24 August 2017

Expanding systems analysis expertise in Southern Africa

The second annual Southern African Systems Analysis Centre’s Emerging Researchers Program has been launched. It focuses on training young researchers in Southern Africa in systems analysis methods and research skills.

©drical | Shutterstock

©drical | Shutterstock

The second iteration of the Southern African Systems Analysis Centre’s (SASAC) Emerging Researchers Program was launched on Sunday, 20 August 2017. The three-week, high-level engagement drew 27 participants on a competitive basis from six countries. It focuses on advanced modelling approaches and tools, leadership skills, and writing proficiency within a systems analysis framework

The SASAC initiative and programs such as this one build on the success of the Southern African Young Scientists Summer Program, a 2012-2015 capacity development and academic training program co-designed by IIASA. Continuing this commitment, IIASA and the institute’s researchers are now supporting the SASAC initiative, which aims to expand training and expertise in systems analysis in Southern Africa. 

During the opening, Adam Habib, Vice Chancellor of Wits University in South Africa, noted the importance of systems analysis in addressing global challenges across borders, and that no country can work in isolation to effectively address the challenges faced from multiple sectors, countries, and experts in solving multidimensional challenges. 

Ulf Dieckmann, Co-Chair of Capacity Development and Academic Training at IIASA and IIASA Evolution and Ecology Program Director, highlighted the increasing need for nexus approaches cognizant of the complexities of human behavioral and social dynamics and of the synergies and tradeoffs between competing priorities in addressing global challenges. 

Aldo Stroebel, of the National Research Foundation (NRF) in South Africa, emphasized the significance of strengthened partnerships and transdisciplinary research in developing solutions that respond to societal challenges, and South Africa’s commitment in supporting initiatives that use system approaches. 

The SASAC program, launched in 2016, is being implemented by a consortium of four universities, namely the Universities of the Western Cape, Limpopo, Witwatersrand, and Stellenbosch. The three-week program is hosted by the Universities of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg and Limpopo in Polokwane during 21 August – 8 September 2017.

Text adapted from NRF website: Read more

From left to right: Sepo Hachigonta (National Research Foundation), Aldo Stoebel (National Research Foundation), Adam Habib (University of the Witwatersrand), Mary Scholes (University of the Witwatersrand), Corina du Toit (African Doctoral Academy) Priscilla Mensah (National Research Foundation), and Ulf Dieckmann (IIASA) ©NRF

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Last edited: 24 August 2017


Aleksandra Cofala

Postdoc Coordinator & YSSP Administrative Assistant Post Doc - Capacity Development and Academic Training Unit

Ulf Dieckmann

Principal Research Scholar Exploratory Modeling of Human-natural Systems Research Group - Advancing Systems Analysis Program

Principal Research Scholar Systemic Risk and Resilience Research Group - Advancing Systems Analysis Program

Principal Research Scholar Cooperation and Transformative Governance Research Group - Advancing Systems Analysis Program


Southern African Systems Analysis Centre

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 Fax:(+43 2236) 71 313