Lead researchers at the Centre for Local Economic Development (CENLED) at the University of Johannesburg recently asked the team working on the Socioeconomic Dynamics of Innovation (SDI) to share ideas on various information and decision tools we have developed and piloted to support innovations in local government. HSRC hosted this exploratory session via Zoom on 22 June.
Professors Marius Venter and Elana Swanepoel represented CENLED at this event. Their current project is a partnership with Rhodes University and it aims to develop an Innovation Support System for the Makhanda Local Municipality in Eastern Cape. They expressed keen interest in understanding the mechanics of how to use the Local Innovation Advancement Tools (LIAT) and Municipal Innovation Maturity Index (MIMI) frameworks for their assignment.
The UJ team is also developing a new LED strategy for Francis Baard District Municipality. In support of the Northern Cape Innovation Forum (NCIF), the IED is preparing an innovation mapping framework for this region, clearly opening prospects for stronger cooperation with University of Johannesburg. They consider LIAT and MIMI adaptable and extremely relevant to their current task in Makhanda. They foresee IED and CENLED working closely together in supporting the Francis Baard officials in their quest to use innovation to drive LED in the district.