P arliamentarian education program in south africa a pathway to domestic accountability
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P arliamentarian Education Program in South Africa: a Pathway to Domestic Accountability. Nhlanhla Nene, Chair, Portfolio Committee on Finance, SA National Assembly Neal P. Cohen, formerly with USAID in South Africa. LenCD Forum, Nairobi, Kenya, 3-5 October 2006.

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P arliamentarian Education Program in South Africa: a Pathway to Domestic Accountability

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P arliamentarian education program in south africa a pathway to domestic accountability

Parliamentarian Education Program in South Africa: a Pathway to Domestic Accountability

Nhlanhla Nene, Chair, Portfolio Committee on Finance,

SA National Assembly

Neal P. Cohen, formerly with USAID in South Africa

LenCD Forum, Nairobi, Kenya, 3-5 October 2006


P arliamentarian education program in south africa a pathway to domestic accountability

The First Graduation Class of South African Parliamentarians University of the Western Cape, March 2004

INSERT GRAPHIC TO ADD PHOTO


Rationale for capacity development

Rationale for Capacity Development

  • The end of apartheid

  • Shortage of professional black economists

  • Government to control own destiny, make own decisions

  • No World Bank, IMF, or donor “dictating” policy (non-prescriptive)

  • Secure domestic support – blacks do analysis, policy development

  • Whole program build around achieving domestic accountability

  • Assumption: Good policy flows from/based on good analysis

  • Principles: full partnership, cost sharing, SA decision making, move training programs to SA from US, all TA includes training


Why work with parliament

Why Work with Parliament?

  • Accountability to the citizens for policy

  • Expanded questioning, hearings – public discussion of policy with civil society, private sector, academia and government

  • PFMA and monitoring government spending

  • Leads to policy becoming understood and thus sustainable


Public account committees pacs

Public Account Committees (PACs)

  • Request from Auditor-General to help PACs understand Auditor-General reports

  • Training in importance of PACs to democracy and ending corruption, motivate, reading audit report (demystify and remove fear)

  • Hearings: ask questions publicly (why no approvals or records, lack of financial controls, how was contractor selected – inculcate accountability)

  • Government value for money – monitor government performance, achieve targets cost effectively

  • Pocket guide of best practices


Parliamentarian economics education

Parliamentarian Economics Education

  • Focus on budget speech and macro-economic policy – stages: understand, ask elaboration questions, probe/discuss, make policy

  • Focus on issues of concern to parliament – critical notion of opportunity cost, demystify economics

  • Hearings: improved questioning of government officials, public discussion, spending accountability

  • Work with parliamentarians to determine how/what to deliver – they design within known funding levels (agreed objectives, not predetermined methods, flexible)

  • Benefits to government of public hearings


Lessons learned 1

Lessons Learned - 1

  • Parliamentarians’ program, filled gap they identified; USAID funder and catalyst, provide ideas

  • Strong support from top government leadership; good enabling environment

  • Quick rewards and recognition from the training (documented proof of success – certificates, diplomas, degrees)

  • Taught by top SA economists, organized by SA universities and SA economic think tanks and in SA (lower costs, achieve critical mass)

  • UWC willing to develop program with flexible hours, venues and special tutorials:applied not theoretical economics


Lessons learned 2

Lessons Learned - 2

  • CD support was aimed at learning how to analyze, non-prescriptive

  • Open, public hearings and questioning of government officials, the private sector, NGOs and academia – leads to domestic accountability (non-confrontational)

  • Parliamentarian ownership and direction – not USAID program for parliamentarians led to continuation when USAID funding ended

  • Flexibility in implementation, not pre-determined methods, not HQ driven, listen

  • Improving the capacity of Parliament is vital for domestic accountability and for policy sustainability


Future steps for parliamentary cd

Future Steps for Parliamentary CD

  • Public Account Committee-like institution at local government level

  • Share PAC training with other countries (SADCOPAC)

  • Parliament/legislatures need research staff and access to commissioned research


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