In 2012 REGENT Business School’s Executive Management decided to establish three Centres for Research, Innovation and Policy Making. The decision was based on three fundamental motivations:
South Africa was a young democracy and beginning to experience serious problems in terms of governance, especially in managing the Public Sector. Given that REGENT Business School was essentially a Management and Leadership higher education institution, it was decided to respond to the problems and challenges that surfaced in the sector. In this respect, a decision was taken to establish two new centres for research, innovation and policy making, namely, the Centre for Public Sector Management and the Centre for Health Care Management.
The escalating climate change has forced humankind to think in a more empowering way to develop new models of environmental sustainability – a process which is all encompassing, especially in terms of the use of natural resources. How we do this is in the interest of human well-being is critically dependent on both the public and private sector adopting a more enabling approach to governance and entrepreneurship – “a green approach”. Responding to this global clarion call, REGENT Business School decided to approve the establishment of a Centre for Green Governance and Entrepreneurship.
In support of the two ground-breaking decisions above, REGENT was mindful of the complexity and severity of the problems and challenges that South Africa faces nationally and internationally. The decisions were also based on the principle of social responsibility and mindful of the critical mass of skills that resided in senior academics and researchers currently located at the School.
One of the prime focus of these new centres of research, innovation and policy making is to provide the necessary skills training and learning and to support this initiative with research and policy-making. Through the auspices of these centres, REGENT Business School aspires to create a vital community of nationally and internationally renowned scholars especially in terms of teaching and learning, research and policy making. We are also hopeful that executives, entrepreneurs, consultants, and other practitioners in the relevant centres will soon be involved as part time adjunct academics and researchers who could bring the world of practice to our classrooms.
The main purpose of these new centres, therefore, is to develop a collegiate forum:
- to interact with academics, researchers policy makers and practitioners in order to promote evidence-influenced public policy and service management, and to make an impact upon the quality of public services in South Africa and the world at large;
- to influence the development of public management and public policy research and theory within the global public management and public policy research community;
- to develop the research capacity in South Africa and beyond to conduct effective research and academic activities in the field of public management and public policy; and
- to share and collaborate with academics, researchers, public and private sector managers, policy makers and civil society organisations in areas of research, teaching and learning and policy making.
A multi-disciplinary team of personnel with different backgrounds and professional and research interests and considerable experience in policy process works form the foundation of these new centres. . The teams are specialised in project management and policy research and analysis, training and capacity building and policy advice. They are able to coordinate the planning of activities and inputs in a flexible and effective manner, providing relevant and timely analyses anchored in political and economic realities and paying particular attention to timely mobilisation of resources and monitoring of project progress. Furthermore the multidisciplinary team has a wealth of project management experience and is able to coordinate planning activities and inputs to meet the clients’ needs in a flexible and effective manner, simultaneously paying particular attention to timely mobilisation of resources and monitoring of project progress. The team, thus, specialises in research and analysis, project design and management, regional/local development, training and capacity building, and policy advice and will provide a full package of services.
To achieve the afore-mentioned objectives, in the period 2013 to 2014 the team will work on research projects, training, conferences, symposiums and other events in the following programme areas:
- local economic dynamics
- capacity building of local self-government officials, NGOs and individuals in budgetary process
- budget monitoring
Capacity building in policy development
- policy making training for government officials
- policy making training for non-governmental organizations and political parties
- policy making training for local self-government units
- policy analysis
- policy analysis in public sector management and health care management
- policy analysis in skills development