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Organization for Social Science Research in Eastern and Southern Africa (OSSREA) - Swaziland Chapter

 

OSSREA is a regional research and capacity building organization, which was established by a group of social scientists in the region in 1980. OSSREA, which is based in Addis Ababa, operates in 24 countries of the eastern and southern Africa.

Having the mission of enriching African research tradition that responds to national, regional and continental challenges and opportunities; OSSREA’s goals include:

  • To enhance the capacity of, and provide opportunities for, African scholars to conduct social science research and promote the expansion of an African research tradition.
  • To facilitate dialogue, cooperation and collaboration between researchers, academicians and policy-makers in Africa and strengthen the interface between public policy and social science research

Since its establishment, OSSREA has been focusing on capacity building, research and publication activities. In the areas of capacity building it has been offering research methodology training courses (now focusing on PhD. students) and gender mainstreaming training at national and region level. During the last three decades OSSREA has trained more than 750 scholars in the region on research methods and gender mainstreaming.

It the areas of research it has been giving opportunities for African scholars to conduct research and publish manuscripts through its various grant programs – namely young scholars (social science and gender research), senior scholars, post doctoral scholars and sabbatical scholars. In these programs it has reached more than 700 academicians, experts and researchers in the region. Using its in-house researchers, it has also conducted various research projects on various socio, political and economic issues in the region in the areas of conflict management and post-conflict reconstruction, gender, HIV/AIDS, Poverty reduction, Climate change, natural resource management and public sector reform.

OSSREA has a proven system for publication, documentation and dissemination of research outputs. Through its books, monographs, triennial bulletin, and the internationally recognized social science journal (EASSRR), OSSREA has achieved prominence in the production and dissemination of social science knowledge. The books and the journal have high academic quality and international reputation; they undergo rigorous peer review; they are used by several African and Western-based universities and research institutions for teaching and research. Some of the books are co-published with reputable international publishers. Between 1985 and 2010, OSSREA has produced and disseminated two issues of the EASSRR Journal per year and 155 peer-reviewed books in total.

Guided by its strategic plan 2011-2015, OSREA is planning to conduct various activities including the establishment of Research Schools for PhD. Candidates in the region. This project is intended to supporting universities in the region to fast track the production of PhD graduates through providing state of the art research methodology courses and foundation courses; help the supervision of PhD candidates by mobilizing scholars from the region and the Diaspora; topping up fieldwork budgets; and making arrangements for publications and disseminations.

RESEARCH THEMES

OSSREA strategic plan has also identified five research areas and 29 research topics to be carried out in the coming five years. Accordingly, in 2011, it has provided scholars in the region to conduct researches through making call for papers and abstracts on the following areas:

1.      Three Decades of Public Sector Reforms in Sub-Saharan Africa

2.      Informal and Formal Social Protection Systems in Africa:

3.      Insights into Gender Equity, Equality and Power  Relations in Sub-Saharan Africa

4.      ARV treatment in sub-Saharan Africa: Challenges and Prospects.

5.      State Fragility in Eastern and Southern Africa: Drivers, Nature, Extent and Capacity Building Efforts

6.      Funding Higher Education in Eastern and Southern Africa: Modalities, Challenges, opportunities and Prospects. 

7.      Unemployment and Employment Policies and Strategies in Sub-Saharan Africa:

8.      Transforming International Land Deals into a Vehicle for Rural Development and International Cooperation.

In 2012, it has also announced four research projects, namely: 

1.      The nexus between migration and development

2.      Civil society and conflict management

3.      urban youth and unemployment

4.      gender and energy

OSSREA, whose goal is promoting African scholarship by providing opportunities for scholars to conduct in-depth studies on issues of greater concern of the African people and by encouraging dialogue and collaboration among researchers, practitioners and policy makers in Africa, has also various research and capacity building programs that are being implemented in OSSREA Chapters. These include – gender mainstreaming training, research methodology trainings, academic debates and special issues journals.

OSSREA SWAZILAND CHAPTER

This august gathering is here to official launch OSSREA Swaziland chapter special issue journal.   This special issue journal project is a research cum capacity building project. It has the objectives of:

a) making OSSREA Chapters provide opportunities for academicians and researchers, especially members, in their respective countries to write scholarly articles and publish them in reputable local journals;

b) encouraging Chapters to publish in national languages where possible;

c) providing opportunity for Chapters to increase visibility and relevance to their national issues; 

d) enhancing professional development for academics in the region. 

This project was launched after a quick survey of several Chapters indicated that many scholars undertake research which does not get published either because journals are poorly funded or due to lack of pro-active encouragement of such scholars from their networks such as OSSREA. To add value to the existing efforts, OSSREA invited proposals from all the Chapters for support to existing peer reviewed journals. All OSSREA Chapters were invited to choose a research theme, make calls for papers in their respective countries, conclude agreements with chief editors or managing directors of reputable journals produced in their country or the region, and produce a special issue of the journals. In 2010 and 2011, 14 special issue journals were published by OSSREA Chapters in Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Swaziland.

The Swaziland Chapter in collaboration with the University of Swaziland has published special volume of the UNISWA Research Journal, volume 26. In this journal there are 10 articles focusing on various unemployment issues of Swaziland, including rural and urban youth unemployment, formal education and employment, graduate unemployment, and migration and development. A reading through the articles provides insightful analysis of unemployment issues in Swaziland that can serve as policy input and teaching and reference materials in sub-Saharan Africa.

Encouraged by the achievement of the chapter, the Swaziland Chapter is now selected to publish another special issue journal in 2012.  OSSREA HQ also hopes that the Chapter will actively involve and exploit the research and capacity building opportunities and respond timely on the call for proposals – especially the gender mainstreaming training for university officials and the academic debate. We encourage all academicians and researchers in the country to visit regularly our website – www.ossrea.net – and respond for the call for papers and proposals.