Democratic Governance

Alt text for imageAn old South African Citizen Voting

Our work contributes to building a more capable public sector that can deliver higher quality services cost-effectively to the population, especially those historically disadvantaged and targeting youth and women, in particular.  Specifically, our support will focus on effective developmental state for inclusive growth, and repositioning of the public service sector for improved service delivery.

Our Goals

In this programme area, we focus on three main areas of work, and they are: The expansion of leadership and management development programmes targeting senior public service staff at all levels (balanced between women and men) who are at the core of designing, planning, resourcing and tracking service delivery, to build cohesion on key policy and programmatic issues, sharpen management skills and embed behavioural norms that encourage greater transparency and accountability.

 Secondly, strengthening of policy research and performance-driven planning, monitoring, assessment and evaluation - for instance, results-based budgeting and management, use of service delivery standards, application of gender-differentiated benchmarks and performance indicators, and development and testing of M&E systems.  A closely related focus will be on the identification of new or revised policy ideas that emerge from research and M&E and rollout of decision support systems that can assist in their follow-through.  


Within the context of Government’s ‘Active Citizenry’ policy, development of tools for citizen (or service user) feedback, drawing upon collaboration with civil society organisations (CSOs) as well as successful experiences in other emerging economies, to boost participation (especially of women), accountability and control of corruption.  A complementary effort will invest in building skills in core oversight bodies, in particular, the Public Service Commission (PSC) and Legislatures, to track spending, assess efficiency and effectiveness of outcomes and detect possible corruption.

One of the projects to be highlighted in this programme area is that of “Building Communities of Peace & Diversities”. The project was aimed at supporting the government in strategically addressing the complex issues related to migration and in assisting government to meet its constitutional obligations and international commitments relating to the free movement of people in the country.

This was done by enhancing cognisance of the emerging challenges of rapid urbanisation and globalization which affected planning, resource allocation and management for all three spheres of government. The partners in this European Union (EU) funded project were the National Department of Cooperative Governance (DCOG), National Department of Home Affairs (DHA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) which was responsible for implementation. The overall objective of the project was to empower South Africans and foreign citizens to embrace diversity and to facilitate mutually beneficial development at a community level. 

The partners that were engaged in the project include Faith Based Organisations, Non-Governmental Organisations, academic institutions, think tanks, government departments (i.e. Department of Social Development and the Department of Sports and Recreation) and local government (i.e. City of Tshwane, City of Johannesburg, Musina Local Municipality and Matatiele Local Municipality). Through these partnerships, government departments and municipalities started integrating migration strategies into their programmes and plans. This helped in strengthening the social fabric of local communities and enhancing their social capital. Social cohesion was also enhanced through structural renovations of key local community facilities in Soweto and Musina and the establishment of migration support offices.

This project contributed to building the capacity of government officials in different spheres of government to understand the dynamics of migration and its implication on policy and planning. The capacity building also targeted local communities that included foreign nationals. These capacity building initiatives coupled with advocacy activities helped to lay the foundation for a national discourse on key migration issues that can contribute to meaningful debates to a future national policy review on migration. 

UNDP Around the world

You are at UNDP South Africa 
Go to UNDP Global