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Atlantic Fellows for Social and Economic Equity
Tracy Jooste AFSEE

Tracy Jooste

Head of Special Programmes, International Budget Partnership South Africa

Tracy is a public policy practitioner and the Head of Special Programmes at the International Budget Partnership in South Africa, where she works closely with grassroots organisations advocating government for just access to housing, water, sanitation, and health services. She also leads the gender equity portfolio at the organisation, working to ensure government policies and budgets designed to help the urban poor, serve the needs of women in particular.

Between 2012 and 2018, she was Director for Policy and Research at the Western Cape Department of Human Settlements. She led a dedicated team of professionals to develop policies addressing the significant need for housing amongst lower-income households, with research projects focusing on expanding support to informal settlements, addressing the affordability of housing and understanding the link between health and human settlements. Tracy is passionate about working collaboratively to design policy solutions and oversees a number of partnership agreements. She also serves on national policy, research and legal forums in human settlements.

Prior to joining the public sector in 2012, Tracy worked in consulting for several years, advising government across a range of areas including urban systems, municipal finance, and local governance as well as institutional development and benchmarking. She also has experience in academia having been a Junior Research Fellow at the Centre for Social Science Research at the University of Cape Town (UCT) in the early years of her career.

Tracy holds a master’s degree in public policy and a bachelor’s degree in economics and politics, from UCT. In 2011 she obtained a post-graduate diploma specialising in housing and urban finance from the Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS) in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

My interest in inequality stems from the realities of living and working in the Western Cape – a highly unequal region with a significant need for adequate housing. Despite massive government investment in housing and infrastructure, the urban landscape remains socially and economically divided. Urban transformation, socioeconomic rights and the creation of integrated, sustainable human settlements are central to my work in public policy. I believe that addressing inequality is a collective effort and if government is to widen its reach and impact, it must widen the circle of partners that it engages with. This includes communities, non-profit organisations and academia as well as the private sector.

Tracy Jooste


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