Investment in Equity and Peacebuilding: South Africa Case Study by Family Health International 360 (FHI 360)’s Education Policy and Data Center (EPDC), carried out as part of UNICEF’s Peacebuilding and Education Advocacy (PBEA) program, examines the relationship of investments in educational equity and in social capital on social cohesion in South Africa. Much of South Africa’s modern history is marked by institutionalized inequality and the mass struggle against it. In the twenty years since the end of apartheid, the government of South Africa has embarked on extensive reforms aimed at redressing historical inequities. The concepts of equity and social cohesion permeate nearly all of post-apartheid education policymaking, from funding and teacher provision norms to curricular policies and extracurricular programming. This study explores the effects of these policies and examines whether a link can be made from equity and social capital to social cohesion. It draws on the literature on peacebuilding to structure a framework that sees investments into reducing inequality and fostering social capital in conflict-affected societies as supporting the ultimate goal of improving social cohesion as an outcome.
The research seeks to address the following research questions:
- What is the nature of group-based inequalities in South Africa?
- How effective have existing educational policies been in reducing inequality and strengthening social capital?
- Is there evidence that policy investments in equity and stronger social capital have translated into greater peace and social cohesion?
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