Civil Society Organisations in conversation with science: Synergies aimed at addressing developmental challenges for the societies we serve

The Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) and the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) cordially invite you to the ASSAf stakeholder engagement with NGO’s/Civil Society Organisations webinar Civil Society Organisations in conversation with science: Synergies aimed at addressing developmental challenges for the societies we serve.

Date:   Monday, 15 March 2021
Time:   11:00 – 12:30
Venue:  Zoom 
RSVP:  Please click here to confirm your attendance by 12 March 2021
For more information, please contact Ms Marvin Mandiwana at 


An indispensable requirement that one should possess to inform or influence policy and promote development is access to evidence-based information. Civil society organisations (CSOs) have strong links with the communities at grassroots level. The Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) has access to the country’s best scientists who offer their time to conduct studies which are used to provide science advice to government and society. This has been most evident during this time that the globe battles with COVID-19. The White Paper on Science Technology and Innovation (2019) emphasises on grassroots innovation which civil society organisations are exposed to all the time in communities across South Africa. Civil society organisations besides community development work, conduct local level and high-level advocacy which can benefit from the work of ASSAf. This demonstrates that ASSAf and civil society organisations can work together for mutual benefit. The objective of this webinar is to establish and enhance engagements between civil society organisations and ASSAf with the aim of identifying avenues to address the various challenges that South African societies face daily.


Facilitator: Dr Stanley Maphosa, National and International Liaison Manager, ASSAf

11:00 – 11:10  Welcome and Introduction, Prof Igle Gledhill, University of the Witwatersrand (WITS) 

11:10 – 11:25  Civil Societies and their role in Society, Speaker: Dr Anthony Bouwer, National Development Agency (NDA)

Collectively Identifying and tackling the developmental challenges within South Africa

11:25 – 11:40  The efforts of civil societies in improving access to quality education during times of pandemics, Speaker: Ms Itumeleng Indiphile Mothlabane, Equal Education 

11:40 – 11:55   Effects of infectious diseases on efforts towards development, Speaker: Mr Vinayak Bhardwaj, Doctors Without Borders (MSF)

11:55 – 12:15  The role of science academies in tackling developmental challenges in education and health,   Speaker: Dr Caradee Wright, Medical Research Council (MRC)  

12:15 – 12:25  Identifying synergies between ASSAf and Civil Society Organisations in tackling developmental   challenges, Discussion by all (facilitated by Dr Stanley Maphosa)

12:25 – 12:30  Closing remarks, Speaker: Prof Igle Gledhill