Research & Recommendations
The Financial and Fiscal Commission’s Research and Recommendations Program was created by the Financial and Fiscal Commission after its appointment in August 1994. Its work is guided by the Five Year Research Strategy which sets out in broad terms how the stated 2008 vision of enhancing the developmental impact of public resources through the financial and fiscal system in South Africa will be attained. This implies the following outputs and outcomes from the Research and Recommendations Programme:
- Better policy advice and recommendations which are more responsive to emerging issues of development to Parliament, provincial legislatures and to organised local government through the development of new as well as tailored and sharpened concepts and methodologies that better capture the nature, extent, and depth of the Commission’s legislative mandate
- Enhanced capacity of researchers and practitioners in the modelling, measurement, analysis, and monitoring of the developmental impact of public resources;
- Wider dissemination and greater policy influence of supported initiatives; and
- Enhanced collaboration among researchers, experts, policymakers, and other stakeholders in achieving fiscal sustainability and related development agenda at the national and international level through joint research initiatives. The Research and Recommendations Programme is composed of five closely-linked constituent programmes:
- Data and Information Unit which provides and analyses research data and information, designs and pilots monitoring and evaluation systems and develops local development systems
- Macroeconomics and Public Finance Unit which uses economy-wide models and institutional analysis as a “laboratory” to identify and analyze the relationships between specific policies and public resources and shocks and their impacts on development. Issues of unemployment, poverty, fiscal sustainability, borrowing, interest rates and capital markets analysis are covered.
- Fiscal Policy Unit which deals with the revenues and expenditure policies of the government. It encompasses sector work on education, health, welfare services, housing, transport and infrastructure.
- Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations Unit which focuses on the area of function shifts, spending performance, intergovernmental fiscal relations, governance, vertical division, provincial fiscal framework and local government fiscal framework as well as the future of the South African Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations System.
- Budget Analysis Unit which deals with expenditure trends, revenue trends and performance monitoring and evaluation
The Research and Recommendations Program has built its reputation over the years on its popular seminars, its research, its publications and its focused stakeholder interactions. The Financial and Fiscal Commission’s flagship Annual Submission document that is informed by the research and stakeholder interactions done within the Research and Recommendations Programme is now in its fourteenth year of publication. Research also informs the Commission’s commentary on the Division of Revenue Bill and any legislation changes proposed. Members of the Research and Recommendations Programme contribute book chapters; publish regularly in peer reviewed international and local journals. Their work is also published in a variety of other platforms and media.