Research Articles (School of Public Leadership)

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    Assessing the extent to which performance management systems enhance performance in fulfilling objectives in an Integrated Development Plan : the case of Drakenstein Municipality, Western Cape
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2023-12) Prins, Whitney; Burger, Werner, (Public administration specialist); Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences. School of Public Leadership.
    ENGLISH SUMMARY: Performance management is a crucial aspect of human resource management, which aims to enhance organisational effectiveness and efficiency by aligning administrative activities with organisational objectives. However, a recent study by the South African Cities Network (SACN) suggests that spatial planning outcomes at the local government level may diverge from the intended transformational goals within society. The research, in conjunction with input from municipal practitioners in SACN's Built Environment Integration Task Team (BEITT), suggests the presence of a ‘compliance culture’ that emphasises conformity to institutional norms rather than promoting transformative development. The complexities that are associated with performance management systems in urban settings are of utmost importance in shaping the implementation of tasks and the exclusion of others. The primary aim of performance management is to ensure the efficient implementation of stated strategies and the attainment of desired developmental results. As per the guidelines that were provided by the Department of Provincial and Local Government, the Performance Management System requires municipalities to define goals and objectives as well as develop performance indicators, targets and development plans. Performance management is an instrumental tool that is used by local governments to assist in the continuous monitoring and assessment of performance; thus, augmenting effectiveness. This research aims to evaluate the degree to which performance management systems contribute to the achievement of objectives within an Integrated Development Plan, specifically focusing on the instance of Drakenstein Municipality. The Drakenstein Municipality has been awarded its eighth clean audit by the Auditor General of South Africa, indicating the absence of noteworthy financial irregularities, successful attainment of set targets and adherence to all applicable laws, rules and directives. The current occurrence marks the fifteenth straight occurrence in which the audit opinion has remained unqualified, which indicates that the financial statements have been fairly presented and adhere to the relevant accounting rules. Despite several breakthroughs in recent years, there persists a substantial and pressing need for improved service delivery throughout all regions inside South Africa. Municipalities have shown inadequate performance in the efficient implementation of approved policies, Integrated Development Plans (IDPs) and programmes. The Cabinet granted approval to the Local Government Turn-Around Strategy (LGTAS) in December 2009, with the objective of officially incorporating it into the budget and Integrated Development Plan (IDP) of all 283 municipalities in South Africa by March 2010. However, a substantial percentage (95%) of municipalities failed to offer any indication about the execution and integration of the turn-around efforts into the 2010/11 budgets and Integrated Development Plans (IDPs). The lack of a reliable Performance Management System (PMS) among South African municipalities poses a noteworthy concern that necessitates attention in order to effectively execute the Integrated Development Plan (IDP). By acknowledging the absence of a reliable PMS, local governments may enhance the alignment between their prescribed responsibilities and their strategic goals, which ultimately leads to improved service provision. The public sector in South Africa has been under scrutiny due to inadequate service provision within local entities, which prompted the introduction of a nationwide development framework. The evaluation of performance in local government demonstrates discrepancies, and there are several obstacles that hinder the process across different organisational cultures. Local governments should expand their efforts beyond the mere implementation of review systems and procedures to provide sufficient evaluation capacity. Moreover, the assimilation of information and competencies is strongly embedded into the organisational ethos; hence requiring comprehensive training for government workers. The current issue under investigation pertains to the limited comprehension of the extent to which performance management systems contribute to the advancement of municipalities in attaining their Integrated Development Plan (IDP) goals. The Drakenstein Municipality case study is an exemplary example due to its notable history of continuously achieving clean audit results.
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    Algorithmic decision-making and the law
    (Department for E-Governance and Administration, Danube University Krems, 2020) Brand, Dirk
    The Fourth Industrial Revolution is reshaping the world we know dramatically and is characterised by a close interaction between the biological, digital and physical spheres. Digital technologies are impacting all facets of our lives and create a series of new opportunities but also various challenges. The Fourth Industrial Revolution does not follow a linear development trajectory, but due to the diverse nature and rapid pace of technological developments, could rather be compared to a series of networks with multiple connecting points. This has caused the development of the law which deals with these concerns to generally be slow and unable to match the pace and scope of technological developments. In the context of public law there are many questions and challenges relating to individual rights, for example the right to privacy, and the role and responsibilities of government relating to policy development and regulation dealing with the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The concept of a Rechtsstaat could arguably provide an appropriate legal framework for shaping the ethical framework, normative standards and a value-based governance model for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, including for algorithmic decision-making. The public law concept of accountability should be contextualised in order to apply it to algorithmic decision-making. In the data-driven economy of the 21st century the pace and scope of technological developments that impact humanity requires the development of appropriate legal frameworks to reflect and accommodate the needs of society, in particular relating to the recognition of fundamental human rights. It is concluded that a broad set of ethical and legal principles, which can guide the development of international and national legal frameworks to regulate algorithmic decision-making, is needed.
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    Developing and implementing an effective framework for cooperative governance and Local Economic Development (LED) in South African local government
    (Megatrend University, 2022-05) Kamara, Richard Douglas
    The lack of a comprehensive institutional framework to promote joint participation in the development of local economies has hampered grassroots development efforts in South African communities. The majority of the South African local government authorities struggle to fulfil their developmental mandate. Notably, there’re certain collaborative governance factors that tend to enhance the effectiveness and control of localised development. These factors are not captured in the integrated conceptual model that articulately depicts the relationships between these variables and their impacts on the perceived outcome of LED. This negatively impacts the municipality’s ability to manage localised development well in collaboration with relevant stakeholders. A complete understanding of the relationships and dynamics of these variables is required to make recommendations for improving management and response to socio-economic concerns within the community through improved LED governance. Data were collected in six municipalities in the Western Cape, South Africa, to address these challenges. A qualitative study design paradigm based on interpretive philosophy was employed. The instruments used to collect the data were document reviews, interviews, and focus group discussions. The study analyses and evaluates the design and implementation of collaborative governance policies and initiatives in selected local governments in the Western Cape, South Africa. A normative, collaborative governance framework was developed in the study. This captures not only the enhancing and limiting factors of LED but also the relationship between these factors that can hinder the success of the collaboration between local governments and other key stakeholders. This integrated framework/model can inform future design, implementation, and evaluation of LED co-governance in small towns and future policies for improving co-governance and LED in small towns.
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    Corridors of Clarity: Four Principles to Overcome Uncertainty Paralysis in the Anthropocene
    (2020-11) Polasky, Stephen; Crépin, Anne-Sophie; Biggs, Reinette, 1979-; Carpenter, Stephen R
    Global environmental change challenges humanity because of its broad scale, long-lasting, and potentially irreversible consequences. Key to an effective response is to use an appropriate scientific lens to peer through the mist of uncertainty that threatens timely and appropriate decisions surrounding these complex issues. Identifying such corridors of clarity could help understanding critical phenomena or causal pathways sufficiently well to justify taking policy action. To this end, we suggest four principles: Follow the strongest and most direct path between policy decisions on outcomes, focus on finding sufficient evidence for policy purpose, prioritize no-regrets policies by avoiding options with controversial, uncertain, or immeasurable benefits, aim for getting the big picture roughly right rather than focusing on details.
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    The legal public–private partnership framework and policy implementation in Uganda
    (2020-10) Mugurura, Jude; Ndevu, Zwelinzima
    Background: This article is based on a multidimensional empirical research study investigating aspects of the suitability of the public–private partnership environment of Uganda for road infrastructure development. The foundation of the article is the implementation of the relationship between existing legal and regulatory frameworks on the ground in Uganda.Aim: Key aspects and realities of the legal and policy frameworks that support public–private partnership, road investment projects and programmes in Uganda are examined from the perspective of a transparent, effective and efficient service delivery.Setting: A brief exposition of Uganda’s historical realities and present challenges, especially in terms of road infrastructure, an introduction of key aspects of the legal and regulatory frameworks is presented.Methods: The research is based on an exploratory research design methodology founded on a thorough literature review, exhaustive documentary analysis of primary and secondary sources and 30 interviews with senior and middle managers in the public and private sectors in Uganda. A semi-structured questionnaire was utilised.Results: The analysis of data was based on a dissection of the policies and systems as foundations of solid implementation, existing legal violations, the local private sector’s present conundrum and capacity gaps, the realities of integrity and corruption and the existing approach of citizens towards the problems and challenges.Conclusion: The lack of integrity in both the private and public sector has serious negative effects on the processes, functions, planning, designing, outputs and outcomes of infrastructure initiatives undertaken.