Care of Older Persons in Southern African Network (COPSAN)

COPSAN aims to build a cross-disciplinary network of scholars, policymakers and practitioners in ageing research from across South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana and Zimbabwe, connecting with scholars from the Global North to determine and ultimately address challenges to aged care provision in southern Africa.

Who cares for older persons in multigenerational families in Southern Africa?

Associate Professor Elena Moore / Department of Sociology, University of Cape Town

Knowledge generated from the Global South is urgently needed to contribute to the global dialogue on ageing and care, which is currently almost entirely informed by the Global North.

By building capacity, identifying gaps in knowledge, and prioritising research direction, the network’s activities will have a significant long-term impact on older people in southern Africa.

The network will help scholars to understand region-specific issues and will assist leaders, donors, and technical experts in the process of policy-making for elderly care provision.

Aims and objectives

  1. Enhanced expertise sharing and collaboration in research.
  2. Enhanced expertise and competency in gerontology and social science methodologies.
  3. Enhanced participation in international gerontological and social science discourses and cultivation of an African multidisciplinary scientific discourse on elderly care and ageing.
  4. Enhanced dialogue and partnerships with the policymaking process.


Principal Investigator

Associate Professor Elena Moore, Department of Sociology, University of Cape Town.


Professor Debora Price, The University of Manchester.

External Partners

  • National University of Lesotho
  • University of Zimbabwe
  • University of Botswana
  • North-West University
  • The Samson Institute for Ageing Research
  • National Dept of Social Development, South Africa
  • Ministry of Social Development, Lesotho
  • Ministry of Health and Wellness, Botswana
  • University of Zambia
  • University of Namibia


Global Challenges Research Fund.

Funding Period

01 December 2020 – 01 December 2021.