The Inclusive Economies project represents IJR's contribution to an improved understanding of the socio-economic factors that impact on matters of social justice and national reconciliation. The project's publication, the Transformation Audit, injects its findings into the national discourse on justice in the economy. Having focused its attention initially on developments within the South African economy, the project now aims to expand its format to a number of other comparable African countries within which the Institute has a presence.
The Reconciliation Barometer is a national public opinion survey that has tracked progress in reconciliation in South Africa since 2003. With a focus on attitudes towards political and socio-economic transition, and how these impact on national reconciliation, it is the only dedicated survey of its kind in Africa. The Reconciliation Barometer has become an important and reliable resource for encouraging public debate, informing decision-makers, contributing to policy development, and provoking new analysis and theory on reconciliation in post-conflict societies. In 2010, the IJR also embarked on a partnership to conduct a comparable survey in Rwanda.
Policy and Analysis Programme
The IJR's Policy and Analysis (PA) Unit does research on the social, political and economic issues that impact on the contexts within which the Institute works. Even though social data and other research on the relevant geographical areas may in most cases be readily available, very few of these resources link their findings directly to the intertwined relationship between social justice and national reconciliation. The Unit highlights these relationships by drawing on existing research, but relies primarily on its own custom-made measurement instruments, the Transformation Audit and the Reconciliation Barometer to do so. By inserting these findings into the public domain it offers a unique social perspective to key debates on societal transformation and the content thereof.
Both instruments provide the Institute with two critical perspectives that are not readily available to most of its peers: the first, a public opinion perspective in the form of the annual Reconciliation Barometer Survey, which offers the Institute a finger on the pulse of ordinary citizens as it relates to matters of social justice and national reconciliation; the second, a macro socio-economic picture, provided by the Transformation Audit, which draws on empirical research by leading, established and emerging researchers on the most pertinent questions around socio-economic justice.
Together they have become an invaluable resource to the Institute in terms of the ability that it gives IJR to take a public stance on key issues in the knowledge that it is informed by empirical evidence. Equally important, though, is the growing stature that both are enjoying in their relevant policy spheres, with several government departments, Chapter 9 Institutions (institutions that support constitutional democracy in South Africa), civil society organisations, and business groups either consulting or collaborating with projects within the Institute's PA Programme.
- Jan Hofmeyr (Head of Programme: Policy and Analysis)
- Kate Lefko-Everett (Senior Project Leader: Reconciliation Barometer)
- Ayanda Nyoka (Project Leader: Inclusive Economies)