A human rights perspective on policy implementation processes: observations from the South African public service
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This study considers the implementation of public policy from a human rights perspective and relates to the broad application of human rights defined in the Constitution of South Africa, including civil and political rights, social and economic rights, and right to development. Such a broad human rights agenda poses significant challenges to the state as a whole to respect, protect and fulfil rights and specifically for government related departments or ministries tasked with implementing public policy related to human rights. This study investigates how government plan, implement and monitor public policy and whether the public policy agenda framed in human rights terms has implications for how these processes are carried out. Put differently, is there a human rights perspective on how departments implement public policy? This study has chosen to refer only to social and economic rights in the Constitution of South Africa because of the extensive developmental challenges that these represent for governments to alleviate conditions of poverty and facilitate availability and accessibility to the means of improvement, the absence or weakness of which could undermine these as human rights.