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CONSULTATION PROCESS. Consultation objectives Feed into the design of USAID’s direct assistance to local government Identify key democracy and governance challenges facing local government. CONSULTATION PROCESS. Interviews held with:

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Consultation process
CONSULTATION PROCESS

Consultation objectives

  • Feed into the design of USAID’s direct assistance to local government

  • Identify key democracy and governance challenges facing local government


Consultation process1
CONSULTATION PROCESS

Interviews held with:

  • City of Johannesburg (Gauteng); Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Council (Eastern Cape); Amatole District Council (Eastern Cape); Buffalo City Municipal Council (Eastern Cape); Knysna Local Council (Western Cape); Klein Karoo / Garden Route District Council (Western Cape); Cape Metro Council (Western Cape); Durban Metropolitan Council (KwaZulu-Natal); King Shaka District Municipality (KwaZulu-Natal)

  • 21 project managers for LGSP projects

  • National stakeholders: DPLG; LGTP; SALGA; MIIU, MDB;Parliamentary Portfolio Committee; National Council of Provinces.


Issues identified
ISSUES IDENTIFIED

Issues relevant to democracy and governance clustered under four headings:

  • Democratic council-community engagement

  • Social and economic development, citizenship and civic responsibility

  • Institutional restructuring for more developmental local governance

  • Council and community capacity for developmental local governance.


Council community engagement
COUNCIL-COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

  • Real commitment to participation

  • Very little experience to draw on (‘post-forum’ participatory structures & beyond procedural mechanisms)

  • Community organisation not a given – many municipalities not geared to work in unorganised areas

  • Need agendas which are ‘relevant’ to engage citizens- current focus on input into Council processes (planning/ services/ etc)


Council community engagement1
COUNCIL-COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

Ward committees

Diversity:

  • Wards that cross old community divides represent divergent interests

  • Participation of social structures like cartels, gangs, illegal migrants, etc

  • Principle of plurality respected but ward committees may be designed in ways that mute opposition voices – to what extent are ward committees political structures ?


Council community engagement2
COUNCIL-COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

Ward committees

  • Geographic distance in rural areas with dispersed populations- wards too large to enable participation on local issues

  • Costs of participation prohibitive, especially in more rural areas

  • Roles of district and local councilors: Traditionally DCs worked through local councils in engaging citizens. Now need clarity on roles; and participatory structures to be established

  • Ward committees not a ‘solution’ to participation by themselves- Need to have guidance and sharing of experience on rules and procedures


Council community engagement3
COUNCIL-COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

Role of ward and PR councilors

  • Roles of councillors still evolving (ward & PR)- if ward councillors are the key interface with communities, do they have the power in Council structures & own party caucus to influence key development / political decisions

  • Councilors need supportive structures and mechanisms to be effective

  • Officials raised ‘catch 22’ re: councillor participation in projects- both essential as a ‘champion’ & link to Council, but also possibility of (perceived) party political bias


Council community engagement4
COUNCIL-COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

Communication and community access

  • Communication seen as press-liaison or marketing function (often with limited budget).

  • Communication more difficult where communities are isolated; high illiteracy rates; participation more difficult where local services standards are high (middle class areas)

  • Councils need to find ways to listen as well as talk to communities


Social economic development citizenship
SOCIAL & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT & CITIZENSHIP

Social and economic development

  • Councils comfortable with economic development function, but see social development as social welfare function or unfunded mandate

  • Recognize that weak social and community structures and social problems like crime, homelessness, family breakdown, gangs, etc impact on ability to govern

  • Need to create functional families and stable communities acknowledged


Social economic development citizenship1
SOCIAL & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT & CITIZENSHIP

Some new approaches:

  • “We build houses & give services, but we can’t build communities”- Add social development functions to housing development

  • “Service standards are high, the problems are social”- Area based management

  • Use key social issues as a way to structure participation & establish Council-community relationships, even if those issues outside local government competence


Social economic development citizenship2
SOCIAL & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT & CITIZENSHIP

Citizenship & civic responsibility

  • Campaigns to encourage citizens to recognize what LG does; take responsibility for services; trust government; know rights and duties; be involved; etc

  • Some areas (mostly urban) – problems less to do with services than with civic responsibility (what we let our neighbors get away with)

  • Local politics is being restructured, not just local government

  • Need political solutions to problems of social exclusion & vulnerable social groups- ‘strongmen’ filling the governance vacuum, eg: allocation of resources in informal settlements, indunas in hostels, drug cartels /gangs, etc


Social economic development citizenship3
SOCIAL & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT & CITIZENSHIP

Poverty

  • Key issue for local government

  • New ways to allocate DC levies on pro-poor criteria

  • Lack of skills to analyze and address poverty (poverty assessment, move beyond income deprivation to look at other kinds of vulnerability, social capital, etc)

  • Need new economic and ‘regional economic’ strategies

    Intergovernmental relations

  • Need to improve intergovernmental relations in process of tackling social under-development, social exclusion, poverty, weak citizenship etc


Institutional restructuring for developmental lg
INSTITUTIONAL RESTRUCTURING FOR DEVELOPMENTAL LG

Opportunities of more developmental structures in current restructuring

  • Awareness of need for more developmental and democratic administrations

  • Municipalities feel there is an opportunity, but it’s a small window:

    • Need organograms to ‘normalise’ administrative management- tends to a structure-led process. Concern that ‘first-take’ structures will be difficult to change later

    • DoF grant with ring-fencing requirement interpreted as incentive to corporatise- tension between fragmented institution and integrated policy approach

    • Emphasis on cross-functional approaches to development- requires a more sophisticated policy apparatus


Council community capacity building for development
COUNCIL & COMMUNITY CAPACITY BUILDING FOR DEVELOPMENT

Specific support for more specialised development capabilities needed

  • Need more rigorous approach in identifying capacity gaps

  • Smaller municipalities: Need more specialised skills over local government generalists

  • Specific skills gaps: Regulation and contract management, Labour relations, Project management, etc

  • Councilor development is a critical issue

  • Change management & “softer” skills


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