AIM OF CONFERENCE
The aim of this conference will be to identify practical approaches to development policy implementation in South Africa to help in the effective implementation of development policies.
The conference proposes to bring together a wide range of academics, government officials (policy makers) and NGOs to discuss and share ideas on how to improve the implementation of development policies in South Africa.
The participants will include academics and people involved in policy formulation and implementation. These will include national, provincial and local government officials, Trade Unions, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and Community Based Organisations (CBOs) that are involved in rural and urban development.
The conference is expected to have about 100 participants
CONTENT OF CONFERENCE
Theoretical debates will form a vital part and provide an important backdrop for the conference as a whole. However, the conference hopes to concentrate on questions around the best practice of policy implementation. The emphasis will be on ways in which the delivery rate of various policies can be speeded up as well as how specific programmes and initiatives can be made more effective. Thus we hope to focus on analysing how policies have been formulated, administered and most importantly implemented on the ground. From this practical starting point, there is the likelihood that problems with government programmes and with various approaches to development will be readily identified.
Some of the broad areas in which the conference will focus are:
An assessment of recent attempts to speed up land reform
Problems and prospects in the implementation of urban renewal policies
The Impacts and possible improvements in rural development initiatives
Approaches to and experiences in community participation
Activism and its effects on delivery
The relationship between policy theory and practice
Development successes and how they can be generalised and emulated in other places
Development problems and how they can be avoided
How development policies have actually affected rural and urban people
The role and effectiveness of different stakeholders in policy formulation and practical implementation
In all these topics, the conference would like to bring out clearly the implications for improving implementation.
The conference will be a joint National Institute for Economic Policy (NIEP), History Workshop and the National Land Committee (NLC) initiative. This is to ensure a strong link between NGOs and academic institutions to enable smooth organisation of the conference. It also continues the efforts by the History Workshop to link historical research to the policy process in South Africa.
The conference will be a combination of invited papers and contributed papers.
With the invited papers, development experts will be identified and requested to write for and present papers at the conference.
With the contributed papers, call for papers will be advertised. The target for this call for papers will be academics, policy makers and development practitioners from NGOs.
The conference will end with a plenary session to discuss a way forward, where all recommendations from different parallel sessions will be collated and discussed.
Some of the papers will be selected and published in a journal. Conference proceedings will also be published in which the core papers, discussions and policy proposals will be summarised and made readily accessible to participants and policy makers.
University of the Witwatersrand
Private Bag 3
Wits 2050 South Africa
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