How does South Africa move towards policy making and implementation which matters?

CATEGORY: Research Use and Impact Assessment
DATE: 24 March 2017

Pretoria, Thursday 23 March 2017 – The Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), together with Makerere University in Uganda, today hosted a discussion which looked at, amongst others, how both countries can move towards policy making and implementation  since both have a poor record of implementation.

Hosted in Pretoria, the seminar was entitled, Complexities of Policy Implementation: The role of a policy implementation barometer in South Africa and Uganda. This seminar was inspired by a collaborative project between Makerere University School of Public Health (MakSPH) and HSRC called Supporting Policy Engagement for Evidence-based Decisions (SPEED) for Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in Uganda.

Presenters included: Professors Freddie Ssengooba and Elizeus Rutebemberwa from MakSPH, Professor Jimi Adesina, Department of Science and Technology/National Research Foundation SARChI Chair in Social Policy and Professors Priscilla Reddy, Charles Hongoro, and Thembinkosi Twalo from the HSRC.

The programme is available for download below:

Human Sciences Research Council

Amongst others, the seminar aimed to interrogate theoretical frameworks underpinning policy implementation research and the Policy Implementation Barometer (PIB) and to share policy implementation experiences towards Universal Health Coverage in Uganda, South Africa and elsewhere.

In responding to these issues, Professor Adesina raised the question of what constitutes a good society – is it just good healthcare or good education? In looking at international case studies, Professor Adesina reflected on the fact that history has shown that the best policies are those which add value or bring meaningful change to people’s lives. This requires visionary leadership or visionary agenda setting. Are leaders of today able to respond to this mandate from citizens?

Meanwhile Professor Ssengooba raised the need for “active coalitions and decision-making” to identify the appropriateness of the policy to be implemented, enablers, emerging issues as well as constraints to effective implementation.  A key outcome for the day and the way forward is to look at best models for engaging with communities and citizens.

Speakers agreed that amongst others, the key success factors for successful policy implementation will include: the need for champions who can drive the implementation of policies, strong leadership the mobilisation of critical communities and stakeholders, public communication as well as standards and indicators to evaluate the effectiveness of the policy.

Interviews can be facilitated upon request.

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Notes to the Editor

About the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)

The HSRC was established in 1968 as South Africa’s statutory research agency and has grown to become the largest dedicated research institute in the social sciences and humanities on the African continent, doing cutting-edge public research in areas that are crucial to development.

Our mandate is to inform the effective formulation and monitoring of government policy; to evaluate policy implementation; to stimulate public debate through the effective dissemination of research-based data and fact-based research results; to foster research collaboration; and to help build research capacity and infrastructure for the human sciences.

The Council conducts large-scale, policy-relevant, social-scientific research for public sector users, non-governmental organisations and international development agencies. Research activities and structures are closely aligned with South Africa’s national development priorities.

About the Supporting Policy Engagement for Evidence-Based Decisions Programme

This is a collaborative project between Makerere University School of Public Health (MakSPH) and Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) which aims to enhance policy analysis and influence for the purpose of achieving universal health coverage in Uganda.  The programme is organised around five main activity clusters:

1.    Strengthening resources and expertise for policy analysis
2.    Knowledge generation
3.    Stakeholder identification and engagements
4.    Support for policy development, and
5.    Monitoring of selected policy implementation arrangements.

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For more information or to set up interviews, please contact:

Manusha Pillai
Mobile:  082 389 3587
email: MPillai@hsrc.ac.za