Entitled the Poverty Reduction and Regional Integration Project (PRARI), it is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).
Prof Pieter Fourie, an Associate Professor at Stellenbosch University, will be heading up the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Chapter of the PRARI project, with the assistance of researcher and project coordinator Erica Penfold.
The PRARI project examines whether and how regionalist policies and programmes of action are instituting an embedded pro-poor focus in South America and Southern Africa. Taking SADC and Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) as case studies, the project focuses on the regional integration-poverty nexus in relation to access to medicines and health care.
Poor health and poverty are mutually-reinforcing and tend to affect poor, border areas where there is scope for innovation in cross-border regional policy coordination. Health is also emerging as a distinctive focus of attention for pro-poor policy making within regional integration. SADC and UNASUR have developed institutional competences in health policy and poverty reduction, although their policy development practices and methods take quite different forms.
SAIIA is collaborating on this project with the Open University, the University of Southampton, FLACSO in Argentina and the UN University Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies (UN-CRIS).