SASPRI was established to promote, encourage, and undertake research, teaching and training in the areas of social policy, welfare policy, poverty, deprivation, disadvantage, labour market policy and related areas of social science in Southern Africa. We are committed to support the development of social policy as an area of study in universities across the region supported by rigorous research methods training in both quantitative and qualitative methods. Our priority is working in partnership with historically disadvantaged institutions. We are further committed to working collaboratively with local, regional and national governments in supporting evidence based policy making.
The Importance of the Social Policy Paradigm in Southern Africa
The Social Policy paradigm and associated research methods training is suited to post-conflict democratic developing countries where social policy is delivered or directed by formal government structures. Building a Social Policy tradition is particularly necessary for countries in the SADC region which have identified the elimination of poverty, social exclusion and inequality as their main priorities. Citizenship – in particular the exercise of social rights which include rights to health, social services, education, housing and basic services such as water and sanitation – is also a major concern of Social Policy. Social Policy offers a coherent multi-disciplinary approach to understanding the multi-faceted nature of Southern African social problems and the building of democratic cultures through the exercise of citizenship entitlements. The existence of democratic governments across the region which promote transparent access to quantitative data on poverty and inequality also means that an opportunity now exists to study the development, implementation and outcomes of government policies on the welfare of citizens from a Social Policy perspective.