Leadership imperatives for improving policy monitoring and evaluation in the South African Public Service

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 16
  • Abstract:

    The role that leadership plays in the process of policy monitoring and evaluation cannot be overemphasised. As with most human activities, leadership is a central theme that could initiate and support policy performance and management, including policy monitoring and evaluation (M & E). Leadership, in this context is all about the art of influencing people with a view to getting them to strive willingly towards the attainment of prescribed goals through effective monitoring and evaluation. In theory, this vision of effective monitoring and evaluation could be embraced by all spheres of government. The extent to which leadership is working towards the actualisation of this vision by putting in institutional processes to support the function across the South African government (national, provincial and local government) especially in local municipalities is yet to be seen. This article presents the current status of the institutionalisation of M & E across a selection of local municipalities, and provides suggestions for improvement. The argument made is that without strong leadership to institutionalise this culture of M & E through the translation of the vision and without adequate preparation and contextual readiness for the implementation of government wide monitoring, much will not materialise. The article presents and analyses literature on M & E in South Africa, the extent to which M & E has been institutionalised particularly in the local sphere and advance arguments for strengthening leadership for effective monitoring and evaluation in the South African context.