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UKZN Academic Guest Edits Loyola Journal of Social Sciences

2013/07/23 08:59:22 AM

The latest issue of the Loyola Journal of Social Sciences - edited by UKZN’s School of Management, Information Technology and Governance’s Professor Betty Mubangizi - offers interesting perspectives on good governance for service delivery in a decentralised system with global imperatives.

Professor Betty Mubangizi.

Mubangizi approached the multidisciplinary, peer-reviewed biannual journal which is published in India with a proposal for a special issue that would discuss matters of effective planning, monitoring and evaluation for good governance in public service delivery.

This idea was inspired by the annual conference of the Association of Southern African Schools and Departments of Public Administration and Management (ASSADPAM) which was hosted by UKZN’s Discipline of Public Governance in October last year.

As the Chair for one of the sessions of that Conference, Mubangizi decided to expand on her theme and compile selected contributions into a special issue to enable discussions of the conference sub-theme to be elevated to a wider platform for academics and practitioners.

An invitation was extended to academics and senior students in Public Administration, Management and Governance to contribute towards the Issue – the response was overwhelming.

The project started in November of 2012 soon after the ASSADPAM conference.  It was a rigorous process in which Mubangizi had to prove not only the relevance of the proposed theme, but also, that she was up to the task of producing quality work befitting the Loyola Journal of Social Sciences.

‘Taken as a whole, the collection of articles in the Issue raise important and pertinent questions relating to South Africa’s recently launched National Development Plan. However, while the focus is on South Africa, some articles are of a comparative nature and draw on lessons from international best practice in public governance,’ said Mubangizi.

Mubangizi sees this Issue as a valuable contribution not only to the practice of Public Administration but also as a good foundation for further research and knowledge generation in the Discipline.

She said academics in Public Governance prioritise the responsibility of grooming future public administrators accountable for the country’s public service delivery processes.  ‘Not only is professionalism of the essence, it is also important that we nurture students who can draw from international best practice and are able to establish communication networks that respond to the real needs of the citizenry.’

Commenting on the political role in public administration, Mubangizi points out that, ‘As the public we tend to look at politicians as administrators and directly blame them for administration failures while ignoring the pivotal role that public administrators play as implementers of public policy’.

As political head of a government department, the politician provides guidance in formulating and clarifying the public’s preferences and, through appropriate policy and allocation of resources, assigns these to the public administrators.

‘The role of a public administrator is to provide neutral competence in the process of policy implementation.’

Attachments: Download the Journal
                          Download the Journal Cover

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