Improving Active Citizenship Programme framework: final report

OUTPUT TYPE: Research report- client
TITLE AUTHOR(S): J.Wheeler, N.Bohler
DEPARTMENT: Democracy, Governance and Service Delivery (DGSD)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 10731

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According to the Terms of Reference the global objective of the assignment was to assist the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development to draft a National Policy Framework for promoting participatory democracy and active citizen participation at all levels of government in order to streamline public participation within a human rights framework. In order to develop a National Policy Framework the assignment had three specific objectives: (a) To review the existing public participation and active citizenship frameworks and policies existing in South Africa in comparison with international best practices. (b) To evaluate current practices of public participation and active citizenship initiatives led by government as well as by other stakeholders, identifying common difficulties in implementation and the main obstacles to effective public participation. (c) To make key recommendations in terms of policy framework for public participation, strategies and active citizenship initiatives which would create opportunities for citizens to interact and participate in building a united, peaceful South Africa; support national building by promoting values enshrined in the Constitution, including respect for law, human rights, tolerance and mutual understanding; promote economic and social inclusion of the poor; bring together women and men at local communities to share and exchange experiences, values, opinions, and increase interaction between different social and racial groups and between South Africans and migrants; establish justice fora to foster inclusive policies, overcome barriers associated with class, ethnicity, race, gender, religion, disability, and other such factors; provide improved points of access for citizens to engage with government; connect service delivery approaches with human rights issues and public voices; align state planning and governance to directly reflect citizen voices; and promote healthy collaboration and engagement among government, civic organisations, private business and communities.