What We Do

Land Icon


The Land  Administration and Governance in South Africa (LAGSA) programme focuses on land governance issues in South Africa and beyond. The aim is to contribute to the growing body of work on land governance in South Africa. The specific aim of the PARI land initiative is to contribute to improved land governance through building state capacity, enhancing state–CSO engagements by generating empirical evidence and building the state’s capacity to uphold the South African Constitution.

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State Reform Icon


The State Reform programme is centrally focused on the relationship between politics and the state administration – it aims to reduce the influence of corruption and patronage on South African politics and to develop a public administration that better serves its democratic mandate by providing practical, evidence-based recommendations for reforms in key regulatory and administrative institutions.

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The Education programme deals primarily with how education institutions, and their internal dynamics and processes, affect education outcomes and focuses on education governance and administration. We use an institutional analysis comprising of methodological approaches that surface the legacy, and institutional environment of education departments to document the education system as means to provide a data-driven and practical approach to policy analysis and problem-solving within South Africa’s education system.

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Capable and effective local government is central to the South African government’s developmental agenda. The primary aim of this programme is to investigate the factors that undermine this capability and effectiveness; to understand the day-to-day reality of administration and politics in municipalities and the factors that shape this reality.

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The Energy Programme is focused on researching key aspects of the just transition that are currently under-represented in the national debate. This includes issues such as the role of electricity sales in supporting the current  fiscal framework, and the linkages between energy availability and cost, and household poverty. Our goal is to undertake detailed empirical research that will make a contribution to national energy policy and to build a civil society coalition around this agenda. 

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OIS icon


Organisational and Institutional Studies (OIS) is a new programme in the School of Social Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, coordinated by the Public Affairs Research Institute. The programme offers ways to understand organisations and institutions of government and a multidisciplinary approach to the study of the state and civil society.

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