Summary of Methodology Paper – Taking Stock – How to make Sense of Progressive Realisation of Socio-Economic Rights and Evaluate Progress made over Time – the case for the realisation of socio-economic rights1

Few people would disagree that the realisation of socio-economic rights is key for overcoming South Africa’s persistent struggle with poverty and inequality. However, when resource constraints and the sheer size of the problem get discussed people typically say one of two things – either that the progress made around the delivery of houses, social grants or education – to name just a few – is a huge achievement and shouldn’t be belittled merely because backlogs or problems in delivery continue to exist, or that progress is too slow for a comparatively rich middle income country. Very little overt consensus exists around what to deliver, by when and how. The aim of this project undertaken by the Studies in Poverty and Inequality Institute (SPII), with support from the Ford Foundation, is to provide a methodology for assessing and analysing the progressive realisation of socio-economic rights in South Africa specifically, but which would also have traction internationally.