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Newsletter: From Evidence to Action

Past events

  • Thursday, September 25, 2014


     The HSRC Seminar Series 

     Child Protection Challenges and Opportunities: The Need for Evidence-Informed Strategies in South Africa

    Presenters: Mr. Gordon Phaneuf, Chief Executive Officer, Child Welfare League of Canada  

    This seminar may be attended via video conference in Pretoria, Cape Town and KwaZulu-Natal.

    Venues in Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town (Videoconferencing facilities: see below) 

    Date: 25 September 2014 

    Time: 12H15 for 12h30  – 13H30  

    The recent developments in the child protection system of South Africa, including the implementation of the South African Child Protection Surveillance Study, and the long-term partnerships between the Child Welfare League of Canada with South Africa have produced important milestones that have implications for policy and research in the country.

    This seminar will explore key challenges confronting child protection practice, policy analysis, program development, and research.  The need for evidence-informed strategies will be discussed with a concentrated focus on recent initiatives in South Africa.  The dialectic of reconciling ‘evidence-based decision making’ with the imperative of deficit-focused program responses in the public sector will also be addressed. Other topics to be explored include:

    •need for national incidence data on child maltreatment

    •use of evidence in policy analysis in social services

    •collaborative approaches to child welfare innovation &

    •reciprocity of benefit in international development 

    Kindly RSVP by 24 September 2014

    Cape Town : HSRC, 12th Floor, Plein Park Building (Opposite Revenue Office), Plein Street, Cape Town. Contact Jean Witten, Tel (021) 4668004, Fax (021) 461 0299, or [email protected]

    Durban :  First floor HSRC board room, 750 Francois Road, Ntuthuko Junction, Pods 5 and 6, Cato Manor, Contact Ridhwaan Khan, Tel (031) 242 5400, cell: 083 788 2786 or [email protected] 

    Pretoria : HSRC Video Conference, 1st floor HSRC Library Human Sciences Research Council, 134 Pretorius Street, Pretoria. Arlene Grossberg, Tel: (012) 302 2811, e-mail: [email protected] 


  • Friday, August 22, 2014

    The theme for this event is: “Let me be the child”. This theme is derived from the child’s right to education, playing and doing the things children must do to enhance their mental, physical and emotional well being.

    According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) a majority of countries have adopted legislation to prohibit or place severe restrictions on the employment and work of children. In spite of these efforts, child labour continues to exist on a massive scale, sometimes in appalling conditions, particularly in the developing world. The organisation cautions that if progress has been slow or apparently nonexistent, this is because child labour is an immensely complex issue. It cannot be made to disappear simply by the stroke of a pen.

    South Africa is a signatory to the ILO Convention on the worst form of child labour. The Convention seeks to focus the international spotlight on the urgency of action to eliminate as a priority, all child labour. South Africa has developed a road-map towards the prevention, reduction and eventual elimination of child labour called the Child Labour Programme of Action (CLPA). The CLPA was first adopted in 2003 after extensive consultation within Government and with a wide range of organisations outside Government. The programme set out specific actions to be taken and assigned responsibility for these actions.

    Minister Mildred Oliphant  will deliver a keynote address at the Child Labour Day commemorative event at the Robert Gunda Stadium, Upington, Northern Cape.


  • Tuesday, August 19, 2014

    Time: 10:30  – 11:30

    Presenter: J.Douglas Willms Professor and Director, Canadian Research Institute for Social Policy,  University of New Brunswick (UNB)

    Large-scale national and international assessments provide countries and local jurisdictions with trailing indicators of student performance. These assessments are important as they enable administrators to establish standards, assess the extent of inequalities and inequities, inform educational policy, provide a framework for theoretical research, and enhance the credibility of the teaching profession. 

    However, educators also need leading indicators that inform school policy and instructional decisions and increase student motivation. For example, over 1,000,000 Canadian and Australian students have participated in a dynamic web-based evaluation called Tell Them From Me ( which allows students to voice their concerns and participate in school-wide evaluation in a non-threatening way. 

    Also, a number of schools are engaging in the Early Years Evaluation (, an assessment tool for children aged 3 to 6 which is being used to assess the emerging literacy skills of children before or shortly after they begin primary school. These evaluation systems provide front-line educators with immediate data they can use to identify students who need extra support, involve parents in meaningful ways, and guide school policy and practice to improve school climate. 

    In discussing the use of leading indicators, Professor Douglas Willms will argue that improving school performance and reducing inequalities will require strategic “capacity-based” reforms that involve altering some of the core structural features of schooling; describe the key “policy levers” that according to research will drive student outcomes; discuss the interplay between student engagement and academic success as students progress through school; and challenge conventional understandings of how schools are structured.

     The seminar may be attended in Pretoria only.
    RSVP by 18 August 2014
    Pretoria: Arlene Grossberg (012) 302 2811, [email protected] 
  • Monday, August 11, 2014 - 11:30

    On the 11th of August the Children's Institute will be hosting a seminar titled 'Ethical challenges of research with children'.

  • Monday, August 11, 2014

    The purpose of the seminar series is to open a space for critical, cross-disciplinary discussion of the ways in which children and youth are represented in various kinds of writing, performance and visual forms, and of the theoretical and ethical assumptions that underpin different representations. 

    Seminars are scheduled for Mondays, from 11h30 to 13h30 . See the list of seminars HERE...


  • Monday, July 28, 2014 -
    11:30 to 13:30

    Children's Institute seminar series for 2014. On the 28th of July, Prof Andy Dawes from the University of Cape Town will present on representations of children in policy.

  • Monday, July 28, 2014

    PAN:Children is hosting a policy dialogue titled 'Children and the media: Yesterday, today and tomorrow ' on 28 July 2014. Cognisant of the fact that the state cannot achieve the realisation, protection and promotion of children’s rights alone, the seminar seeks to bring forth a discussion on how the media can play an important role in ensuring the realisation of children’s rights. The seminar discussion on children and the media seeks to provide a brief overview of how children are represented in the media. It will chronicle some of the challenges and map out possible solutions or policy interventions to some of the problems children face, from existing media challenges to addressing the growth, dangers, potential and development of digital media and what they mean for children and the future of our country. For more details, click here.

  • Thursday, July 3, 2014 - 00:15

    This seminar is based on a paper which discusses the problems faced by middle-income countries in the process of catch-up and development, with a focus on the tendency for these countries to fall into a ‘middle income trap’. The paper finds that growth in labour productivity in South Africa has been associated with labour shedding, rising informality and an increase in low value-added service sector employment. This pattern of growth and structural change shares some similarities with the experience of India but less so with Brazil. South Africa should continue to develop a coherent nexus of trade, industrial and technology policies to facilitate learning-by-doing in increasing returns activities. This should be coupled with a stronger alignment to a decent work agenda within a macroeconomic framework that addresses increasing global financialisation and its threats.

  • Sunday, June 1, 2014

    The Department of Social Development will launch Child Protection Week (CPW) in Delft, Western Cape Province on June 1. 

  • Friday, May 16, 2014 -
    10:00 to 11:30

    The Twenty Year Review provides an evaluation of the policies instituted by government since the advert of democracy.