This is our last edition for 2021. Thanks for your support over the last year. We wish you all a restful and relaxing festive season and we will be back with a fresh new edition in January 2022. 
Opinions and Resources from our networks 
Interesting Reading and Listening  |  Positions and Opportunities  |  Events


A fresh new website for GTAC

We are excited to announce that GTAC’s new website is now live! It has been redesigned and enhanced with you, our most loyal readers, in mind.

What can you expect?

  • Sleeker and more intuitive design
Our new website doesn’t just have beautiful new look. The sleek new design makes it easier for you to navigate. You can easily find what you’re looking for using our streamlined navigation and a design that prioritises the most important content and functionality.
  • A state-of-the art Knowledge Hub
Using our new Knowledge Hub you can access an extensive range of knowledge products including the full set of Covid-19 Country reports, toolkits, case studies and methodologies. You can also use the search functionality to search by keyword, theme or year published. The wealth of GTAC resources and knowledge products are now right at your fingertips. 
  • A dedicated events and workshop section
If you’re looking for upcoming training and interesting webinars and workshops, our brand new events section lets you view events and register all in one place. You can also find information on training workshops on the training page.
  • The latest news
Our news section has been designed to help you find the content you are most interested in. You can view the latest news on our homepage or on the news page you can click on the categories on the righthand side to find topics that matter most to you. This new ‘news’ section also means that all the main news articles from the WhatsUp  will be housed on the website. 

The new site is packed with lots of other content, with information about GTAC’s business units, our strategic focus, history, our key partners as well as the latest tenders and career opportunities.
Please come and take a look and tell us what you think.               

Building of a Capable State : a collaboration with impact  


In September 2021 the Building a Capable State project, a collaboration between GTAC, DPME and the Canadian government, drew to a close. The project which ran from 2013 to 2021 aimed to improve service delivery and accountability within the public service in order to enhance public sector performance and improve the lives of South Africans. The project will have a lasting impact on state capacity and capability. 

Read more. 


Latest Development Southern Africa edition now available 
Opinions and Resources
Research on Socioeconomic Policy (RESEP) is a group of scholars and students interested in issues of poverty, income distribution, social mobility, economic development and social policy. Based at the Department of Economics at the University of Stellenbosch, the team is lead by Servaas van der Berg, whose position as the Chair in the Economics of Social Policy since 2008, has lead to the further consolidation of research within these areas. WhatsUp will regularly share some of the published research, but please also feel free to visist the website.

In this
article Professor van der Berg estimates the impact of five early childhood development programmes against a counterfactual, and Ursula Hoadley writes on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on schools.
The Siren Song of Localisation: Why localisation policy will not lead to industrialisation
The Centre for Development and Enterprise (CDE) launched a new report on localisation, an approach to industrialisation and development that government is committed to but which will not achieve its stated goals. The full report, The Siren Song of Localisation: Why localisation policy will not lead to industrialisation and executive summary of the publication can be accessed
Interesting Reading and Listening
Harvard Economist Dani Rodrick shares the prospects for global economic convergence under new technologies in this article. Prior to Covid-19, and for the first time since the end of World War II, developing nations as a group were growing more rapidly than the advanced nations. Evidence pointed to a slow but rigourous process of “unconditional convergence,”,  i.e. a tendency for lower-income countries to grow more rapidly than richer economies regardless of their policies, institutions, or geographic circumstances.  But, says Rodrick, “…all of this has been thrown into doubt. Not only are poverty rates on the increase again, but the expectation is that developing countries will remain scarred for some time, with lingering effects on health, education, public debt, and investment and significant setbacks for medium-term economic performance”.
When it comes to quantifying the progress the world is making in the Covid-19 vaccination drive, the number that matters is a relative oneargues Timothy A. Carey. What matters is the number of available vaccines relative to need, and the number of vaccinations in the most vaccinated country relative to the number of vaccinations in the least vaccinated country. A vaccine inequity measure would put attention on the gaps that must be filled to make the whole world safe from the coronavirus.
Danny Bradlow argues that reserve banks have a vitally important role to play in efforts to manage climate change. Reserve banks set interest rates, which influence the amount of money and credit in the economy and thus how much a country and its financial sector can allocate to dealing with climate change. But there are limits to what they can do. These include the remits they have been given by their countries, as well as the fact that they are run by unelected technocrats.
Financial services are in a transformation phase. The same forces that have fundamentally transformed retail, music, transport, and travel are now fully at work in financial services—and may turn out to be just as impactful. In the banking sector financial products and processes are unbundled and reassembled,  and all if this very often at a reduced cost to the customer. CGAP’s new publication digs into what this means in practice and what the implications are for financial inclusion.
Positions and Opportunities
National Pathway Management Network Innovation Fund Call for Proposals
The Department of Employment and Labour and the National Treasury’s Jobs Fund are pleased to announce the opening of the Presidential Youth Employment Intervention (PYEI)’s National Pathway Management Network Innovation Fund funding round. For more information please visit
National Youth Service Call for Proposals
The NYDA and the Jobs Fund are pleased to announce the opening of the Presidential Youth Employment Intervention (PYEI)’s National Youth Service programme funding round. Proposals from non-profit making entities that can participate in the delivery of the National Youth Service programme are welcome. For more information please visit

PARI is seeking to appoint two people to support a multi-year EU funded project on local government in South Africa.

The project aims to enhance local government service delivery and accountability by improving the systems for planning and public participation in municipalities. The project will be implemented in 12 participating municipal sites over four years, as well as seeking to support the work of national policy setting institutions. This is an exciting and innovative project which aims to experiment with new ways to enhance local government functioning.

Appointment of a Senior Project Coordinator/administrator, to support an EU funded project on Local Government Planning and Public Participation

Appointment of a Programme Lead / Senior Researcher to support an EU funded project on Local Government Planning and Public Participation

Closing date for both applications:  8 December 2021

2022 Applications now open

The Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance at UCT provides a space for Africa’s young and mid-career leaders engaged in the public and development sectors to share experiences and learn from some of Africa’s most dynamic scholars and policy thinkers.

The School offers two-year graduate programmes for both part-time and full-time students. For more information about the application process, please email or visit for an online application.

Closing date: 31 December 2021
The School of Public Leadership at Stellenbosch University invites applications for the following Undergraduate and Postgraduate Diplomas:
  1. Diploma in Public Accountability (NQF Level 6)
    This 2-year Higher Education Diploma is designed to help you develop and improve the competencies and skills you need to follow a career in the public sector or in a public service environment. For entrance requirements and learning outcomes please read this brochure.
    For cost information and other enquiries, please email the programme administrator at:
  2. Advanced Diploma in Public Accountability (NQF Level 7)
    This 1-year Higher Education Diploma is designed to further build on skills and competencies for widening access to higher education and qualifications for furthering career development in the public sector or in a public service. For entrance requirements and learning outcomes please read this brochure.
    For cost information and other enquiries, please email the programme administrator at:
  3. Postgraduate Diploma in Public Finance Management(NQF Level 8)
    This 1-year Higher Education diploma will give participants the opportunity to learn how Budgeting can be integrated with strategic and operational planning to support organisational goals and objectives, and support effective risk management. For entrance requirements and learning outcomes please read this brochure.
    For cost information and other enquiries, please email the programme administrator at:

Deadline for proposal submissions is 31 January 2022 

UNU-WIDER is seeking proposals for original research on social protection and taxation in times of crises in developing countries. Proposals from individuals (or groups of individuals) as well as non-profit organizations are welcome.

Beyond and above the difficulties in the financial markets, crises severely affect people’s employment, incomes, and livelihoods — and these harmful impacts are more dangerous when people are poor and in a vulnerable position to begin with. This has become very clear during the latest worldwide crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic.

Against this backdrop, UNU-WIDER announces a Request for Research Proposals (RFRP) on social protection and taxation in times of crises in developing countries. We welcome research proposals that promote better understanding about proper crisis response, and the way social protection and tax systems can be made more sustainable.

Submission of proposals is done electronically by using the form
 on the announcement page. Any questions on the proposal process should be sent to by 15 January 2022. The deadline for proposal submissions is 31 January 2022. More information on the submission procedure can be found on the​ request for research proposals page.
GEC Global Meeting 2021:  Code Red for people and planet: Top solutions for scaling a green and fair COVID recovery

29th November to the 3rd December

TIPS invite you to their Green Economy Coalition global event: “
Code Red for people and planet: Top solutions for scaling a green and fair COVID recovery”.

TIPS is the South African country hub of the Green Economy Coalition. They have developed a Green Economy Policy tracker that you can access here:
Future of Payment Systems Series

Join CBPEP and partners for the second webinar of the Future of Payment Systems Series (see details below).  The series includes an overview about Next Generation G2P architecture and critical payment system infrastructure, and interesting G2P case studies from Bangladesh and Indonesia demonstrating the future of G2P payments and how innovation in this area could benefit citizens, governments and the financial system and contribute to financial inclusion. 
 Webinar Series  Themes Registration link
 1 December  Hackathon
 15 December  Integrated databases for coordinated social service delivery
When it comes to igniting conversations around science, the National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) is proud of its ongoing collaboration with the Science Forum South Africa (SFSA), an initiative of the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI)
Igniting conversations about science: SFSA 2021 will, for the 7th year, take place from Wednesday 1 to Friday 3 December 2021. It will take place on a digital platform, enabling remote but active participation from across the world. Attendance is free.

The NSTF will host two panel sessions at the SFSA on:

Skills to prepare South Africa for future pandemics

Two 90 minutes sessions will take place on 1 December 2021: 
  • 09:00-10:30: Skills for pandemics – Specialised research areas to prioritise
  • 13:30-15:00: Skills for pandemics – Monitoring, modelling and communication
Register now for the NSTF Panel Sessions. 
CVACS is the COVID-19 Vaccine Survey managed by UCT’s SALDRU, and aims to collect high quality, timely information to inform the development of campaigns and programmes to improve COVID-19 vaccination rates in South Africa. Between November 2021 and March 2022, CVACS will conduct three rapid, longitudinal, phone-based surveys to understand public opinions and demand for COVID-19 vaccination in South Africa. SALDRU’s Brendan Maughan-Brown and Katherine Eyal  co-lead the project, with collaboration from Kim Ingle and Tim Brophy (SALDRU) and Alison Buttenheim of University of Pennsylvania.
Launch of the first results will be take place on 14 December, at 2pm in Johannesburg. This launch releases the results from Survey 1, collected in November 2021, including key findings on beliefs about the vaccine, reasons for vaccine hesitancy, future intentions for obtaining the vaccine, and the potential of different messages to increase vaccine uptake.

Please register
To submit a position, opportunity or event to WhatsUp, email GTAC.  Read the previous WhatsUp  here. 
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