National, regional and global leadership in the production and use of targeted knowledge to support the eradication of poverty, the reduction of inequalities and the promotion of employment

The HSRC's support to the national developmental priorities

Through its vision of being a national, regional and global leader in the production and dissemination of transformative social science and humanities research in the interests of a just and equal society, the HSRC will contribute to addressing the major developmental challenges in South Africa and on the continent.

The HSRC will lead in initiating and convening to foster and increase co-operation, collaboration and communication among excellent researchers and research institutions. The aim is to deliver knowledge for policymaking and devise solutions for pressing public matters.

The HSRC’s own demonstrated research excellence and proven capability to bring the right experts together will be measured by indicators such as publications, citations and events.

A consolidated relationship of trust and influence with government to help guide and inform policy

The HSRC will demonstrate the value and impact of the knowledge it produces to forge relationships with all spheres of government, including parliament and the judiciary, in support of creating a capable state.

To achieve this, it needs to forge meaningful partnerships within government and disseminate relevant information in suitable formats to government stakeholders. This requires a robust stakeholder and communications strategy, as well as a strengthened business development plan to ensure that the HRSC becomes a preferred service provider in terms of government’s research needs.

The success in achieving this will be measured by means of indicators to track requests received and information provided to government.

Recognition as a trusted and engaged research partner with scientific communities and civil society

The HSRC will contribute to developing the capabilities of South Africans by establishing itself as a trusted and engaged partner with both scientific communities and civil society. By forging active collaborations in the scientific community, it will be able to share, and share in, resources, and provide complementary research to other research disciplines.

To achieve this, the HSRC will require support from its Executive Authority to facilitate processes, systems and structures that are conducive to collaborative projects, rather than competition. In addition, it must endeavour to understand the needs of communities and be able to package and present science for sharing through community networks.

A suite of indicators tracking community involvement and active collaboration in the science community, including reciprocal skills transfer with colleagues in the Global South, will be used to monitor progress.

The HSRC will approach these outcomes through a programme of work organised around three divisions aligned with the NDP implementation pillars. Transformative and Inclusive Development will be central to each of the divisions. The divisions will each focus on two programmatic themes. 

The divisions are:


The departments are: