News & events


Strengthening Innovation Capabilities in Rural South Africa: catalysts for rural transformation?

27 May 2014
12:30 - 14:00

Date: 29 May 2014
Time: 12H15 for 12H30 – 14H00  
Presenter: Dr Peter Jacobs, Chief Research Specialist, HSRC-EPD

Two thirds of South Africa’s poor people live in rural areas and more than two thirds of rural people are poor. Raising rural living standards is therefore a top priority on government’s agenda as articulated in the 2030 National Development Plan.

New research findings from the Rural Innovation Assessment Toolbox (RIAT) throw light on the human development profiles of four rural district municipalities: uMzinyathi (KZN), Dr Ruth Segomotse Mompati (North West), Chris Hani (Eastern Cape) and Mopani (Limpopo). More importantly, the findings also showcase the nature and scale of innovation activities in these districts- thus filling a critical and longstanding information gap.

Appropriate use of the RIAT composite tools has proven to be effective in identifying local innovation catalysts with great potential to stimulate rural socio-economic transformations with relatively large multiplier and inclusive developmental spinoffs. What do these insights mean for the other 20 Rural District Municipalities prioritised for dedicated support to overcome underdevelopment and the marginalisation of the poor?

In addition to sharing our findings, we invite seminar participants to actively engage in a conversation about key aspects of the RIAT design, such as its multi-faceted or holistic view of innovation, its action-oriented methodology and options for effective policy support for local innovations.

Tim Hart, Senior Research Manager, HSRC-EPD; Kgabo Ramoroka, Master’s Intern, HSRC-EPD; Hlokoma Mangqalaza, Master’s Intern, former HSRC-EPD; Alexandra Mhula, Researcher, HSRC-EPD; Makale Ngwenya, Master’s Intern, HSRC-EPD; and, Brigid Letty, Principal Scientist, Institute of Natural Resources

Acknowledgement: The Department of Science and Technology (DST) initiated and sponsored this project as part of its contribution to the Rural Innovation Partnership. The DST subsequently contracted the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) to develop and pilot the Rural Innovation Assessment Toolbox (RIAT) in four rural district municipalities.

Kindly RSVP by 27 May 2014
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