Operating in societies with numerous challenges FPD has expanded the traditional higher education focus on research to a broader focus on innovation to reflect our commitment to being change agents in the communities we are active in. Various departments, projects and units are dedicated to developing new knowledge and implementing and evaluating innovative solutions to the challenge we encounter in our society. These include
FPD's Research Unit (RU) was established in 2014, and is tasked with applying scientific and epidemiologic methods to study, advance, and inform public health programmes and policy development
The HIV Think Tank (TT) provides a central place for all stakeholders (government, academia, NGOs, donors, community and implementers), under the chairmanship of the National Department of Health (NDoH), to review epidemiological, routine monitoring and economic evidence related to the HIV epidemic, identify priority gaps, and establish consensus on appropriate next steps, including research projects and pilots of new programs and policies. The TT will also think pro-actively about what evidence needs to be created and what pilot programs need to be implemented to respond to the questions that will arise three to five years in the future. Seventy-five percent of the funding received from the Gates Foundation will be reserved to undertake research and/or fund and evaluate innovative pilot projects to test bright ideas and inform South African Government (SAG) policy in support of the UNAIDS’s 90-90-90 goal. Through the Gates Foundation funding, a secretariat is hosted at FPD and consists of a Project Manager, Strategic Information Expert and a Project Coordinator. The role of the Secretariat is to convene the HIV TT meetings on a quarterly basis and Expert Working Groups (EWGs) on a monthly basis. They will further run the administrative duties of the HIV TT, engage with key players in the private health sector to better understand the current private sector activities, and to coordinate with other TTs such as the TB TT, to share best practices.
This four-year project funded by the United States Agency for International Development in Southern Africa (USAID/SA) was launched on 1 November 2016 and focuses on improving language literacy skills at foundation phase level in South Africa’s Limpopo and North West provinces.