The University of Pretoria and Baird’s CMC will pool their strengths in an initiative called PAIR (policy, advocacy, insight and research) that combines the intellectual capacity of a university with the business disciplines of an international management consultancy.

PAIR, a not-for-profit public-private partnership brings together the extraordinary range of capabilities from the University of Pretoria and Baird’s CMC. PAIR is linked to the University’s School of Management and its Centre for Communication and Reputation Management — CCRM. Baird’s CMC is an international communications management consultancy with headquarters in the U.K, a large presence throughout Africa and a footprint spanning five continents.

Commenting on the new initiative, Dr. Ademola Olajide, Head of Health, Nutrition and Population for the Africa Union Commission, said ” The PAIR initiative is indeed being established at an auspicious time when the sustainable growth of developing economies remains confronted by a myriad of challenges. This not -for- profit public-private partnership between the University of Pretoria and an international communications management consultancy brings together in a very dynamic way the highly complementary capacities of academic rigour and global communications expertise required to advance the bespoke interventions in the health, social and economic sectors to facilitate desirable results,”

“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,” said Francois Baird, co-chairman of Baird’s CMC.

Together, the founders of PAIR have a deep understanding of how Africa and the rest of the world affect one another. “PAIR will add value to existing clients, globally and in Africa, in the social development sphere. We are concentrating on Corporate Social Investment opportunities and health and development communication projects – all extremely important in a developing society and a second economy,” says Professor Ronel Rensburg, founding member of CCRM and a member of the PAIR management team.

The University of Pretoria, one of Africa’s premier universities, enrolls more students from the rest of the continent than any other university in Africa. Baird’s CMC has employees and shareholders in all the BRICS nations and in the established economies of Western Europe and North America. Baird’s CMC also has implementation partners throughout the developing world.

PAIR will be led by experts in advocacy, policy formation and reputation. The academic strength of the University – including agriculture, business, public health, veterinary science and IT – are combined with the experience of Baird’s CMC consultants and partners in development, financial services, global health, national security, telecoms, tourism and other vertical disciplines. This combination allows PAIR to offer a comprehensive value-added proposition.

PAIR is designed to provide data, analysis, recommendations and the management of implementation campaigns for a wide range of policy, advocacy and development opportunities. PAIR will work for foundations, governments, multi laterals, NGOs and corporate clients.

Both entities have worked in parallel on areas such as climate change. Baird’s CMC leveraged its expertise to communicate sensitive findings to stakeholders on the links between climate change mitigation and family planning for a client in Africa. The University of Pretoria helped assemble a team of experts to help execute a feasibility study and communications audit on climate change.


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