The UNRISD Flagship Report Policy Innovations for Transformative Change
enjoyed its first presentation in Africa at a conference co-organized by UNRISD, the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) and the SARChi Chair in Social Policy at the University of South Africa. Held in the City of Tshwane, South Africa on 20-22 November, the 2017 Social Policy in Africa Conference
was an occasion for scholars to offer critical reflections on Africa’s experience with social policy, and particularly on the need for a wider vision of social policy that becomes transformative by reinforcing the complementarity of economic and social policies.
In her keynote speech, UNRISD Senior Research Coordinator Katja Hujo took the call to widen social policy a step further, emphasizing the need to expand the transformative social policy framework towards human rights, as well as environmental and other new challenges, such as financing and political issues. Sharing the UN perspective with an audience largely made up of African scholars, she pointed out that the current direction of travel in international policy making, for example in the Sustainable Development Goals, at least on paper embraces this more holistic approach and could be seen as an opportunity to further shape progressive sustainable development for the African context.
UNRISD also launched of its latest edited volume Towards Universal Health Care in Emerging Economies
which explores how political, social, economic and institutional factors in eight emerging economies have combined to generate diverse outcomes in their move towards universal health care. UNRISD Senior Research Coordinator Ilcheong Yi introduced the research project behind the book and its key findings, in the company of Mr Bruno Neves from the Brazilian Embassy who congratulated UNRISD on the successful conclusion of this Brazilian-funded work.
Current and former UNRISD scholars were well represented at the Conference: Former Director Thandika Mkandawire (now at the London School of Economics) gave the main keynote address on the first day; and the representatives of the University of South Africa and of CODESRIA who gave welcoming remarks are current (Jimi Adesina) and past (Dzodzi Tsikata) members of the UNRISD Board.