PAIR for Africa is a Not For Profit, Public Private Expertise Collaboration between the University of Pretoria

through its Centre for Communication and Reputation Management (CCRM) and Baird’s CMC, an international communications management consultancy.

What happens when some of the best academic resources in Africa combine with solutions experts at a leading international communications management consultancy?

The answer: Better research capabilities and insightful solutions for problems clients face in social development projects in the developed and developing world.

Both partners bring complimentary skill sets:

  • Besides a teeming informal settlement in the heart of a major metropolis in northern India, an orphanage supervisor received a substantial cheque that the donor explained she wrote after reading an article featuring that orphanage in a major Indian newspaper, written and published with the help of the Baird’s CMC network as part of a client deliverable.
  • The Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) approached the University of Pretoria (UP) to execute a climate study and communication audit. The GCIS coordinates all communication divisions of government departments in South Africa. UP assembled a team of experts, designed research methods, interpreted results and dispersed findings and feedback to GCIS, using its research capabilities to benefit the environment in a positive way.

“One of the reasons why we work is to make a difference to the world around us. This is why we see PAIR as a major step in enhancing our communications outreach capabilities and benefiting clients around the globe,” says Matshidiso Masire, a partner of the Baird’s CMC network and key member of the collaboration.

“PAIR seeks to extend the effectiveness of social investment by combining management consulting discipline with the intellectual capacity and depth of experience that comes with a university. Together, we aim to mobilise public and private expertise and resources to find practical solutions for problems that require academic research, business expertise and efficient implementation,” says Francois Baird, co-chairman of Baird’s.

The CCRM will marshal academic resources from within the UP, as well as other universities with which it has relationships, while Baird’s CMC will manage the initiative and mobilise the private sector.