Synthesis evaluation of state capacity with a special focus on directors-general and heads of department: final report

OUTPUT TYPE: Research report- client
TITLE AUTHOR(S): N.Bohler-Muller, G.Pienaar, G.Houston, M.Cosser, M.Kanyane, K.Sausi, Y.April, J.Viljoen, N.Mchunu
DEPARTMENT: Developmental, Capable and Ethical State (DCES), Deputy CEO: Research (DCEO_R), Deputy CEO: Research (ERKC), Deputy CEO: Research (CGI)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 9812291
HANDLE: 20.500.11910/19283

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The Presidency commissioned the Developmental, Capable, and Ethical State (DCES) division of the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) to conduct a study entitled 'Synthesis evaluation of state capacity with a special focus on Directors-General and Heads of Department'. According to the Terms of Reference (ToRs), at the centre of state capacity is the top echelon of government officials, i.e., Accounting Officers (AOs), including Directors-General (DGs) and Heads of Department (HoDs) in the national and provincial spheres of government, respectively. They drive the implementation of priority programmes by providing strategic leadership, planning, monitoring, conducting oversight, and spearheading governance and accountability. However, several studies have highlighted gaps and challenges facing the states capacity and its ability to achieve effective and efficient programme implementation. This is true for all spheres of government, largely because AOs are at the political-administrative interface across the state, which is often not conducive to the effective achievement of outcomes. The resulting administrative instability includes systemic capacity vacuums, which contribute to ineffectiveness and inefficiencies in delivering government programmes and services.