Raphael Kaplinsky is a Professor of International Development at the Open University. He is the author of numerous books on technology, industrialisation, and globalisation. These include studies on globalisation, industrial policy, industrial organisation, global value chains, the international automobile sector, computer-integrated automation, computer aided design, the impact of microelectronics on employment and on appropriate technology. During the early 1990s he pioneered research on changing patterns of organisation in manufacturing in developing countries. In 2005 he published a book on globalisation, utilising micro-, meso- and macro-data to examine the generalised consequence of upgrading in the global economy (Globalization, Poverty and Inequality). During the course of this research he has over the years worked with enterprises, government-departments and other organisations in Japan, the USA, Western and Eastern Europe, Central America, Brazil, sub-Saharan Africa, and South and Central Asia.
Professor Kaplinsky has participated in numerous UN and EU Missions, providing advice to a large range of countries, particularly on industrial and technology policies. He has led teams of advisers in Central America, Cyprus, South Africa and Kazakhstan and has participated as an adviser in a number of other countries. Between 1991 and 2003 he worked intensively with the South African government on Industrial Policy, and has been deeply involved in the development of industrial strategy in the post-Apartheid era. He has also provided advice on strategic focus and on manufacturing organisation to transnational firms, and to firms in the UK, Africa, Brazil, Central Asia, Central America and India. In the mid-1990s he worked with the European Commission on a programme of assistance to encourage organisational restructuring in European manufacturing and services. More recently, he coordinated economic support to the Brighton and Hove Economic Regeneration Council and advised the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) on policies towards agricultural commodities.
Professor Kaplinsky has engaged with African Policy Makers. In 2008 he presented the opening Plenary and Closing Address to the AfrIPANet IV conference held at the 4th Conference of African Ministers of Industry meeting in Durban, South Africa on the 24th and 25th October. On the 27th October he addressed the African Chief Executives Forum on the role which benchmarking can play in supply chain development. On the 28th October he participated in the workshop of the African Clothing and Leather Research Network. On the 29th October he and Esko Aho (former Prime Minister of Finland, now CEO of Nokia) were the keynote speakers at the opening of the 11th Annual Conference of the Global Competitiveness Institute in Cape Town, South Africa.
On the 31st October he participated in the Annual Conference of the South African Trade and Industry Policy Secretariat, addressing new directions in innovation strategy.