NWU Optentia: research with relevance and impact

The mission of North-West University’s (NWU’s) Optentia research focus area is to develop and organise knowledge for the optimal expression of individual, social and institutional potential, with specific interest in the African context.

But what does this mean and why is their research important to South Africa?

The United Nations’ document, 17 Sustainable Development Goals, has particular relevance for South Africa. Optentia’s social science research tackles the challenge set by several of these sustainable development goals, including the promotion of health and nutrition; ensuring high-quality and relevant education; fighting poverty by creating jobs and enhancing governance.

By understanding that a person’s behaviour can often be irrational but not hopeless, human nature can be changed by Optentia’s theories, research and interventions. To do so, care and presence by being there with (not only for) people, within their contexts matters.

Multidisciplinary research offers multiple perspectives and a broad range of expertise for generating unique and creative solutions to solve complex real-world problems.

Research conducted by Optentia include various projects:

  • This year the Experiences of Unemployment project will see the development and testing of an intervention that is relevant for South Africa’s unique unemployment challenge.
  • The we-Deliver project takes up the challenge to provide holistic service delivery to older people through information and communication technology, while drawing on the help and expertise of researchers and students across the NWU.
  • The Survivor 2 Thriver pilot study (S2T) is a collaborative strengths-based intervention for female survivors of childhood sexual abuse and is in its third and final phase. An MOU was signed with the University of Otago, New Zealand, to implement S2T there in 2018. Meanwhile discussions with Correctional Services at Groenpunt prison are also underway to implement S2T there.

Visit Optentia’s website for more information on its research, projects, and training opportunities.

Submitted by BELINDA BANTHAM on Mon, 02/26/2018 - 12:22