Innovation Partnership for Rural Development Programme - IPRDP

About the IPRDP


One of the Department of Science and Technology's aims is to use science and technology for inclusive development.

The Innovation Partnerships for Rural Development Programme was introduced to pilot and integrate innovative technologies to improve service delivery and quality of life in rural communities.

The IPRDP has been or is being implemented in some of the rural district municipalities identified as priority districts by the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform.  An important part of the initiative is to build science and technology management and leadership capability in the municipalities through a set of technology-based pilot and demonstration initiatives that respond to social and economic infrastructure needs.

These needs, identified by the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, include –


  • water (focusing on access to water and water quality);
  •  sanitation;
  •  housing and human settlements;
  •  access to electricity and energy;
  • ICT and communication services;
  • ecological or green infrastructure.

The expected outcomes of the IPRDP include –


  •  improved conceptualisation and design of technology-based service delivery decisions;
  • facilitated R&D results and new technologies from publicly funded research institutions to promote sustainable livelihoods, enhanced service delivery, and more affordable access to services
  • enhanced learning and capacity building across the targeted municipalities on technology and innovation management;
  • appropriate and scientific evidence-based solutions to influence policy design, development and decision-making;
  • an evidence-based evaluation of the impact of the IPRDP.


IPRDP objectives


  •  To demonstrate, pilot and evaluate the suitability of a selection of potential technology-based options for delivering essential social and economic infrastructure in some rural district municipalities. 
  • To contribute to the generation of practical knowledge and evidence (in the form of policy briefs, technical briefs, decision-support systems, and learning interventions) that can be used to build the capacity of rural municipalities and stakeholders to manage science, technology and innovation.
  • To build a stronger two-way partnership between rural communities and knowledge and technology partners within the national system of innovation, with the aim of facilitating technology transfer and influencing the work and priorities of knowledge and technology partners.
  • To support the development of a policy environment that facilitates the diffusion of good practices and the scaling-up of successful pilots and demonstrators.


IPRDP projects


  • Integrated algal ponding system
  • Wastewater treatment works.
  • Point-of-use system for safe drinking water.
  •  Corrective Action Request and Reporting System for municipal services.
  • Water safety planning and wastewater risk abatement plans.
  • Small-scale hydropower.
  • Low pour flush toilets.
  • Smart geyser for water and electricity saving.
  • Youth science journalism.


Partnership with the European Union


The DST is responsible for testing, demonstrating and recommending new and alternative solutions to service delivery challenges faced by the South African government, through initiatives such as the IPRDP.  This has been supported by the European Union through its General Budget Support to the South African government.

Through this programme, alternative sanitation, water management, electricity generation, wastewater treatment and water-heating solutions have been tested in various parts of the country.

The DST is grateful for the support from the EU, which has made it possible to demonstrate a range of alternative solutions, allowing the DST to make informed recommendations for improved service delivery.


IPRDP Corporate Video


Contact details:

Mr Tshepang Mosiea

Director Sustainable Human Settlements

Tel.: 012 843 6466

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