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David Neves, January 2011

David Neves

+27-(0)21-959-3735

Student Focus:

Poverty and inequality; 'livelihoods'; informal self-employment; social policy

Biography:

David Neves joined PLAAS in 2005. His research is broadly concerned with the strategies of people coping with the consequences of structural poverty and unemployment in urban and rural contexts. His research focuses on the dynamics of employment, rural employment, and informal sector self-employment in social networks and ‘human capital’ formation in migrant networks. He has a theoretical interest in human development and the micro-dynamics of social change to issues of chronic poverty and rural livelihoods.

Research on poverty and marginalised livelihoods is vital at present, with the state giving more attention to tackling poverty and inequality — focused on job creation, backed up by social protection. Neves’s research illustrates the key role of state social grants in sustaining networks of social reciprocity, informal self-employment and subsistence agriculture. Supported by international research networks like the CPRC, whose South African country programme Neves headed in 2009/10, there is increasing international recognition that African countries can and should implement social welfare systems to tackle poverty. Combined with minimum work guarantees, Public Works Programmes and more support for informal sector workers, social protection can provide substantial support to marginalised people. Neves’s research will continue to focus on these issues in coming years. His particular focus continues to be on how social policy can support social protection and economic development and how these can contribute to developing local economies in which the livelihoods of the marginalised and vulnerable poor can be supported, protected and allowed to grow.

In the last few years, Neves, as part of a small consortium led by the Centre for the Analysis of South African Social Policy (CASASP) at the University of Oxford, was involved in an ESRC supported project looking at ‘lone mothers’ in South Africa and the role of social security in upholding and protecting their dignity. He researched rural employment and livelihoods as part of a larger ESRC funded project entiled ‘Space, Markets and Employment in Agricultural Development’. He most recently has received funding from the EU supported PSPPD (Programme to Support Pro-Poor Policy Development) to examine how rural development is imagined and implemented by the South African state, by examining a very specific district in the Eastern Cape.

Qualifications:

MA in Research Psychology, Rhodes University

Publications

  1. Neves, D., 2015. An overview of livelihood strategies with a focus on natural resource dependencies and vulnerabilities of the Olifants River Basin in South Africa (Research Report). AWARD, Hoedspruit.
  2. Toit, A. du, Neves, D., 2014. The government of poverty and the arts of survival: mobile and recombinant strategies at the margins of the South African economy. Journal of Peasant Studies 41, 833–853. doi:10.1080/03066150.2014.894910
  3. Wright, G., Neves, D., Ntshongwana, P., Noble, M., 2015. Social assistance and dignity: South African women’s experiences of the child support grant. Development Southern Africa 32, 443–457. doi:10.1080/0376835X.2015.1039711
  4. Wright, G., Noble, M., Ntshongwana, P., Neves, D., Barnes, H., 2014. The role of social security in protecting and respecting the dignity of lone mothers in South Africa (Final report). Center for the Analysis of South African Social Policy (CASSAP); Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS); Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), Oxford.
  5. Wright, G., Noble, M., Ntshongwana, P., Neves, D., Barnes, H., 2014a. The Role of Social Security in Respecting and Protecting the Dignity of Lone Mothers in South Africa: Summary of Findings and Recommendations (Lone Mothers Policy Brief No. 3). Center for the Analysis of South African Social Policy (CASSAP); Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS); Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), Oxford.
  6. Wright, G., Noble, M., Ntshongwana, P., Neves, D., Barnes, H., 2014b. The impact of poverty and inequality on the dignity of lone mothers in South Africa (Lone Mothers Working Paper No. 2). Center for the Analysis of South African Social Policy (CASSAP); Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS); Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), Oxford.
  7. Wright, G., Noble, M., Ntshongwana, P., Neves, D., Barnes, H., 2014c. South Africa’s Child Support Grant and the dignity of female caregivers (Lone Mothers Policy Brief No. 2). Center for the Analysis of South African Social Policy (CASSAP); Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS); Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), Oxford.
  8. Wright, G., Noble, M., Ntshongwana, P., Neves, D., Barnes, H., 2014d. Social security and the dignity of lone mothers in South Africa (Lone Mothers Working Paper No. 3). Center for the Analysis of South African Social Policy (CASSAP); Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS); Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), Oxford.
  9. Wright, G., Noble, M., Ntshongwana, P., Neves, D., Barnes, H., 2014e. Poverty erodes dignity: perspectives of low income female caregivers in South Africa (Lone Mothers Policy Brief No. 1). Center for the Analysis of South African Social Policy (CASSAP); Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS); Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), Oxford.
  10. Wright, G., Noble, M., Ntshongwana, P., Neves, D., Barnes, H., 2014f. Defining Lone Motherhood in South Africa (Lone Mothers Working Paper No. 1). Center for the Analysis of South African Social Policy (CASSAP); Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS); Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), Oxford.
  11. Neves, D., 2014. Building Assets: Consolidating Social Protection, Enhancing Livelihoods, Issues and options from a strategic review of the Ford Foundation ELOPHI and BESOL programmes in South Africa and Mozambique (Peer Review Report). Cape Town.
  12. Neves, D., & du Toit, A. (2013). Rural Livelihoods in South Africa: Complexity, Vulnerability and DifferentiationJournal of Agrarian Change13(1), 93–115.
  13. Neves, D., & Toit, A. du. (2012). Money and Sociality in South Africa’s Informal Economy. Africa: The Journal of the International African Institute, 82(1), 131–149.
  14. Neves D (2012) 'Poverty adversity and resilience', in J. Hardman (ed) Child and Adolescent Development. Cape Town: Oxford University Press.
  15. Neves D (2011) Language. In Swartz L, Duncan C and Duncan E (eds). Psychology (3rd ed) Oxford University Press: Cape Town.
  16. Neves, D. Aliber, M., Mogaladi, J. and du Toit, A. (2011) Understanding Informal self-employment: A qualitative-quantitative integrated study.  Research Report to Programme to Support Pro-Poor Policy Development (PSPPD), Office of the Presidency. Institute for Poverty Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS), University of the Western Cape, Cape Town.
  17. Neves, D., Aliber, M., Mogaladi, J. and du Toit, A. (2011). Supporting informal self-employment for pro-poor livelihoods. Research Paper. Institute for Poverty Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS), University of the Western Cape, Cape Town.
  18. Van Vlaenderen, H. & Neves, D., 2011. Community development: building on contradictionCommunity Development Journal, 46(suppl 1), p.i83-i95.
  19. Neves, D. & Du Toit, A., 2010.Editorial : Working on the margins: Poverty and economic marginality in South AfricaLaw, Democracy and Development 14: 1-7.
  20. Neves, D., Samson, M., Van Niekerk, I, Hlatshwayo, S., Du Toit, A. (2010). The use and effectiveness of social grants in South AfricaResearch Report 8. Johannesburg: FinMark Trust.
  21. Neves, D (2010). Economic informality in South Africa: Practice and policy. Local economies, consumption, enterprise, insurance, indebtedness, and gambling in perspective. WISER (Wits institute for Social and Economic Research), University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. 15 September 2010.
  22. Neves, D. (2010). Problem or panacea? Informal economic activity and poverty. Paper presented at Overcoming inequality and structural poverty in South Africa conference. Programme to Support Pro-Poor Policy Development, Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies, Studies in Poverty and Inequality and the Isandla Institute,  Johannesburg. 20-22 September.
  23. Neves, D. & du Toit, A., 2009. Understanding “economic agency” in the context of informal self-employment. First Workshop on Popular Economies in South Africa. London School of Economics, London.
  24. Neves, D., 2008. The impact of illness and death on migration back to the Eastern Cape, CSSR Working Paper 08/229. Cape Town: Centre for Social Science Research, University of Cape Town.
  25. Neves, D. & Du Toit, A., 2008. The Dynamics of Household Formation and Composition in the Rural Eastern Cape, CSSR Working Paper  08/228. Cape Town:  Centre for Social Science Research, University of Cape Town.
  26. Neves, D. (2008) The consequences of AIDS related illness or death to households in the Eastern Cape, CSSR Working Paper  08/228. Cape Town:  Centre for Social Science Research, University of Cape Town.
  27. Du Toit, A. & Neves, D., 2008. Informal Social Protection in Post-Apartheid Migrant Networks: Vulnerability, Social Networks and Reciprocal Exchange in the Eastern and Western Cape, South AfricaBrook’s World Poverty Institute Working Paper 74. Manchester: Brook’s World Poverty Institute, University of Manchester.
  28. Du Toit, A. & Neves, D., 2008. Trading on a Grant: Integrating Formal and Informal Social Protection in Post-Apartheid Migrant NetworksBrook’s World Poverty Institute Working Paper 75. Manchester: Brook’s World Poverty Institute, University of Manchester.
  29. Du Toit, A. & Neves, D., 2007. In search of South Africa’s “second economy”: Part one: historical, theoretical and empirical diagnosticsAfricanus, 37(2), pp.145-174.
  30. Du Toit, A. & Neves, D., 2007. In search of South Africa’s Second Economy: Chronic poverty, economic marginalisation and adverse incorporation in Mt Frere and Khayelitsha, Working Paper 1. Cape Town and Manchester: Programme for Land and Agrarian Studies and  Chronic Poverty Research Centre.
  31. Du Toit, A. & Neves, D., 2007. In Search of South Africa's Second Economy: Chronic Poverty, Economic Marginalisation and Adverse Incorporation in Mt. Frere and Khayelitsha Chronic Poverty Research Centre Working Paper 102. Manchester: Chronic Poverty Research Centre.
  32. Neves D (2007) Language. In Swartz, L., de la Rey, C. and Duncan, N. (Eds). Psychology (2nd ed) Oxford University Press: Cape Town.
  33. Du Toit, A. & Neves, D., 2006. Vulnerability and social protection at the margins of the formal economy, Report for the South African National Treasury. Cape Town and Pretoria: USAID and PLAAS.
  34. Du Toit, A., and Neves, D. (2006) Vulnerability and Social Protection at the Margins of the Formal Economy, Case Studies from Khayelitsha and the Eastern Cape.  Report for the South African National Treasury. Cape Town and Pretoria, PLAAS and USAID.
  35. Neves, D. (2006, Sept) The memorial afterlife of land dispossession. Paper presented at Land, memory, Reconstruction and Justice: Perspectives on Land Restitution in South Africa Conference. 12-15 September.
  36. Neves, D., 2006. The land question in Ratele K (ed) Inter-Group Relations: South African Perspectives. Juta and Co Ltd, Cape Town.
  37. Böhmke, W. & Neves, D., 2005. Reaping the whirlwind of change: Eastern Cape white commercial farmers’ discourses of democracyPsychology in Society 31, pp.31-56.
  38. Neves, D. (2004). I write what I likePsychology and Society 30, pp.51-53.
  39. Van Vlaenderen, H. & Neves, D., 2003. Activity theory as a framework for psychological research and practice in developing societies in K. Ratele, N. Ducan, D. Hook, N. Mkhize, P. Kiguwa & A. Collins (Eds)Self, community and psychology, p.9.Cape Town: Juta.
  40. Van Vlaenderen, H. & Neves, D., 2003. Participatory action research and local knowledge in community contexts, in K. Ratele, N. Ducan, D.
  41.