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The Public Affairs Research Institute


PARI is an African research institute affiliated to the University of Johannesburg and Wits University, providing new and original social science research, advocacy and implementation support for South Africa, the global South and beyond.


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We do research into the constraints to effective governance, underlining the importance of improved institutional design and performance, towards building effective and democratic state institutions, for more equitable policies to reduce poverty and inequality.

To do this, we collaborate with civil society organisations, think tanks, state institutions and academic institutions, to:

  • Produce new and original research into public institutions, state formation, state-society relations and public policy;
  • Realise advocacy campaigns to achieve state reform, focusing on the various programme areas, strategic collaborations and cooperation with the state;
  • Maintain an academic profile through university affiliations and teaching programmes, to:
    • foster a conducive intellectual environment within the organisation, and
    • contribute to the study fields of state governance and state-society relations
  • Shape public opinion in relevant interest groups through targeted communications;
  • Maintain a repository of research accessible to the public.

Our work is currently focused in the following programmes:

PARI is a Johannesburg-based organisation founded in May, 2010.