The Centre of Social Development in Africa (CSDA), located in the Department of Social Work in the University of Johannesburg, was established in 2003 and is dedicated to basic, applied and strategic research in social development and developmental welfare. The CSDA aims to positively influence development issues in the Southern African region through contributing to debates on social policy, improvements in service delivery and the expansion of knowledge through cutting-edge research.

The research team carefully selects strategic, high impact areas of research in order to meaningfully contribute to social development knowledge, theory, practice and policy locally and regionally. These strategic nodes are focused on the needs of local communities and the larger society in a changing regional and global context. The research is strongly partnership driven, using a system of collaboration that marries the CSDA’s research knowledge and expertise with the partners’ local and field-based knowledge to ensure that research outcomes can be immediately and directly applied in appropriate ways. 
 
The CSDA currently has several research projects running. The projects include studies on:

  • Poverty and Vulnerability
  • Gender and Development
  • Children and Youth  
  • Social Policy and Social Welfare
  • State, Citizen, Private Sector Relationships for Development

Vision

The CSDA is dedicated to basic, applied and strategic research in social development and developmental welfare. The Centre’s raison d’être is consistent with UJ’s and higher education’s broader mission and strives to be a leading research and social development site in Africa. The Centre’s research agenda connects with the needs of local communities and the larger society in a changing regional and global context by aiming to contribute to improvements in service delivery, policy debate as well as in the expansion of knowledge through cutting-edge disciplinary and interdisciplinary research.

Aims

The CSDA aims to:

· Produce quality, innovative and relevant research engaged with pressing 
   social welfare and human development needs and concerns,
· Integrate research, teaching and community and public engagement ,
· Disseminate research to benefit academic debate, social policy, social
   development programmes and communities,
· Optimise research opportunities in nationally and regionally identified focus
   areas,
· Build research capacity, postgraduate development and leadership in social
   welfare and development,
· Promote dialogue between different actors involved with furthering social
   development,
· Conduct research in collaboration with a range of research partners including
   graduate students,
· Build strategic local, national, regional and international research partnerships
   and academic staff and student exchange programmes