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INSTITUTE OF MUNICIPAL ADMINISTRATION FOR SOUTHERN AFRICA

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Title: INSTITUTE OF MUNICIPAL ADMINISTRATION FOR SOUTHERN AFRICA


1
  • INSTITUTE OF MUNICIPAL ADMINISTRATION FOR
    SOUTHERN AFRICA
  • Effective public participation in local
    government
  • J Govender
  • UKZN
  • 19 June 2008

2
EFFECTIVE PUBLIC PARTICIPATION
  • STRUCTURE OF PRESENTATION
  • Introduction participation trends
  • Part 1 Participation theory
  • Part 2 Participation policy in SA
  • Part 3 Popular vs normative participation
  • Part 4 Effective participation
  • Part 5 Research findings
  • Concluding remark

3
INTRODUCTION PARTICIPATION TRENDS
  • There is a decline in representative democracy,
    with decreasing emphasis on the electoral mode of
    politics. There is a shift towards supplementing
    representative democracy with forms of
    participatory democracy. The basis of the new
    democratic approach means that citizens ought to
    have a hand in, and influence public decisions.
  • Participation has taken new democratic forms and
    is thought of alternatively as space dialogue
    and deliberation rights development
    decentralization and accountability.
  • New spaces for participation in the form of
    political society and social capital were
    evolving vis-à-vis international agreements
    poverty eradication and development public
    administration and the combined import of
    administrative law and judicial review.

4
Part 1
  • PARTICIPATION THEORY

5
PART 1 PARTICIPATION THEORY
  • 1.1 Democratic variations
  • 1.2 Representative deliberative democracy
  • 1.3 Shifts in liberal theory

6
1.1 DEMOCRATIC VARIATIONS
  • No single theory of democracy (Dahl 2003)
  • Democracy is muddled (Sen 2004)
  • Democracy is method (Pateman 1970)
  • Democracy is extrinsically, not intrinsically
    just (Arneson, 2004)

7
VARIATED MODEL OF DEMOCRACY
Source (Gaventa, 2004 Fung and Wright, 2003 )
8
1.2 REPRESENTATIVE VS DELIBERATIVE DEMOCRACY
  • Representative systems
  • unhappiness with failure to inspire trust
    through representative systems
  • can be mismanaged unable to deliver public
    goods
  • variances in distribution of power
  • natural right
  • protects group interests
  • subsystems republicanism, communitarianism,
    libertarianism and associationalism
  • Deliberative systems
  • equal independent individuals
  • aggregate of individual preferences
  • collective choice
  • fair and efficient procedures
  • open and uncoerced discussion
  • everyone participates (deliberates)
  • democratic right
  • rational capacity of people
  • majoritarian or pluralist decision-making system

9
1.3 ADAPTATIONS TO LIBERAL THEORY
  • Social capital (Putnam 1993 World Bank, 1998)
    Social capital of a society includes the
    institutions, the relationships, the attitudes
    and values that govern interactions among people
    and contribute to economic and social
    development. It is not simply the sum of the
    institutions which underpin society, it is also
    the glue that holds them together. It includes
    the shared values and rules for social conduct
    expressed in personal relationships, trust, and a
    common sense of civic responsibility that makes
    society more than a collection of individuals.
    Without a degree of common identification with
    forms of governance, cultural norms, and social
    rules, it is difficult to imagine a functioning
    society.
  • Political society (Chatterjee, 2001) is
    constituted by institutions and practices that
    fall outside the boundaries of modern civil
    society but mediate between the population and
    the state. It is that space within which social
    movements engage with institutions of the state
    utilizing legitimate and illegitimate means of
    struggle depending on circumstances and strategic
    choices relevant to the issues, authorities
    confronted, and other challenges.

10
RESPONSE TO LIBERAL THEORY
  • Participation as new tyranny (Cooke and
    Kothari,2001)
  • development workers and researchers point out
    that
  • participatory processes which intended to
    depoliticize
  • development process have had the opposite effect.
  • Three tyrannies are identified the tyranny of
    decision
  • making and control the tyranny of the group and
    the
  • tyranny of method.

11
Part 2
  • Participation policy in SA

12
PART 2 PARTICIPATION POLICY
  • 2.1 Strong policy framework RDP RSA
    Constitution White papers local government
    legislation
  • 2.2 Developmental demands
  • 2.3 Transitional demands

13
2.1 POLICY FRAMEWORK
  • Strong policy framework but
  • Disproportionate intention (consultation)
  • Issues of policy coherence
  • Multi-actors
  • Multi-relationships
  • Contradictions conflicts

14
MULTI-ACTORS
Central provincial government
Local agencies of central provincial government
Utility companies
Municipal government
Corporate sector international
Traditional authorities
Corporate sector local
Informal sector
NGOs
Individuals/ households in poverty
Formal civil society organizations
Informal CBOs
15
MULTI-RELATIONSHIPS
Municipal mayor
Municipal council
Organized civil society
Ward Councillors Proportional Representative
Councillors
Municipal committees
Municipal managers
Informal civil society
Municipal departments
Individuals and households
Ward committees
Municipal planners/specialists
Consultants
Ideologies values histories conflicts
negotiations.
16
2.2 DEVELOPMENTAL DEMANDS
  • Caliber to perform optimally in multiple
    responsibilities (constituencies, municipal
    council, private sector)
  • Complex relationships between politicians and
    officials
  • Role of other representatives (ward committees,
    civil society) need to be institutionalized
  • Public participation for effective
    decision-making

17
2.3 TRANSITIONAL DEMANDS
  • Local government in SA is still transitional
  • Fiscal framework
  • Financial management
  • Intergovernmental system
  • Public-private partnerships
  • Personnel issues
  • Backlogs
  • Service delivery to poorest communities

18
Part 3
  • Popular vs normative participation

19
PART 3 POPULAR VS NORMATIVE PARTICIPATION
  • 3.1 Global civil society
  • 3.2 Civil society relations in SA
  • 3.3 SA participation policy
  • 3.4 New social contract with civil society

20
3.1 GLOBAL CIVIL SOCIETY
  • Civil society is known as compound property
  • heterogeneity and diversity
  • Vast array of sectoral groups agriculture,
    environment, development, health, human rights,
    indigenous peoples, peace, population, religion,
    trade, youth, and women.
  • Wide range of types charities, religious groups,
    trade unions, grassroots community groups, local
    self-help groups, professional associations and
    international networks.
  • Engaged in diverse activities and struggles in
    the social, economic, and political spheres.

21
3.2 CIVIL SOCIETY RELATIONS IN SA
  • (Most of) civil society is unclear about their
    roles in the process of democratic transformation
  • Pressured to adopt new forms of participatory
    democracy
  • Three broad views on participation
  • RDP mandates local authorities to structure
    maximum participation of civil society in
    decision-making and developmental initiatives
  • UNDP embraces and considers civil society as a
    social safety net in the context social and
    economic development (UNDP, 2003)
  • Civil society (two groups)
  • one saw a useful process to legitimate state
    actions and
  • another focused on civil society empowerment and
    state democraticisation
  • The strategy to win the ANC to a left project
    was a dead end.
  • The ANC had to be challenged and a movement built
    to render
  • its policies unworkable. It seems increasingly
    unlikely that open
  • confrontation with the repressive power of the
    post-apartheid
  • state can be avoided (Desai, 2002).

22
3.2 CIVIL SOCIETY RELATIONS IN SA CONTD…
  • Civil society engagement is diverse land equity,
    gender, sexuality, racism, environment,
    education, formal labour, informal labour, access
    to infrastructure, housing, eviction, HIV/AIDS,
    crime and safety, and geo-politics
  • Organizations draw from class-based ideologies
    describing themselves as anti-liberal,
    anti-capital, anti-GEAR, anti-globalisation,
    anti-market, pro-poor, pro-human rights,
    socialist and Trotskyist
  • This diversity means that civil society is not
    limited to material improvements of the poor or
    service delivery issues. Some concerns extend
    over legal rights and social and environmental
    justice while others campaign against
    discrimination and redress issues
  • The critical point emerging from this analysis is
    that local
  • conditions and experiences cannot be treated in
    isolation
  • from national policy frameworks.

23
3.2 CIVIL SOCIETY RELATIONS IN SA CONTD…
  • Three types of social struggles during the
    presidency of Thabo Mbeki
  • First were struggles directed against one or
    other policy of government, e.g. COSATU led
    anti-GEAR campaign
  • Second were struggles focused on the governments
    partial failure in relation to service delivery,
    e.g. land campaigns of the Landless Peoples
    Movement (LPM) and HIV/AIDS campaign by the
    Treatment Action Committee (TAC)
  • Thirdly were struggles in response to some of
    governments repressive activities, e.g. the
    attempts of the poor to resist cuts to
    electricity and water supplies and evictions by
    the Soweto Electricity Crisis Committee, the
    Concerned Citizens Forum and the Anti-Eviction
    Campaign

24
3.3 SA PARTICIPATION POLICY
  • The right to development is endorsed in the
    United Nations Declaration of 1986 on the Right
    to Development. The Declaration established the
    right to development as an inalienable human
    right. These rights have definitive implications
    for how governments relate to their citizens.
  • SA Constitutional rights/Bill of Rights
    (political vs economic rights)
  • Policies RDP White Paper on the Transformation
    of the Public Service White Paper on
    Transforming Public Service Delivery (Batho Pele)
  • Legislation Local Government Structures Act,
    1998 Local Government Systems Act, 2000 Local
    Government Municipal Finance Management Act,
    2003 Municipal Property Rates Act, 2004

25
3.3 SA PARTICIPATION POLICY CONTD…
  • Limitations to participation
  • Participatory governance should not permit
    interference with a municipal council's right to
    govern and to exercise the executive and
    legislative authority of the municipality. The
    municipal council has the sole legal mandate and
    political legitimacy to govern.
  • Participatory democracy is there to complement
    the politically legitimate and legally
    responsible structures. A community participatory
    structure such as a ward committee may add to the
    formal structures of government, but may not
    replace or substitute them.
  • However, the promotion of participation must be
    encouraged through three interrelated elements
  • an open and transparent government, involving
    citizens in its activities and decision-making
    processes
  • a consistent flow of information from the
    government to its citizens and vice-versa and
  • efficient ways of informing citizens about their
    roles and responsibilities to participate as
    equal partners

26
3.4 NEW SOCIAL CONTRACT WITH CIVIL SOCIETY
  • Key lessons
  • South African civil society is not a homogenous
    compact, but exists plurally and in tension
  • Identify the poor from the affluent, the powerful
    from the marganilised, those with a voice from
    the voiceless, and those who were beneficiaries
    compared to victims of apartheid, in order to
    apply fair and liberating principles in
    participatory processes

27
3.4 New social contract with civil society
  • Models
  • IDASA
  • International Association for Public
    Participation (IAP2)
  • Good Governance Learning Network (GGLN)
  • South African Department of Environmental Affairs
    and Tourism
  • Draft National Policy Framework for Participation
  • eThekwini Municipality

28
Part 4
  • EFFECTIVE PARTICIPATION

29
EFFECTIVE PARTICIPATION
  • 4.1 Ethics of participation
  • 4.2 Building participation
  • 4.3 Questions on participation

30
4.1 ETHICS OF PARTICIPATION
  • Source of inequality
  • The World Bank ascribes two main reasons for the
    inequalities and inequities as
  • firstly, some groups have consistently inferior
    opportunities economic, social, and political
    than their fellow citizens.
  • The second reason is related the first where
    economic and political inequalities give rise to
    impaired institutional development which
    perpetuates inequalities in power, status and
    wealth (World Bank, 2006)

31
4.1 ETHICS OF PARTICIPATION CONTD…
  • Policy and codes of practice may include
  • ethos of a caring and sharing society
  • programmes which aim to break the cycle of
    poverty and deprivation
  • Initiatives to counter the malfunctioning of
    institutions
  • the marginalized in all stages of planning and
    implementation and processes
  • positive discrimination policies where needed to
    rectify imbalances
  • restitution and compensation where necessary to
    make up for the past
  • all the elements of a good life must be included
    in planning, goals and results
  • encourage co-operation and a supportive
    environment
  • the overall values, motivations, processes,
    operations, etc. should be driven by a central
    ethical theme within government as a whole, by
    its agencies, and employees
  • there should be mechanisms to sanction
    inequalities, abuses and unethical behaviours
    and
  • the messages of unity, democracy, non-sexism,
    peace and prosperity should resonate clearly in
    all practices and endeavours.

32
4.2 BUILDING PARTICIPATION
  • Municipalities have the responsibility for
  • performance management plan
  • creating the conditions for participation
  • ensuring participation occurs through political
    structures mechanisms, processes and procedures
    and municipal councillors
  • comprehensive raft of public communication
    strategies
  • public disclosure procedures

33
4.2 BUILDING PARTICIPATION
  • Draft national policy framework for public
    participation
  • (2005)
  • Public participation is defined as an open,
    accountable
  • process through which individuals and groups
    within
  • selected communities can exchange views and
    influence
  • decision-making. It is further defined as a
    democratic
  • process of engaging people, deciding, planning,
    and
  • playing an active part in the development and
    operation of
  • services that affect their lives.

34
4.3 QUESTIONS ON PARTICIPATION
  • Why should the poor be expected to give freely of
    their time for participatory initiatives, while
    consultants are paid to do so?
  • Who has the right to act as the voice of the
    excluded?
  • How does one manage community participation?
  • Participation towards what end? To address whose
    agenda?
  • Can community participation change municipal
    spending and revenue generation?
  • How accurately does the outcome of a municipal
    election reflect the voices of the people, if
    voters are not free to exercise their right to
    attend political rallies and are afraid,
    sometimes for good reason, to go to the polls?
  • How can we ensure that participatory processes
    ultimately have a redistributive effect and do
    not put more power into the hands of already
    empowered groups in the community, thus
    increasing disparities in the community?
  • How can we ensure that participatory processes
    promote social solidarity amongst the poor, the
    non-poor and the different racial and cultural
    groups, and not deepen existing divides?
  • To what extent has the expansion of participation
    by invitation worked to undermine the place of
    protest, and is participation by invitation in
    the interest of marginalized groups or the
    articulate and organized middle class?
  • If the door to structured participation is always
    open, what happens to those who choose not to go
    in do they get discredited as trouble-makers,
    ultra leftists and enemies of democracy?
    (Davids, 2005)

35
5. RESERCH FINDINGS
  • Problématique of the research
  • to examine whether representative democracy has
    declined to give way to participation praxis
  • to examine policy coherence for effective
    participation and
  • to examine the accommodation of new participation
    spaces

36
1.1) COUNCILLORS OF ETHEKWINI MUNICIPALITY
  • Given that the ANC view prevails at local and
    national levels, the participative approach may
    convey political bias, discouraging other
    potential participants. Social movements for
    example preferred to keep a distance from
    participative processes. Participation then, may
    be exclusionary under certain circumstances.
  • On the whole councillors were supportive of both
    representative and participative approaches, but
    maintained a dual stance of cautiousness and
    felling threatened, about the role of community
    stakeholders.
  • Councillors were also supportive of exploring new
    spaces for participation, including the judicial
    review process. However they indicated that they
    would need extensive capacity building on
    understanding these new spaces.

37
1.2) COMMUNITY STAKEHOLDERS
  • The evidence showed that civics and ratepayer
    organisations have the potential for effective
    participation. They supported parallel
    representative and participative approaches.
  • Being supportive of the judicial review process,
    community stakeholders can become more effective
    participants and influencers of new participative
    spaces.

38
2) POLICY COHERENCE
  • local government participative policy appears
    sound but there is a need for convergent
    understanding on the part of the different
    participants, namely municipal councillors
    community stakeholders and actors within the
    municipality
  • the objective of participation, viz. consultation
    may be disproportionate compared to the body of
    policy and legislative provisions where the
    ability of civil society to influence local
    decisions may be weakened
  • there may be contestation by certain sections of
    civil society about the minimalist objective of
    participation, viz. consultation compared to the
    demand for democratization and empowerment and
  • participation policy has shifted the centre of
    governance

39
3) NEW SPACES FOR PARTICIPATION
  • there is evidence of both agreement and
    disagreement on aspects of participatory praxis,
    but on principle, participants have taken a
    knowledgeable and practical approach to new
    spaces for participation
  • these spaces include poverty and development
    programmes public administration and judicial
    review

40
CONCLUDING REMARK
  • Future of governing
  • Participation has shifted the centre of
  • governance (1) making way for
  • deregulated and flexible governance (2),
  • thereby demanding public administration
  • reforms (3).

41
REFERENCES
  • Terchek, RJ, 2003 Teaching democracy a survey
    of courses in democratic theory. Teaching
    democracy. Vol. 1 No. 1
  • March 2003. www.apsanet.org (Accessed 9 November
    2007.)
  • Sen, A, 2004 Graduation address, Rhodes
    University, 30 July 2004
  • http//www.sarpn.org.za/documents/d0000888/P1004-A
    martya_Sen2004.pdf Accessed 10 November 2007.)
  • Pateman, C, 1970 Participation and Democratic
    Theory. Cambridge University Press. London.
  • Arneson, RJ, 2004 Democracy is not intrinsically
    just, in, Dowding, K, Goodin, RE and Pateman, C,
    (eds.), 2004
  • Justice and democracy. Cambridge University
    Press. Cambridge. United Kingdom.
  • Gaventa, J, 2004 Participatory development or
    participatory democracy? Linking participatory
    approaches to policy and
  • governance. Participatory learning and action.
    International Institute for Environment and
    Development. London.
  • Fung and Wright, 2003 in, IDS Bulletin, 2003 The
    rise of rights Rights-based approaches to
    international development.
  • Vol. 33. No. 2. 17 May 2003. Institute of
    Development Studies. University of Sussex. United
    Kingdom.
  • Putnam, RD, 1993 Making democracy work Civic
    traditions in modern Italy. Princeton University
    Press. New Jersey.
  • USA.
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