External Resources for Citizen-Building and Participation

National Development Plan 2030 - Our future - make it work

At a joint sitting of Parliament today, Minister Trevor Manuel, Chairperson of the National Planning Commission, handed over a copy of the revised national development plan to President Zuma. The handover marks the culmination of a process which began when the commission was appointed by the President in May 2010.

The commission is an advisory body consisting of 26 people drawn largely from outside government, chosen for their expertise in key areas. The commission's Diagnostic Report, released in June 2011, set out South Africa's achievements and shortcomings since 1994. South Africans from all walks of life welcomed the diagnostic as a frank and constructive assessment. Extensive consultation on the diagnostic overview were held with the commission visiting all 9 provinces. This led to the development of the draft national plan which was released in November 2011.

Further extensive consultations then took place on the draft plan arising from the President's call for a national dialogue. There has been broad support for the draft plan, with modifications being proposed and suggestions regarding implementation made. All these inputs have informed the revised plan which was handed to President Zuma.


Putting Participation at the Heart of Development

In this article, Ronald Mukanya, of the Isandla Institute’s Good Governance Learning Network, introduces a new publication on the state of local government (SoLG), and stresses the significance of involving communities as active participants in shaping their own development, especially at local government level.

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The Power of Making It Simple: A Government Guide to Developing Citizens Budgets


IBP Newsletter No. 64

Governments can encourage citizen participation by creating conditions that enable them to participate in a meaningful way. A very important condition is that all citizens have ready access to government information. “Access” means not merely physical access to documents, but accessibility. Where the government’s work is highly technical, it is not sufficient to make technical documents available. Citizens should have access to information in a language and through formats that ordinary people can understand and appreciate.

The Power of Making It Simple: A Government Guide to Developing Citizens Budgets is the third in a series of IBP publications for governments seeking practical guidance on how to make their public finance systems more transparent. The Power of Making It Simple offers useful tips to governments interested in developing Citizens’ Budgets.

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The National Development Plan: Vision for 2030 Deepens Democracy

South Africa's National Development Plan: Vision for 2030 was handed to President Zuma and Deputy President Motlanthe by the National Planning Commission Chairperson Minister Trevor Manuel, Deputy Chair Cyril Ramaphosa and NPC Commissioners on 11 November 2011. Of special interest to CEGAA's users are Chapter 10 (Promoting Health - pp. 295-324), Chapter 14 (Promoting Accountability and Fighting Corruption - pp. 401-410), and Chapter 15 (Transforming Society and Uniting the Country - pp 411-429).

Minister Manuel presented the Plan as a model for involving community members in improving their lives. This new paradigm requires empowered citizens with access to basic and civic education, skills and efficient health, nutrition and housing services, as well as governance that welcomes inclusion and participatory decision-making in public service issues.

Download the PDF versionA process of public participation will enable South Africans to comment on the Plan, and a popular version of the document was posted on the NPC website in all official languages in November 2011.

The Africa Forum on Civil Society and Governance Assessments

The Africa Forum on Civil Society and Governance Assessments was held in Dakar from 10-12 November 2011, bringing together about 50 civil society and development practitioner participants from 20 countries and representatives of the UNDP. It was a unique learning and networking opportunity for delegates to interact with and learn from leading analysts of African civil society and governance assessment initiatives, and representatives of regional and global civil society organisations. The event focused on how more effective involvement by civil society actors in governance assessments can promote democratic governance, through increased accountability and more inclusive participation.

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CEGAA Resources:

We have produced a range of resources, including research and analysis reports, country assessments, training materials and tools, and Budget Briefs. For a selection of these, go to our Products page.

Other Related Resources:

Through our project research, communications within our network, and media scanning, CEGAA regularly sources useful material and details of related organisations. For access to these, go to the Policy Documents page, the Useful Links page and our  Media Dossiers.