email

Ravi Naidoo

National Labour and Economic Development Institute (NALEDI)


6th Floor, COSATU House
Leyds Street
Braamfontein SOUTH AFRICA
Phone: 011 403-2122
ravi@naledi.org.za
For over a decade Ravi Naidoo has shaped important social policies in South Africa.

Naidoo grew up in South Africa during the struggle against Apartheid. His father, a community leader, was jailed by the regime for “high treason”, and many members of his family were exiled or killed. Since 1991 Naidoo has been intensively involved in policy research for social change.

Since the advent of democracy in 1994 Naidoo has been actively involved in the debates on the restructuring of the social protection system.

In 1996 he was a part of a three-person task team appointed by the Minister of Labor to recommend changes to the Unemployment Insurance Fund, the country’s largest social insurance fund. Although the team had only three months to complete the project, they produced a 230-page report -- the first-ever comprehensive review of the Fund in 50 years -- which served as the basis for an Amendment Act significantly restructuring the Fund. The amendments included extended protection to more vulnerable workers, a stronger redistribution to lower income workers (through a digressive income replacement scale), and greater institutional autonomy for the Fund to improve its levels of efficiency.

In 2000, the South African Cabinet appointed Naidoo to a Committee of Inquiry into a Comprehensive Social Security System that dealt with all major areas of social insurance and social assistance, including retirement provision, healthcare, unemployment, and poverty reduction. He was then asked to join the overall Management Sub-Committee and to head up the Editorial Sub-Committee. The report produced in 2002 was characterized by the coalition of national trade unions, NGOs and the council of churches as “the most revolutionary document produced by government since 1994”.

The report made a number of far-reaching recommendations that have placed poverty reduction and social security squarely on the national agenda, and these issues are now a top priority for the leading political parties. The Government already started implementing aspects of the Committee’s report, including expanding welfare benefits to more poor households and creating a national social security agency.

In his most recent role as the Executive Director of the National Labour and Economic Development Institute (NALEDI), an autonomous institute that engages in research analysis and strategy formulation for the South African labor movement, Naidoo was in charge of the overall management of the institute and of developing long-term strategic plans. He also conducted and managed research and led policy advisory efforts.

Naidoo has also served on the Policy Review Panel for the Department of Trade and Industry, the Council of Statistics South Africa, the ILO Advisory Panel for the Social Dialogue and Poverty Alleviation in Africa, and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. He serves on the advisory board of Earth Equity, South Africa’s first social activist investment fund, and he is one of five Steering Committee members of the Global Policy Network, a network of the fifty leading labor-linked think tanks in the world.

Naidoo came to the Kennedy School to further hone his analytical and leadership skills in order to prepare for even greater professional challenges. Upon his return to South Africa, he plans to continue his intellectual work at NALEDI and in the global “South”.


Naidoo grew up in South Africa during the struggle against Apartheid. His father, a community leader, was jailed by the regime for “high treason”, and many members of his family were exiled or killed. Since 1991 Naidoo has been intensively involved in policy research for social change.

Since the advent of democracy in 1994 Naidoo has been actively involved in the debates on the restructuring of the social protection system.

In 1996 he was a part of a three-person task team appointed by the Minister of Labor to recommend changes to the Unemployment Insurance Fund, the country’s largest social insurance fund. Although the team had only three months to complete the project, they produced a 230-page report -- the first-ever comprehensive review of the Fund in 50 years -- which served as the basis for an Amendment Act significantly restructuring the Fund. The amendments included extended protection to more vulnerable workers, a stronger redistribution to lower income workers (through a digressive income replacement scale), and greater institutional autonomy for the Fund to improve its levels of efficiency.

In 2000, the South African Cabinet appointed Naidoo to a Committee of Inquiry into a Comprehensive Social Security System that dealt with all major areas of social insurance and social assistance, including retirement provision, healthcare, unemployment, and poverty reduction. He was then asked to join the overall Management Sub-Committee and to head up the Editorial Sub-Committee. The report produced in 2002 was characterized by the coalition of national trade unions, NGOs and the council of churches as “the most revolutionary document produced by government since 1994”.

The report made a number of far-reaching recommendations that have placed poverty reduction and social security squarely on the national agenda, and these issues are now a top priority for the leading political parties. The Government already started implementing aspects of the Committee’s report, including expanding welfare benefits to more poor households and creating a national social security agency.

In his most recent role as the Executive Director of the National Labour and Economic Development Institute (NALEDI), an autonomous institute that engages in research analysis and strategy formulation for the South African labor movement, Naidoo was in charge of the overall management of the institute and of developing long-term strategic plans. He also conducted and managed research and led policy advisory efforts.

Naidoo has also served on the Policy Review Panel for the Department of Trade and Industry, the Council of Statistics South Africa, the ILO Advisory Panel for the Social Dialogue and Poverty Alleviation in Africa, and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. He serves on the advisory board of Earth Equity, South Africa’s first social activist investment fund, and he is one of five Steering Committee members of the Global Policy Network, a network of the fifty leading labor-linked think tanks in the world.

Naidoo came to the Kennedy School to further hone his analytical and leadership skills in order to prepare for even greater professional challenges. Upon his return to South Africa, he plans to continue his intellectual work at NALEDI and in the global “South”.



Focus: Development, Environment, Africa

Specialization:

Community development; Microfinance; Subsidies

Language Fluency:

English

Last Updated: Sep 22, 2006