What are the priorities for strengthening South Africa’s public sector?

Building public sector capability is again rising on the agenda, in South Africa and elsewhere. The topic has been a longstanding pre-occupation of mine – as practitioner, as researcher, and in my teaching. I’ve especially emphasized the importance of looking beyond proximate causes (eg weak ‘capacity’ and institutional forms) – and to focus (also) on underlying causes (“public sectors are embedded in politics”) and reform initiatives that can effectively address these underlying causes. Here’s a mouthful that will guide my research agenda in this area going forward “socially-embedded bureaucratic autonomy”.

A year ago, I published a piece in The Conversation on what it will take to renew South Africa’s public sector. “https://theconversation.com/beyond-the-cabinet-reshuffle-what-will-it-take-to-renew-south-africas-public-sector-165777 In the rush of everything happening at the time, I neglected to include it in my blog series. So here it is. And here is a link to a TV interview with eNCA that builds on the piece. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFhltdDorhk

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