MSP Logo

About the conference

Putting Public in Public Services: Research, Action and Equity in the Global South 
International Conference – Cape Town, South Africa 
April 13-16, 2014 

The conference will bring together researchers, activists, labour representatives, development practitioners and policy makers from around the world working to promote progressive public services, with an emphasis on health, water and electricity. It will go beyond a mere critique of privatization to showcase promising service provision alternatives (past, present and future), pushing forward our conceptual and methodological understandings of how public attitudes and practices arise, how they are constituted, and how they might be sustained.

While there can be no universal definition of “public”, the conference aims to improve dialogue and expand global networks on public alternatives, with a focus on Asia, Africa and Latin America. It is hoped that the conference will offer practical alternatives and help advance debates about public services in South Africa. For more background on the Municipal Services Project research objectives please visit: You can also explore our focus areas at:


You can access the PDF call here. Deadline for submission of abstracts and panels: August 1, 2013. ***Closed***


The conference will feature world-renowned keynote speakers, plenary sessions with approximately 100 attendees from academia, labour, social movements, NGOs and international organizations, as well as parallel seminar panels. The event program is available at

All presenters will be expected to register online once their abstract is accepted. Registration will start October 1, 2013 and will be free for all accepted panelists and speakers. ***Closed***

Registration for observers and local participants wishing to take part in the full conference IS NOW OPEN until March 14, 2014. Spaces are limited and applications will be reviewed on a first come, first served basis.

The conference will be held at the Townhouse Hotel and Conference Centre in central Cape Town, where a block of rooms have been set aside at discounted rates. Additional accommodation options will also be available nearby at a wide range of prices. Please contact us if you need more information on accommodation, flights and visas.



View our complete photo album on the many faces of Cape Town.