“Improving the existing public sector strategic planning guidelines towards integrated provincial and local government strategic planning processes : lessons learned from Eastern Cape"

Maxegwana, Malusi (2012-03)

Thesis (MPA)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The practice of public-sector strategic planning has gained dominance in public sector management in imitation of the concept of strategy in military science and later of the practice of strategic planning in the private sector. Its institutionalisation in the public sector should be welcomed as a positive development. The policy and regulatory framework instils a culture of cooperative governance through the promotion of effective intra- and inter-governmental relations that assume a developmental approach to planning. It is this culture that sets parameters within which the practice of strategic planning should be managed in the public sector. Strategy alignment is critical in achieving cooperative governance in strategic planning, as is shown in this study. The study sought to establish the extent to which the existing strategic planning guidelines could be manipulated to achieve alignment between the provincial and local spheres of government. A qualitative study was performed. It relied on both a non-empirical literature review and an empirical investigation to generate its data. Interviews were conducted with representatives of a sample of four Provincial Departments and seven different Municipalities drawn from the three categories of Local Government, namely metropolitan, local and district Municipalities. The Eastern Cape Provincial Government structure with its composite Municipalities constituted the case selected for this study. The study revealed that strategic planning in the province assumes different formats ranging from basic and medium-term to comprehensive and long-term, as well as sector- and project-specific strategic planning processes. The public sector strategic processes are politically influenced, taking their tone from political directives, but driven mainly by administrators. Whereas the active participation of politicians in shaping integrated development plans (IDPs) as the principal strategic plans for Municipalities is acknowledged, the concern that politicians at a provincial level are playing a limited role in shaping Provincial Departments’ strategic plans remains relevant. It is vital that the political governance centre in the province; namely the premier’s office, should take charge of coordinating strategic planning and should be responsible for the alignment efforts of the government structures in the province. Strategic planning plays a significant role in defining the organisational growth path of every public-sector organisation, as well as the management of public resources, financial and non-financial. This study advocates for learning as a central organisational value and recommends that the existing strategic-planning guidelines be improved to embody a cooperative governance approach.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die toonaangewende posisie wat strategiese beplanningspraktyk in die openbare sektor, binne die kader van bestuur in die openbare sektor, verwerf het, het beslag gekry weens die nabootsing van strategiese beplanningskonsepte eie aan die militêre wetenskapsmilieu. Dit is later versterk deur navolging van strategiese beplanningsmodelle uit die privaatsektor. Die institusionalisering van strategiese beplanning in die openbare sektor moet as ’n positiewe ontwikkeling verwelkom word. Beleidstelling en ’n reguleringsraamwerk vestig ’n sterk korporatiewe verantwoordelikheidsin. Dit word bewerkstellig deur die bevordering van effektiewe intra- en interregeringsvehoudinge, wat ’n ontwikkelingsbenadering tot beplanning veronderstel. Hierdie kultuur omskryf die raamwerk vir die toepassing van strategiese beplanning in die openbare sektor. Soos hierdie ondersoek aandui, is ’n voorvereiste vir deelnemende bestuur, wanneer daar strategies beplan word, koördinering van strategie. Die ondersoek het ten doel gehad om te bepaal tot watter mate bestaande strategiese beplanningsriglyne aangepas kon word om gerigdheid tussen provinsiale en plaaslike regeringsfere te bewerkstellig. ’n Kwalitatiewe ondersoek is gedoen, gebaseer op navorsingsdata verkry uit sowel ’n nie-empiriese literatuurstudie as ’n empiriese ondersoek. Onderhoude is gevoer met verteenwoordigers van ’n monster werknemers, saamgestel vanuit vier provinsiale departemente en sewe verskillende munisipaliteite. Die volle spektrum van plaaslike regeringsinstellings is gedek, naamlik metropolitaanse, plaaslike en distriksmunisipaliteite. Die provinsiale regeringstruktuur van die Oos-Kaap en sy saamgestelde munisipaliteitstrukture vorm die basis vir hierdie gevallestudie. Die ondersoek het aangedui dat strategiese beplanning in hierdie provinsie verskeie vorme aanneem; dit wissel in formaat van basies en mediumtermyn tot omvattend en langtermyn, asook sektorale en projekspesifieke strategiese beplanningsprosesse. Die strategiese proses van die openbare sektor word polities beïnvloed deur die politieke ondertoon teenwoordig in direktiewe, maar dit is hoofsaaklik administrateurs wat die agenda bepaal. Alhoewel die aktiewe betrokkenheid van politici in die daarstelling van geïntegreede ontwikkelingsplanne (GOP’s), die hoof strategiese planne vir munisipaliteite, erken word, is daar steeds rede tot kommer dat politici op provinsiale vlak slegs ’n beperkte rol vervul as dit kom by die skep van die provinsiale departemente se strategiese planne. Dit is van kritieke belang dat die kern van politieke bestuur, naamlik die kantoor van die premier, in beheer van die koördinering van strategiese beplanning moet wees en verantwoordelikheid sal aanvaar vir die koördineringspogings van regeringstrukture in die provinsie. Strategiese beplanning speel ’n betekenisvolle rol wanneer die organisatoriese ontwikkelingspad vir elke openbare sektor instelling uitgestippel word, asook by die bestuur van openbare bronne; sowel finansieel as nie-finansieel. Hierdie ondersoek maak voorspraak vir die beklemtoning van kennisontwikkeling as ’n sentrale organisatoriese noodsaak en beveel aan dat bestaande strategiese beplanningsriglyne sodanig aangepas word dat dit ’n koöperatiewe bestuursplan vir beter deelnemende bestuur beliggaam.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/20309
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