The University of Pretoria (UP) and the French Agricultural Research and International Cooperation organisation, working for the sustainable development in the South (CIRAD), have recently signed a five-year agreement establishing the Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation (GovInn) at UP as a joint centre.
With the establishment of GovInn as a joint centre, critical mass with regard to human resources, funding and experience will be reached. The aim is to become a recognised centre of excellence in and for Africa, dedicated entirely to governance innovation, as an ‘innovation laboratory’, capable of generating new thinking about governance and development.
GovInn is the first research institution in Africa dedicated entirely to governance innovation. It analyses and compares the complexity of decision-making processes in contemporary political and economic affairs. It focuses on cutting-edge research, as well as on advocacy and support mechanisms for innovative governance.
In contrast to the more traditional ‘government’, the idea of governance presupposes a fragmentation and diffusion of authority. In this regard, decision making, policy development and governance overall, being multi-actor and multi-level processes, have become more complex and need innovative thinking and support instruments. Some of the most promising innovations in contemporary governance have to do with how we redesign our economic model and, how we find better ways to share limited resources, and which instruments to develop to support innovative governance structures. GovInn focuses on innovation in the following areas: New Economic Governance, Governance of the Commons, Transboundary Governance and Security Governance.