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The vision of the BRICS Research Centre (BRC) is to be the preferred provider of multidisciplinary BRICS policy research in South Africa. The Centre will strive to enhance the HSRC commitment to undertake BRICS related research, and become South Africa's preeminent BRICS multi-disciplinary think tank in line with the HSRC's legislated mandate to serve as an advisor to government on policy based research.

The BRC was set up in August 2014 in response to the growing demand for BRICS related research within South Africa and abroad. In March 2013 the South African BRICS Think Tank (SABTT) led by the HSRC drew on its capacity to fulfill obligations as the first Chair of the BRICS Think Tank Council (BTTC). Given the anticipated on-going demand for BRICS related research in South Africa the HSRC resolved to set up an HSRC BRICS Research Centre dedicated to coordinate, facilitate and undertake BRICS research.


As a small, young and agile team, the team is proficient in the following areas:

  • Strategic thinking: The HSRC and the BRC were instrumental in developing the five Pillars of the Long Term BRICS Strategy as endorsed by the BRICS Heads of state in July 2014. The BRC partners with eminent academics (participants of the BRICS Academic Forum) in pursuance of the vital research mandated by the BRICS Long Term Strategy.
  • Macroeconomic Modeling: The research projects of the BRC follow a macroeconomic perspective. These projects endeavor to best describe inter and intra BRICS macro to micro dynamics across the thematic areas of research. The research is informed by models driven by locally produced public data from the BRICS.
  • Data Management: In order to drive, automate and maintain the longevity of the series of models informing the BRC's research, the BRC has acquired resources with data warehouse and management expertise well versed in database development, model automation and website development. These skillsets are also supplemented with work on various social media outlets which allows a greater dissemination and impact of BRC research 
  • Evidence based policy research: All research conducted by the BRC and its partners are informed by hard empirical evidence. Such evidence drives the modeling activities and the application of theories within the South African, African and BRICS Contexts

Key Thematic Areas and Current Research

The BRC is guided by the BRICS Long Term Strategy in pursuing its research agenda. The key thematic areas of research are:

  • Economic Growth and Development: The Flagship project of the BRC in 2016/17 is the Global Financial Crisis, and it's Impact on Development in BRICS & Emerging Economies with reference to Unemployment, Poverty and Inequality.
  • Peace, Security and International Relations: A key project for the BRC under this theme is the focus on Building a Fair World, for BRICS and the Rule of Law.
  • Social Justice, Sustainable Development and Quality of Life: Three essential projects for the BRC under this theme is (1) a Proposal for a BRICS Youth Panel Study that highlights the pathways of learners through the school system and into the labour market, (2) Provision of Affordable Housing to address the right to shelter and against homelessness, poverty and inequality  in BRICS and (3) a study of Youth risk behaviour, vulnerability, capability and impacts on youth unemployment in South Africa.
  • Political and Economic Governance: A key project under this theme will focus on Options for Development Finance for BRICS Countries
  • African economic integration, growth and development: The BRC will be investigating the investment in development programmes to foster the promotion of peace and security on the African Continent. 
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