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DPME 25 Year Review

In 2018 the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) initiated a review of 25 years of democracy in South Africa. The review aimed to reflect on and celebrate progress made since 1994, and to illuminate the challenges going forward in order to find ways to address them. MISTRA was invited to participate in the peer review of some of the chapters.

DPME Jobs Summit Colloquium

In July 2018, the Department of Planning Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) partnered with the Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies (TIPS) and MISTRA to organise a colloquium as part of the Presidential Job Summit process, involving the NEDLAC constituencies. The colloquium provided the social partners with a chance to explore substantive proposals in preparation for the Job Summit. The colloquium was held on 9 and 10 July 2018 at the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA). It hosted over 50 presentations by practitioners and experts.

Anglo Gold Ashanti Strategy Document

MISTRA was approached by AngloGold Ashanti (AGA) to prepare a document on strategy to be presented at the
AngloGold Ashanti Board strategy meeting 2018. Like all mining companies, AGA is operating in a fraught environment defined by volatility in commodity prices and in the socio-political environments in which it operates. This requires that AGA develops strategies that take these dynamics into account. The report covered political, economic and social considerations at both a generic level and, briefly, in relation to each of the company’s jurisdictions: South Africa, Tanzania, Ghana, Mali, Guinea, Brazil, Tanzania and Colombia.

Open Society Foundation South Africa (OSF-SA) Post-Colonial Study

The Open Society Foundation, South Africa (OSF-SA) commissioned MISTRA to undertake a study titled, ‘Understanding South Africa’s post-colonial democratic trajectory: a comparative analysis of post-liberation societies.’ The aim of the research project is to find and interpret evidence relating to whether South Africa’s current democratic trajectory is exceptional and/ or comparable to other post-liberation experiences. In answering this question, the research seeks to identify and compare those traits that characterise (or have shaped) the democracy trajectories of Algeria, India and Mozambique.

Thebe Foundation Strategic Review Process

The Thebe Foundation commissioned MISTRA to conduct research on its current operating context which will in turn inform Thebe’s organisational strategic review process.  The report was finalised and submitted to the client in November 2018. The client intends to use the research findings and case studies to inform a ten-year strategy plan that will guide meaningful empowerment of communities, with an emphasis on participatory citizenship and self-reliance.

GEPF and GPAA Workshops

In July 2014, MISTRA was asked to facilitate the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) workshop and also the Government Pensions Administration Agency (GPAA) lekgotla respectively.

ESKOM High-Level Strategic Engagements

MISTRA provided high level policy advice from December 2012 to March 2013 on public policy in relation to the energy sector, and analysis of how the ruling party policy evolves over time.

Kagiso Trust – Beyers Naude Schools Project Critical Assessment

From July 2012 to May 2013, MISTRA conducted a critical assessment of the Beyers Naude Schools Development Programme (BNSDP) as it was being conceptualised and implemented in several schools in the Free State and KwaZulu-Natal provinces.

SASOL High-Level Strategic Engagements

Sasol commissioned MISTRA to identify various areas which their business can add value and embed from the National Development Plan (NDP). MISTRA thus facilitated the study of the NDP by Sasol to obtain clear NDP imperatives that link with Sasol’s future business strategy. The outcomes of the services resulted in Sasol committing to increasing their commitment to beneficiation in South Africa and especially in the regions they operate in. To achieve this, SASOL requested that MISTRA assists in facilitating engagements with relevant government departments to develop a shared vision.

SA-EU Sustainability Transition Dialogues

MISTRA is a partner in a consortium that is made up of the Departments of Environmental Affairs, Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Science and Technology, TIPS, HSRC and UNISA.  The purpose of the SA-EU Sustainability Transition Dialogue is to create a common understanding of the sustainability transition implicit in the National Development Plan’s 2030 vision of a “transition to an environmentally sustainable, climate change resilient, low-carbon economy and just society”; and to enhance South Africa’s implementation of this sustainability transition and its contribution to the global transition required by the Sustainable Development Goals through the domestication of the SDGs and associated domestic indicators.

Concentric Alliance (CA) Stakeholder Engagements

Concentric Alliance (CA) approached MISTRA to assist on a project that was commissioned by the Chamber of Mines. Concentric Alliance was tasked with embarking on a stakeholder engagement process and also provide advisory services on what might be done to address legacy issues in the mining sector. MISTRA was subsequently consulted as partner based on its research in the mining sector. MISTRA participated in a brainstorming workshop with Concentric Alliance officials and also conducted 15 interviews of randomly selected officials.

Argon Securities Roundtable

MISTRA was consulted by Argon Securities to seek to grow Argon Securities’ trade business flows from the investment management firms. The partnership was carried out through facilitation of roundtables, that are based on research reports that are produced by MISTRA. The first roundtable involved MISTRA’s Executive Director, Joel Netshitenzhe to deliver two talks to Argon clients – at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and with Liberty.

Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) South Africa Low Carbon Scenarios

The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) South Africa commissioned MISTRA to develop scenarios around the key question:  How do we build a just transition toward a socially inclusive economy by 2063? The scenarios were undertaken to take forward the outcomes of MISTRA’s research project on the Green Economy – Earth, Wind and Fire: unpacking the political, economic and security implications of discourse on the Green Economy. The aim was to look at how South Africa can have an all-encompassing approach to managing the transition to an economy characterised by low carbon emissions. The goal of this project was to identify a range of policy instruments that can drive environmental innovation on both the supply and demand side.

Platinum Group Metals (PGMs) Exchange Project

From its research project on South Africa and the Global Hydrogen Economy – The Strategic Role of Platinum Group Metals, MISTRA assessed the utility of Platinum Group Metal (PGM) in the nascent Hydrogen Economy, particularly in the production of proton membrane fuel cells. The project was internally commissioned with the intention of conducting an investigation into the possibility of setting-up a co-ordinated mechanism for market price-discovery and real-time information based on voluntary participation among interested participants. The project is partially funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the final report will be launched in the third quarter of 2019.

DPME High-level SA/EU-Poverty and Inequality Policy Dialogues

MISTRA was commissioned by the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) to facilitate a high-level SA/EU-Poverty and Inequality Policy Dialogue – to disseminate and debate policy recommendations from the five research papers. The dialogue was utilised as a platform for unbounded discussion, in a Chatham House rules format, in order to develop a common understanding of the challenges. The focus of the event was to disseminate and debate policy recommendations from the five research papers namely, Interrogating the Drivers of Inequality; Mobility and the Middle Class; Social Cohesion and Inequality; The Vulnerable in the Labour Market and Possible Policy Interventions to deal with Structural Inequality.


Gauteng Office of the Premier Workshop

MISTRA facilitated a two-day workshop for the Office of the Gauteng Premier. The aim of the exercise was to determine whether the strategic plan that was drafted for the Gauteng City Region would meet the challenges emerging from within the province as well as identify the expectations of its various stakeholders.


Statistics South Africa (StatsSA) Roundtable on the Social Profile of Youth

Following the release of the StatsSA Report Social Profile of Youth, 2009-2014 and the public debate that it generated, MISTRA in partnership with StatsSA convened a high-level roundtable discussion aimed at interrogating the macrosocial status of young people in South Africa, and the implications of this on the South Africa’s development trajectory going forward. The objective of the roundtable was to assess the macrosocial status of youth with specific reference to economic inclusion and educational attainment at tertiary level, and to link this to the fundamental question of the demographic dividend.

World Expo 2025 Scenarios

MISTRA was commissioned by World Expo 2025 to engage in a mini-scenario exercise which looked at what Johannesburg/South Africa/ Africa and the world would look like in 2025. The exercise was embarked on to contribute towards the bid to host the 2025 World Expo. World Expos are global events that are staged every five years by a bid-winning nation which serve to celebrate a themed range of cultural, technological and innovative wonders from participating countries.

NIHSS Heritage Hubs Concept Document/ Feasibility Study

In 2016, the NIHSS commissioned MISTRA to draft a concept document that will serve as a basis for a masterplan framework for the establishment of Heritage Hubs in South Africa. The Hubs will play a catalytic role in ensuring the welfare of the humanities and social sciences fields. MISTRA conducted a feasibility study to identify the conceptual approach, the methodology as well as the processes that should inform a full-scale research on conversion of Heritage Sites into Learning Centres.

Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) – Strategic Plan Allignment

The Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) commissioned MISTRA to align its 2015/2020 Strategic Plan with the NDP 2030.

City of Johannesburg (CoJ) Mayoral Lekgotla

MISTRA assisted the City of Johannesburg with the identification of the priorities for the coming year by tracing back the various commitments made in the Growth and Development Strategy, the IDP, as well as in the State of the City Addresses of the Executive Mayor, the reports provided at the Lekgotla by the clusters, and other inputs. After having gone through the process, MISTRA made some recommendations towards economic transformation, issues of governance and helped identify priority programmes.

Black Business Council (BBC) – Industrialisation SMME Policy Research

The Black Business Council (BBC) commissioned MISTRA to investigate new ways to revolutionise the role of small business in South Africa. – In Search of an Industrialisation-driven SMME Policy project, focused on SMMEs research, in terms of targeted support aimed at graduating them to big business in due course. Recommendations were also provided towards funding, new markets, technology and regulations.

Afrilics–Innovation Low Carbon Energy Case Studies

Afrilics –Innovation commissioned MISTRA to assess and compare various cases of low-carbon energy development in Africa in an effort to understand the underlying innovation and learning mechanisms that promote their adoption in different contexts. The research sought to identify which actors and models drive such projects, what sociotechnical factors facilitate their adaptation, and how the relevant communities or localities build the required technological capabilities for them to function optimally.

CCMA Labour Market Scenarios

The CCMA commissioned MISTRA to facilitate a scenarios planning process, as well as the strategic planning process on the future of the labour market. The project aimed for long-term strategic reflection on the many challenges labour, government and business are facing.  The uncertain future of how the three parties will relate to each other in the future lended itself to a scenarios exercise.

Department of Arts and Culture Social Cohesion Paper and National Summit

MISTRA developed a paper on Social Cohesion for the Department of Arts and Culture. Subsequently, MISTRA was requested to facilitate the national summit on social cohesion that took place in July 2013.

Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Case Studies

MISTRA collaborated with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in the documentation of a set of case studies on selected CSIR technologies. The project also aimed at analysing the case studies to identify key trends and factors which have impacted on the CSIR technology transfer, as a resource to guide future best practice.

Presidency’s National Evaluation Policy Framework Peer Review

In 2013, The Presidency’s National Evaluation Policy Framework unit appointed MISTRA as peer reviewer for the Impact/Implementation evaluation of Government Coordination Systems. The purpose of the evaluation was to assess the performance of coordination systems in government, both technical and ministerial, and to see how to strengthen their effectiveness

DPME and NPC 20 Year Review Project

In July 2013, MISTRA was appointed as the peer reviewer for the twenty one thematic papers that were produced by the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) and the National Planning Commission (NPC) for the 20 Year Review Project. MISTRA utilised both in-house expertise and also drew on MISTRA networks across different fields of work to provide overall coordination and management of the peer reviewing process. A single overall report was produced, drawing out issues, suggestions and common observations pertaining to several thematic areas and the overall peer reviewing experience.

Gauteng Department of Community Safety Analytical Assessment

The Gauteng Department of Community Safety – Gauteng Policing department commissioned MISTRA to provide an analytical assessment of the extent to which Law Enforcement Agencies (LEA) are effective in addressing challenges of crime, police misconduct, community-police relations, and resource allocation in Gauteng province.