The Public Affairs Research Institute (PARI)

The Public Affairs Research Institute (PARI) is an independent research institute based in Johannesburg. Established in May 2010, the Institute brings theoretically-informed social science research into the service of answering some of the major questions facing the public sector.  PARI approaches this from two angles: analyses of the organisational dynamics of the public sector and research into social change, citizenship and governance.


  • work with government partners to improve the capacity and accountability of the public sector
  • improve the quality of public debate and scholarly discussion in South Africa about the public sector and the state, as well as state-society relations
  • support the development of a cohort of talented researchers and scholars to undertake rigorous research on the challenges of building state capacity.



PARI invites applications for the PARI-PSETA Scholarship Programme available for PhD study at the University of the Witwatersrand. The scholarships will support talented postgraduate students in the fields of education, sociology, economics and relevant social science disciplines interested in critically exploring the nature, purpose or proposed models of skills development and capacity building in the public service in South Africa.

PARI and PSETA wish to support research which provides new insights into how to measure and develop capacity in the public sector and develop approaches to skills development and training.  Successful candidates do not have to take the meaning of the concepts ‘capacity building’ and ‘skills development’ as given and can interpret these concepts critically and in relation to a wide range of social science literature. Students may apply qualitative or quantitative approaches (such as conducting survey research).

The closing date for the submission of an application is the 21st of April at 5pm. More information about the scholarships and the application form can be found here.


PARI invites applications for the position of Research Manager at the Institute. The Research Manager will be responsible for conceptualising new research projects, project management of research, research staff development, the development of PARI’s relationships with donors and partners and supporting the building of PARI’s public profile. A full job description can found here.

Applicants should have a Masters degree (preferably in the social sciences), at least five years experience in the management of research programmes or projects, experience in developing relationships with donors, and should have experience in undertaking research work on/for the public sector.

Those wishing to apply for the position should send a detailed cover letter motivating their suitability for the position and a CV of no more than three pages. The CV should include the details of three referees (providing both telephone numbers and email addresses). Applications should be sent to Mpho Mohapi at by the 30th of April 2014. Questions about the position of Research Manager can be directed to Sarah Meny-Gibert at


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In Partnership With

University of the Withwatersrand