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The University Research Office is based at the Govan Mbeki building on Westville campus

The University of KwaZulu-Natal currently has more than 250 post-doctoral fellows

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Professor Sarah Bracking

The aims of the Chair are in three interrelated areas of applied poverty reduction assessment: the ongoing improvement of the indicators that are used to reflect change; the analysis of the impact of poverty reducing interventions; and investigating wider dynamics that offset or contribute towards desired policy goals.

During 2011, assistance was provided to Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) in the development, implementation and analysis of a new national data series, the Living Conditions Survey (LCS) that was undertaken in 2009. This survey collects information on a wide range of poverty indicators including anthropometric status of children, subjective measures of poverty as well as conventional money metric measures.

As a part of this activity, the SDS hosted a six-month visit by Dr Louis Manyukazi, the former Statistician-General of Rwanda. With the support of the African Development Bank and International Comparisons Project (ICP) based in Washington DC, a new instrument is being developed for the collection of data on the impact of the construction sector on poverty reduction. At the present most international data exclude the construction of informal and traditional housing. Specialist quantity surveyors will be involved in this project, which will have global significance for the calculation and comparison of Gross Domestic Product and poverty indicators if accepted.

May is the first person in a developing country to be appointed to the Technical Advisory Group of the ICP, which guides the collection of data for the calculation of Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) used to standardise the measurement of gross domestic product and poverty indicators.

Working with four telecentres in poor communities in KwaZulu-Natal, Community-based Learning, ICT and Quality-of-life (CLIQ) trained 100 participants in the use of computers and the internet. The impact of this training and their use of ICT have been monitored using participatory research methods.

In Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Kenya a project using panel data from 1 600 households interviewed in 2008 and again in 2010 has developed new methods of depicting multi-dimensional poverty and has estimated the causal association between ICT access and poverty reduction. This was presented to the international ICT4D2010 conference held in London in 2010.

The third assessment is an impact assessment of the KwaZulu-Natal Gijima programme for Local Economic Development (LED), which involves targeted grants to promote poverty reduction through enterprise. A multi-disciplinary team of economists, planners and impact specialists is working on this project.

Finally, using a competitive grant awarded by the European Union (EU) via the Programme to Support Pro-Poor Policy Development (PSPPD), a collaborative project with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the University of Cape Town is examining factors influencing inequities in child outcomes

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