Improving the systematic evaluation of local economic development results in South African local government

Rabie, Babette (2011-03)

Thesis (PhD)--University of Stellenbosch, 2011.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Evidence-based policy making and results-based management aim to improve the performance of organisations, policies and programmes by enabling the accurate measurement of progress and results required for management and policy decisions. Within the notion of the developmental state, ‘Local Economic Development’ (LED) uses the development planning and implementation capacities of local government to accrue economic benefit to the locality with the aim of addressing development problems such as unemployment, poverty and market failure at the local level. While promoting the economic welfare of citizens is a critical objective of local government, the absence of specific indicators for LED measurement hampers their ability to successfully determine whether their efforts are achieving the expected results. The aim of this dissertation is to promote the systematic and committed evaluation of the results of LED interventions in South African local governments. As such, it provides guidelines for an outcomes-based monitoring and evaluation (M&E) system for LED in South Africa and presents a framework of generic outcome and output indicators for alternative LED interventions within the context of public sector monitoring and evaluation. The dissertation commences with an overview of the history of evaluation research, the conceptualisation of ‘Monitoring’ and ‘Evaluation’, and a categorisation of the alternative approaches to evaluation. It further explores best practices in instilling M&E in organisations, policies or programmes through guidelines for the development of M&E systems; designing and conducting evaluation studies; presenting findings; and developing indicators. This later provides a basis for exploring challenges in the evaluation of LED and proposing guidelines for an outcomes-based LED system. The policy framework of public sector M&E in South African government is explored before recommendations are made on the basis of good practice guidelines from the selected international systems and the World Bank. The concept ‘local economic development’ is contextualised and its manifestation in South African policies and practice explored to demarcate the roles of various role players, but local government in particular, in promoting LED. A review of LED-related literature produced a comprehensive list of potential LED interventions. These interventions were categorised into business development, locality improvement, community development, or improved governance interventions. Specific programmes and projects from practice were summarised within each intervention. For each of the identified LED interventions, generic outcome statements and objectives are formulated, followed by concrete contextual output and outcome indicators. The developed indicators are partly derived from existing indicators used to measure development results, but primarily developed from the implied end result captured in the objectives and outcome statements of each intervention. The LED indicator framework was reviewed by selected M&E and LED experts for final refinement and comments. The systematic evaluation of LED results based on well-designed evaluation studies that incorporate the strengths of the various approaches to M&E can enable the identification of the most promising, best return-on-investment LED interventions, as determined by the real, accurate results of these interventions. This can improve strategic policy and management decisions so as to maximise the limited available resources for LED and ensure the greatest positive economic and social development impact.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Bewysgedrewe beleidmaking en uitkomsgerigte bestuur is daarop ingestel om die prestasie van organisasies, beleide en programme te verbeter, deur dit moontlik te maak om die vordering en resultate soos benodig vir bestuur en beleidsbesluite akkuraat te meet. Binne die konteks van die ontwikkelingstaat, maak ‘Plaaslike Ekonomiese Ontwikkeling’ (LED) gebruik van die ontwikkelingsbeplanning en implementeringskapasiteit van plaaslike regerings om ekonomiese voordele vir die lokaliteit te bevorder en sodoende werkloosheid, armoede en markmislukking op plaaslike vlak aan te spreek. Alhoewel die bevordering van die ekonomiese welvaart van burgers ‘n kritiese doelwit van plaaslike regerings is, word plaaslike regerings se vermoë om met sekerheid te bepaal of die gewenste resultate deur aksies bereik is, deur die afwesigheid van spesifieke aanwysers vir die meting van LED belemmer. Die doel van hierdie proefskrif is om sistematiese en toegewyde evaluering van die resultate van LED-intervensies in Suid-Afrikaanse plaaslike regerings te bevorder. As sulks, verskaf dit riglyne vir ‘n uitkoms-gerigte stelsel vir die monitering en evaluering (M&E) van LED in Suid-Afrika, sowel as ‘n raamwerk van generiese uitkoms- en uitsetaanwysers vir alternatiewe LED-intervensies binne die konteks van openbare sektor monitering en evaluering. Die proefskrif begin met ‘n oorsig van evalueringsnavorsingsgeskiedenis, die konseptualisering van ‘Monitering’ en ‘Evaluering’ en kategorisering van verskillende benaderings tot evaluering. Dit verken beste praktyke vir die daarstelling van M&E in organisasies, beleide of programme, om daardeur spesifieke riglyne vir die ontwikkeling van M&E-stelsels, die ontwerp en implementering van evalueringstudies, die aanbieding van bevindinge en die ontwikkeling van aanwysers te spesifiseer. Hierdie dien as ‘n basis vir die latere verkenning van die uitdagings in die evaluering van LED en die daarstel van riglyne vir ‘n uitkoms-gerigte LED-stelsel. Die beleidsraamwerk vir M&E in die Suid- Afrikaanse openbare sektor word verken voor voorstelle ter verbetering gemaak word aan die hand van die beste praktyk riglyne van geselekteerde internasionele stelsels, asook die Wêreldbank. Die konsep ‘plaaslike ekonomiese ontwikkeling’ word gekontekstualiseer en die voorkoms daarvan in Suid-Afrikaanse beleid en praktyk word verken om sodoende die rol van verskillende rolspelers, maar veral plaaslike regering, in die bevordering van LED te onderskei. ‘n Oorsig van LED-verwante literatuur lewer ‘n uitgebreide lys van potensiële LEDintervensies. Hierdie intervensies word gekategoriseer as besigheidsontwikkeling, lokaliteitsverbetering, gemeenskapsontwikkeling of verbeterde regeringswyse intervensies. Spesifieke programme en projekte uit die praktyk word as voorbeelde van elke intervensie aangehaal. Vir elk van die geïdentifiseerde LED-intervensies word generiese uitkoms- en uitsetstellings geformuleer, gevolg deur konkrete, gekontekstualiseerde uitkoms- en uitsetaanwysers. Die aanwysers is tot ‘n mate afgelei van bestaande aanwysers wat aangewend word om ontwikkelingsresultate te meet, maar is hoofsaaklik ontwikkel uit die geïmpliseerde eindresultaat soos vervat in die geformuleerde doelwitte en doelstellings vir elke intervensie. Die ontwikkelde aanwyserraamwerk wat ontwikkel is, is verder verfyn op grond van terugvoer vanaf geselekteerde deskundiges op die gebied van M&E en LED. Die sistematiese evaluering van LED-resultate gegrond op goed-ontwerpte evalueringstudies, inkorporeer die sterk punte van verskeie benaderings tot LED, bevorder die identifisering van die mees belowende en lonende LED-intervensies soos bepaal deur die werklike, akkurate resultate van hierdie intervensies. Hierdie kan ‘n bydrae tot verbeterde strategiese beleids- en bestuursbesluite lewer en sodoende die beperkte beskikbare hulpbronne vir LED maksimeer en die grootste positiewe ekonomiese en sosiale ontwikkelingsimpak verseker.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/6645
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