John Kruger is a development economist and researcher with extensive public administration experience at a senior level in the South African government (National Treasury and Department of Education). He focuses primarily on the areas of social policy and social policy financing (social protection, education and health), public finance and planning/budgeting. In 2008, he established OPM's South Africa office.
As a researcher and lecturer, he focused on the areas of labour markets, poverty and social protection (specifically the development of social protection in South Africa from a historical and comparative perspective) and contributed to a number of research, budget analysis and policy processes, including youth marginalisation and policy and development of the South African child support grant and children’s budgets.
While in government, he participated in and led diagnostic, policy development and financing/budgeting processes related to the social service departments in South Africa – first as senior manager and coordinator of social-sector policy and budgeting in the National Treasury of South Africa and subsequently as head of financial and physical planning in the Department of Education. He was a member of the Taylor Committee advising government on a comprehensive social security system for South Africa and supported key social protection reforms such as the introduction of the child support grant, setting up a centralised grants agency and improving monitoring and evaluation.
At OPM, John has used his experience of research and advisory projects in the areas of social services financing (medium-term financial planning in state education in Nigeria, improvement of the mechanism for budgeting for hospitals in South Africa) and policy analysis and development (review of retirement income systems in SADC, Moldova social service reform). He is currently leading projects on developing options for retirement provision for informal workers in South Africa and developing a social budget (accounting system and projection model) for South Africa.