Alignment between the strategic performance plans of selected Eastern Cape Provincial Government Departments and the Provincial Growth and Development Plan 2004-2014, South Africa

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 17
  • SDG 16
  • Abstract:

    Within a system of intergovernmental relations, integrated planning across all spheres it is important for South African public institutions to ensure effective policy implementation. This article provides results of a study that was aimed at evaluating the nature and extent of alignment between the Strategic Performance Plans of selected Eastern Cape provincial government departments and the Provincial Growth and Development Plan (PGDP): 2004–2014. The intention of the study was to critically assess how to enhance the effectiveness of the policy implementation process to ensure meticulous deployment of public funds and other resources. A qualitative research approach was followed. This approach combined a literature review, collection of data in ten provincial government departments and one public entity, and a desktop analysis of planning documents, reports, policy and budget speeches of selected provincial government departments. The findings of this study revealed that while the PGDP priorities are well articulated in departmental plans, they are accorded a status that is secondary to priorities of national government departments. Of course, weaknesses in the design of the PGDP were revealed, in particular those that relate to PGDP strategies that were formulated without active participation of sectors that would facilitate their implementation, including some PGDP targets that were unrealistically set. The weak intergovernmental relations system and absence of technical alignment mechanisms across sectors and spheres were noted. The study concludes by suggesting a Strategic Planning Alignment Model for Public Service organisations to provide a conceptual framework within which governmental institutions should assess alignment in planning and implementation of public policies.