General Call for Papers


We are delighted to invite you to the Financial and Fiscal Commission 20th Anniversary Research Conference on the theme: “Review of South Africa’s Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations System: An African Perspective on Fiscal Decentralization”


South Africa now has over 20 years worth of experience with managing complex Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations (IGFR). Building on the success of its previous 10th Anniversary Conference held in 2004 in Cape Town, the 20th Anniversary Conference provides a forum to discuss papers advancing knowledge based on this experience and emerging issues in times when the South African economy remains vulnerable to slow global recovery (slowdown in China’s economic growth and decreased demand for South African exports by the European Union which is South Africa’s largest trading partner) as well as to domestic factors such as the recent labour unrest, service delivery challenges, and the emergence of new methods of intergovernmental governance. The main focus of the conference will be on refreshing analysis of IGFR work that has shaped countries at a local, provincial and national level with a focus on the South African experience and the newly fiscally  decentralising African continent. Papers advancing the understanding of the concepts, determinants, roots and critiques of the practice of IGFR on the African continent using South Africa as a best practice experience are particularly welcome. Local and international participants will present key concepts as well as path breaking work on identified predefined themes around macro-micro balance issues as well as contribute to participants' understanding of technical and implementation alternatives of different funding decisions on the provision of public services including grants, the design issues including costing as well as institutional matters and their developmental impact.


The conference aims to bring together academics, policy makers, and interest group representatives working in a variety of related fields. We invite papers with a theoretical, normative, or empirical focus discussing issues such as:

  1. • Intergovernmental fiscal relations (IGFR) institutional arrangements and challenges of the developmental state
  2. • Institutional accountability and costs in meeting intergovernmental fiscal relations constitutional and legal requirements
  3. • Designing fiscal decentralization policies to meet the infrastructure investment challenges of economic development – An African perspective
  4. • The impact of macro to microeconomic dynamics in balancing fiscal decentralization polices among competing socio-economic obligations
  5. • Institutional and fiscal policy challenges of providing basic services within the current IGFR policy framework
  6. • Fiscal decentralization and IGFR in the face of the new challenges of environmental costs and the needs of promoting the green economy
  7. • Accounting for socio-economic disparities in equalization grants for inclusive growth
  8. • IGFR and fiscal decentralization for sustainable and inclusive development
  9. • The design of fiscal decentralization grant schemes to address geo-spatial inequalities and poverty
  10. • Appropriate fiscal decentralization policies to meet the needs of the knowledge economy in the presence of human capital backlogs



The working language for the conference will be English. Should you wish to submit an abstract in another language, please contact the organizers.



Please submit an individual abstract or a panel proposal to Dr Ramos Mabugu ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) before 30 November 2013. Panels should consist of 3-4 paper-givers, a chair, and a discussant (who can be the chair). Panel submissions should include a proposed title for the panel and a not more than 400 words abstract, together with the names and affiliations of the paper givers, of the chair and of the discussant.




  1. • All authors interested in presenting papers are invited to submit an abstract as an email attachment.
  2. • Use MS-Word, Font Size 12, 1.5 spacing, left justification, and margins left and right 25mm, top and bottom 20 mm. The title should be in bold and italic Word 14 and the name(s) of the author(s), department(s), institution(s) and e-mail address (es) in regular Word 12. If there is more than one author, the presenter must be indicated by an asterisk. The length of the abstract should be between 200 and 400 words including keywords or phrases.
  3. • Full contact details and institutional affiliation of authors must be given.


  1. Final papers should typically be 7,000 to 8,000 words long and appropriate to submit to an academic journal. All papers will be circulated among participants and/or published on the website



There is no conference fee. Invited delegates will be provided with lunch and the conference dinner. Accommodation is provided for those whose papers have been accepted for presentation. Various hotel options will be made available for other participants on the conference website.



  • 31 August 2013: Deadline for receipt of paper and panel proposals/abstracts.
    30 November 2013:  Extended deadline for the receipt of paper and panel proposals/abstracts
  • 30 October 2013: Notifications of acceptance will be sent out.
    15 December 2013:  Extended date for notifications of acceptance
  • 30 January 2014: Deadline for receipt of papers.
  • 10 - 13 August 2014: Conference at ICC Cape Town.



Conveners from FFC:
Dr Ramos Mabugu, Financial and Fiscal Commission.
Dr Jaya Josie, Human Sciences Research Council.
Mr Mashumi Mzaidume, Financial and Fiscal Commission.
Mr Mavuso Vokwana, Financial and Fiscal Commission.

Professor Jeff Petchey, Curtin University, Perth, Australia.
Professor Robin Boadway, Queen's University, Toronto, Canada.
Professor Andy Reschovsky, University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA.
Professor Govinda Rao, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, New Delhi, India.



Travel and accommodation of all participants is for own account

Hotel Accommodation: For reservation and to avail of the special conference rate, please contact the FFC Conference Secretariat.

Airport Transfers: To facilitate airport pick up and drop of arrangements, please provide the conference organizers with your complete travel details not later than July 10, 2014. Airport shuttle to/from the Hotel will be arranged for the FFC delegates.

Visa Requirements (see list of countries)

Yellow Fever Vaccination (See Prevention of yellow fever in South Africa)

A certificate of Yellow fever Vaccination is required for travelers from an infected area. This vaccination must have been done 10 days before the entry on the South African territory. Here are the countries concerned:

Africa: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central Africa Republic, Chad, Congo, Ivory Coast , Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia.

Other parts of the world:Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guyana, Guyana, Panama, Peru, Suriname, Venezuela.

The website could be usefully consulted before undertaking a trip in South Africa. The update of diphtheria-tetanus-poliomyelitis vaccination is recommended.



The Financial and Fiscal Commission retains the first option to publish any paper presented at the Conference or the Student Prize Competition

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