MGG-PRODIGEES Policy Labs at Stellenbosch University

In the labs, four groups worked on governance, society, environment and economy. The outcomes are planned to contribute to international efforts to harness digital technologies for sustainable development in the T20 process and beyond.

Photo: Group Photo of 21 researchers and experts from 14 institutions and 8 countries

MGG-PRODIGEES Policy Labs in Stellenbosch, ©IDOS

From 28 April to 3 May 2024, the MGG-PRODIGEES Policy Labs were held in Stellenbosch and Cape Town, South Africa, marking a milestone in the network’s cooperation on digitalisation research for public policy. The event was orchestrated under the joint auspices of IDOS‘ Managing Global Governance (MGG) Network and the European Union’s Horizon 2020 funded PRODIGEES project, in collaboration with Stellenbosch University.

The week-long series of Labs engaged 21 researchers and experts from 14 institutions and 8 countries in a focussed, collaborative effort to craft policy briefs addressing the dual themes of digitalisation and sustainable development. The sessions, held at the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study (STIAS), were designed to foster the development of actionable policy recommendations based on the PRODIGEES secondments undertaken in the last years. The Labs established four dedicated groups, each focussed on one of the project’s thematic intersections with digitalisation: governance, society, environment and economy.

The labs also included a symposium by Professor Willem Fourie, founder of the Innovation Policy Lab at Stellenbosch University. In an exchange with him and further representatives of Stellenbosch University, the group examined political narratives in South Africa in times of elections, among other things. The lab concluded with a visit to Code for Africa in Cape Town, where the role of data collection and analysis for journalism on the African continent was highlighted. This excursion thus provided a practical illustration of how digital tools and data-driven approaches can impact sustainable development practices.

The Policy Labs were organised back-to-back with the IDOS/NSG-MGG Conference “International Capacity Development for the Civil Service – The Sustainable Digitalisation Agenda” in Cape Town, South Africa, from May 5 to 8, 2024. Both initiatives were implemented in connection with the secondments of IDOS researchers Dr Sven Grimm, Matthias Kachelmann, Dr Wulf Reiners and Benjamin Stewart to Stellenbosch University in the framework of the PRODIGEES staff exchange scheme.

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