The South African Department for Science, Technology and Innovation (DSI) has been a member of TIPC since its formation in 2016. After completing the TIP exploratory methodology and working at the centre of the Consortium, since its formation, on the development of the TIP theory and approach, South Africa embarked on its first TIP implementation project.
Policy experiments, known as Experimental Policy Engagements (EPEs), are embedded in the context of each TIPC member country. The learnings and outcomes from each, then give a feedback loop into the centre of the Consortium for use by other members to help reach the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for the Global South and North.
The first South Africa TIP policy experiment – the ‘Living Catchments Water Project’ – is part of a broader policy roadmap toward ecological water provision for South Africa. Water security and provision for all in the population is embedded in ‘SDG 6: Water and Sanitation’ and is part of the UN Water Action Decade from 2018 – 2028. Water is connected to many other SDGs, including SDGs 1: No Poverty; 2: No Hunger; 3, Good Health and Well-being; 11: Sustainable Cities; and 14: Life below water.
The TIPC team are working with practitioners conducting the experiment to monitor how the TIP approach interacts and benefits the experiment’s outcomes. The South Africa policy experiment will overlay the TIPC Methodology (TM). This involves a learning journey for practitioners using Formative Evaluation (FE) to help reach Transformative Outcomes (TOs). This involves incorporating in the experiment a Transformative Innovation learning (TIL) process which has a reflexive and deep learning ethos for co-creation of knowledge, understanding and practise for transformation.
The collaborative project intends to strengthen water governance in South Africa. The project is centred on ‘communities of practice’ in order to enable collaboration; grow transformative social learning; and improve policy-advice practice and engagement for the country’s water roadmap, run by the Water Research Commission (WRC).
Partner policymakers, researchers and practitioners in the project include:
- South Africa Water Research Commission (WRC)
- South Africa Department for Science, Technology and Innovation (DSI)
- South Africa Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation Indicators (CESTII)
- South Africa National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI)
- University of Johannesburg
- University of Sussex Business School’s Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU)
- University of Utrecht’s Centre for Global Challenges
- University of Valencia’s policy unit, INGENIO
The project runs for 14 weeks with 7 co-creation session to help bring about the 12 Transformative Outcomes. A community of 300 TIP practitioners across South Africa will be established from the policy experimentation, associated projects and events.