Page 108 - UCT Research Report 2011

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UCT Research Report '11
grants or other social spending on items like education
and health, and by households themselves, through
transfers or saving and dissaving (when spending is
greater than income).
For now, Oosthuizen has worked from only 2005 data. A
long-term objective is to draw a time line from 1995 to
2008 or even 2010, surveys allowing, he explains.
“That way, we can track the way social security has
changed, the way the behaviour of the state has changed,
and how that has affected the behaviour of households,
and how they finance deficits and the like,” he says.
Health and poverty
Across town on the medical school campus, the Health
Economics Unit (HEU) explores a different and very
specific aspect of poverty – health. Based in the School
of Public Health and Family Medicine at UCT, the HEU
– the first such unit in Africa – sees itself as a “world-
class, independent authority in health economics, health
policy, and systems”.
Empowering communities while waiting for services at a public health clinic.
Few can argue with that claim, going by the reach
and scope of its projects alone. These include its
part in a three-continent project on universal health
coverage, the Global Network for Health Equity (GNHE).
It’s a topic it also explores in a collaboration with
Tanzania, through the research project titled
Coverage in Tanzania and South Africa: Monitoring and
Evaluating Progress.
It teamed up with 11 organisations
in Africa and Europe for a major network known as the
Consortium for Health Policy and Systems Analysis in
Africa. Its work has been applied to everything from
healthcare financing to the treatment and prevention of
“Basically, we do policy-relevant work,” explains the
unit’s Professor Diane McIntyre, who holds the DST/NRF
SARChI Chair in Health and Wealth in South Africa. “Our
aim is to provide evidence to inform policy-making and
practice; it’s not only done on the macro or national level,
but we also work at the district level.”
Professor McIntyre’s research has found its way into
sundry public policies and regulations. Her work in the