To ‘do something up brown’ means to do it skilfully and effectively. PARI has certainly been both in making international connections, not least with the recent MoU with ivy league college Brown University in Providence, USA.

The collaboration will mean new opportunities for PARI senior researchers to become ‘Visiting Research Scholars’ at Brown. Vice versa, scholars from the university will be able to spend time in Johannesburg and produce research using PARI as a base. PARI will also participate in Brown’s Watson Global Partners Program. The programme encourages and facilitates interactions between its partners whenever there is an opportunity.

The MoU makes room for collaborations and cooperation in research and consultancy; seminars and workshops; and exchange of academic materials.

This collaboration is yet another step towards PARI being one of the lead organisations thinking about the state in academics and policy, in relation to the global South and the world. The MoU with Brown University follows the launch of OIS at Wits University, and MoUs with University of Cape Town and the National School of Government last year.

2018 promises more moves for PARI in this direction, and the Institute is likely to become a go-to for anyone interested in the state, and public institutions, policy and reform.