral que comecemos por interrogar alguns pressuspostos. Por isso, o nosso lugar é um excelente lugar para levantar velhos e novos questionamentos. O conceito de modernidade é exemplar para o tensionamento destas questões, porque traz à tona a dicotomia que historicamente separou colonizadores e colonizados, que é a dicotomia civilizado-selvagem, moderno-tradicional. Por detrás dele está a negociação da nossa igualdade. Refletí-lo, por isso, é uma forma de desconstruir roupagens que nunca nos couberam. O passeio através das obras de Elísio Macamo e Severino Ngoenha, autores de grande importância no pensamento social moçambicano, é uma forma de buscar algumas respostas para estas questões.

A perspicácia e fecundidade com as quais os autores se debruçam sobre a complexa relação que o continente africano estabelece com a modernidade é uma bela porta de entrada para refletirmos sobre o nosso lugar numa rede mais ampla de produção de conhecimento. Moçambique como lugar de interrogação: a modernidade em Elísio Macamo e Severino Ngoenha não é de forma alguma conclusivo, é uma busca. Mergulhar no pensamento destes autores é um convite para pensarmos nossos horizontes.