Evidence for Policy Making and Implementation

The course was presented in collaboration with the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME).


Ten successful iterations have been delivered between 2013 and 2018. The course alumni comprises 366 senior government officials; 11 Director Generals, 84 Deputy Director Generals, 126 Chief Directors, and 54 Directors, amongst others.


The course has catalysed various actions to embed the use of evidence in policy processes, spurred evaluation processes and generated a greater awareness of and enthusiasm for the use of evidence in a number of departments.


The course unpacks the different influences on policy-making and implementation processes (facts, experiences, expertise, judgement, politics and institutional capacity) and the ways in which evidence can be incorporated into the management process. It analyses different types of evidence and their usefulness in different arenas. The course is very practical, using case studies and drawing on participants’ experiences, as well as global thinking and best practice.


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Understanding Poverty and Inequality in South Africa

This course was developed in collaboration with the Programme to Support Pro-Poor Policy Development (PSPPD) in the Presidency. Five successful iterations of the course have been delivered – in 2013, 2014, 2015,2016 and 2018. The course alumni comprises 117 senior government officials, including 6 Deputy Director Generals, 17 Chief Directors and 40 Directors, amongst others.


The aim of this course was to:


(I)  Provide senior government officials and policy makers with information on current debates within the poverty and inequality discourse;


(II)  Stimulate critical reflection of how their work is positioned relative to the poverty and inequality response; and


(III)  Explore potential levers and strategies that can be applied towards the attainment of greater impact on poverty as well as inequality in South Africa


As far as possible, the course highlights lessons that can be derived from experiences locally, within Africa as well as internationally. Specific attention is given to identifying ways in which to ensure lessons gained within the course are translated into daily work practices.


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Implementing Development Projects in Africa

The Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance worked collaboratively with the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) to develop a five-day training course on ‘Implementing Development Projects in Africa’.  The conceptualization of the course evolved out of an expressed request from BADEA to find innovative ways to unlock the implementation blockages that confront several of the project implementation units (PIUs) of largescale projects that the Bank funds across the continent.


The inaugural course took place from 17 – 21 September 2018 in Cape Town, South Africa with 42 participants from 11 countries in Africa; namely Kenya, Rwanda, Seychelles, Gambia, Ethiopia, Malawi, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Lesotho, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Swaziland.


The intensive one-week residential training adopted a participatory approach with content sessions and practical group work exercises to support the translation of content into practice.


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Innovations in Public Employment Programmes

This course was presented in collaboration with the International Labour Organisation’s Employment Intensive Investment Programme (EIIP) and its International Training Centre, and explores policy issues arising from the innovations in Public Employment Programmes.


The first course took place from 11-15 March 2013, while the second course took place from 9-13 April 2018. The course was developed and facilitated by international and national trainers and experts.


The course builds on the existing course on Innovations in Public Employment Programmes offered annually by the ITC-ILO and focuses on current policy debates arising from innovations in public employment programmes and how these can contribute to other policy priorities. The course includes case studies from international PEPs, site visits and peer-learning, and is designed to provide policy insights to inform strategic decision-making and programme design.


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Urban Safety Governance for African Cities


This course was run successfully in 2017, in collaboration with the UCT’s Safety and Violence Initiative (SaVI). This course was specifically designed for city and local government officials, senior managers, practitioners and civil society representatives who contribute to building safer and more resilient cities. It provides participants with both conceptual and practical insights into the promotion of urban safety in a more holistic and sustainable manner.


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Integrating Public Transport: Rethinking the role of the Minibus Taxi Industry


This course was run in 2015, facilitating dialogue between the city officials, the MBT industry and other government and non-government stakeholders about the future of public transport in South Africa’s cities. The course targeted decision-makers or policy influencers in the urban public transport arena in South Africa, particularly local, regional and national level officials and decision-makers in the government sector who engage the MBT industry.


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Leadership in Public Transport for Spatial Transformation


This course took place in 2013 and aimed to highlight the potential of transport as a transformative tool in cities – transforming both the way cities think about land use and citizen mobility. It sought to enable metropolitan political and administrative leaders to get to grips with current challenges, learn techniques and tools, and be inspired to lead and implement change in urban mobility and land use management so as to connect, integrate and transform our cities into more inclusive, productive and sustainable cities.


The course targeted City leadership teams comprised of members such as the Mayor or Deputy Mayor, the Transport Portfolio Chair, the City Manager, the Chief Financial Officer and the Executives responsible for Planning and Transport. The Department of Transport, National Treasury, the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation in the Presidency, and the National Planning Commission were also targeted.


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Leadership in Local Government – Building Globally Competitive Cities


This leadership course was run in 2012 and targeted Mayors, senior Mayoral Committee (Mayco) members and City Managers and their teams. The course focused on the interrelated issues of financial strategy, spatial integration and sustainable human settlements. The course was designed to help leadership teams align their political mandate with reform goals, strengthen their capacity to unleash their ‘latent’ power to achieve ambitious, yet realistic goals, and build effective coalitions. It was sponsored by National Treasury through the Cities Support Programme, with the support of SALGA and the World Bank Institute (WBI).


Collaborative Leadership for Regional Development


This course was run in 2015, assisting senior government officials involved in supporting value chains, and particularly the agro-food value chain, to develop and use collaborative leadership skills to maximise regional economic development through value chains. This course was designed for senior officials in key line departments, special purpose vehicles, and special economic zones, whose work is important to value chains, particularly the agro-food value chain; including emerging farmers and those working with relevant sector bodies.


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Building Leadership in Regional Economic Development


This course was delivered in 2012 with the intention of placing regional economic leadership on the national agenda. It also sought to consolidate a network of regional economic leaders in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape and to provide a stronger common intellectual base to support regional economic development processes in South Africa. The course facilitated dialogue between leading international and national thought leaders in the field and local public and private sector leaders, to reflect on local and global practice and how regional economic development capabilities can be built in South Africa.


The Economies of Regions Learning Network, a collaborative effort between the Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape regions, was established as a first step to address this gap. The ERLN, the Mandela School and the Technical Assistance Unit at National Treasury partnered to offer this regional economic leadership course.


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The Role of Public Sector Policy in Private Sector Development


This intensive 5-day course was run successfully in 2011, 2013 and 2015, in collaboration with the Leadership Academy for Development (LAD), an affiliate of Stanford University, addressing some of the challenges faced by public sector leaders as they foster economic growth in politically charged environments. This course was designed for:


  1. Mid-level to senior government officials with responsibility for crafting and executing policies designed to attract higher levels of private sector participation that will spur economic growth and development, and
  2. Strategic leaders from the business community.


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