Human Sciences Research Council

The HSRC was established in 1968 as South Africa’s statutory research agency and has grown to become the largest dedicated research institute in the social sciences and humanities on the African continent, doing cutting-edge public research in areas that are crucial to development.

Our mandate is to inform the effective formulation and monitoring of government policy; to evaluate policy implementation; to stimulate public debate through the effective dissemination of research-based data and fact-based research results; to foster research collaboration; and to help build research capacity and infrastructure for the human sciences.

The Council conducts large-scale, policy-relevant, social-scientific research for public sector users, non-governmental organisations and international development agencies. Research activities and structures are closely aligned with South Africa’s national development priorities.

The HSRC’s integrated research programmes provide single points of entry – complete with a critical mass of researchers – for interdisciplinary and problem-orientated research in the following areas:

  • Africa Institute of South Africa
  • Democracy, Governance and Service Delivery
  • Economic Performance and Development
  • Education and Skills Development
  • Human and Social Development
  • Population Health, Health Systems and Innovation
  • Social Aspects of HIV/AIDS, STIs and TB.

A cross-cutting entity, Research Use and Impact Assessment, seeks to extend and enhance the use and impact of scientific research from the HSRC and other sources of research; and to manage the HSRC’s relationships, reputation and brand.

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Tankiso Motaung, an unemployed South African university graduate, takes his hunt for a job to the street in Johannesburg. The Star/Paballo Thekiso

Class and race shape how young South Africans access the job market

Many young South Africans struggle to get a job due to the high levels of unemployment. But access to information, which is influenced by race and class, increases the chances of getting employed.
Gay fathers like Jason Howe, left, and his husband Adrian Perez-Boluda - pictured with their three-year-old twin daughters in Los Angeles - can teach us a great deal about parenting beyond traditional roles. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

What gay fathers can teach us about feminism and parenthood

Gay fathers often operate outside traditional gender roles and provide a model of "conscious parenting" that could offer some important lessons to heterosexual partnerships.

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