South Africa needs fresh ideas to improve the capacity of a state that is beleaguered by inefficiency and corruption.
Political leaders currently cannot drive and coordinate the activities of public institutions to realise the mandate of an elected government.
The Architecture of Government conference, hosted by the Government and Public Policy think tank in partnership with Financial Mail, explores the potential configuration of government to realise better a democratic government’s goals.
The conference will be addressed by prominent international scholars, practitioners, and political leaders in the fields of governance, politics, and public policy, among them Achille Mbembe, Trevor Manuel, Angela Stent, Busani Ngcaweni, Yamini Aiyar, Hsu Huang and Omano Edigheji.
July 5 2022 | 12.30pm-4.45pm
There will be two panels on the opening day. The first will explore historical legacies, colonial and post-colonial, that continue to shape the architecture of government. The second panel will address the state of executive branch leadership, focusing on the merits and drawbacks of presidential and semi-presidential systems, in post-Soviet states and in young democracies.
Welcome address to the opening of the Conference and Keynote Speakers (from 12h30 to 13h15) [CAT or UTC+2h]
Ivor Chipkin is the Director of the Government and Public Policy Think Tank, based in Johannesburg. He was the founder and director of the Public Affairs Research Institute at the University of the Witwatersrand and the University of Cape Town for ten years before that. In 2017 Chipkin, with several colleagues, wrote and released the Betrayal of the Promise report, a study of state capture that had a huge political impact in South Africa. Chipkin completed his PhD at the Ecole Normale Superieure in France, where he also did his DEA. Chipkin was an Oppenheimer Fellow at Oxford University. He is the author of Do South Africans Exist? (WUP: 2007) and Shadow State: the politics of state capture with Mark Swilling (WUP: 2018). His new book, The Shattered Vessel, is due out in 2023.
Achille Mbembe was born in Cameroon. He studied history in France from 1982 to 1986 (Ph.D. obtained from the Panthéon-Sorbonne University in 1989). He then decided to return to Africa, first to Dakar (Senegal), where he was Executive Secretary at the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) from 1996 to 2000, then to Johannesburg (South Africa), where he has been living and lecturing at Witwatersrand University since 2001. He continues to lecture in the USA as Visiting Professor at Harvard University. In Sortir de la grande nuit, Critique de la raison nègre et Politiques de l’inimitié (La Découverte, 2010, 2013 and 2016), he tackles one of the foundations of the Western world: the way in which otherness and difference have been conceived in terms of race, in order to justify the relations of domination and exploitation which culminated with the slave trade, colonization and apartheid.
Pratap Bhanu Mehta was previously vice-chancellor of Ashoka University and president of the Center for Policy Research in Delhi, India. He has previously taught at Harvard University, Ashoka University, Jawaharlal Nehru University and has been Global Faculty at NYU Law School. He has published widely in political theory, history of ideas, Indian constitutional law and politics in India. He is also a fellow of the British Academy and SSRC Fellow for 2020. His policy experience includes being convenor of the Prime Minister of India’s Knowledge Commission (2005-2007) and member of India’s National Security advisory board. He is also editorial consultant to the Indian Express. Mehta studied at Oxford and has a Ph.D in politics from Princeton.
Panel 1: Historical legacies and the architecture of government (from 13h15 to 14h45) [CAT or UTC+2h]
Dr Pali Lehohla is the former Statistician-General of South Africa, a position he held from 2000 up to 2017. He has served as co-chair of PARIS21 and the Chair of the United Nations Statistics Commission. He was the founding chair of the Statistics Commission of Africa (StatCom Africa) and chaired the African Symposium for Statistical Development (ASSD). He was the Vice President of the International Statistics Institute (ISI), and sponsors the Young African Statistician (YAS) movement. He served as one of the twenty-five-member panel on Data Revolution appointed by the UN Secretary General. In 2015 he was recognized by his alma mater, the University of Ghana for his contribution to the development of statistics. In 2018 he became a Research Associate at Oxford University. He is a member of the Executive of Indlulamithi Scenarios 2030 for South Africa. Dr Lehohla is the co-director of the Economic Modelling Academy (EMA) that aims to train society in economic policy formulation based on the principles and laws of motion of economics.
Andrew Donaldson is an economist and senior research associate of the Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit at the University of Cape Town. He is a former head of the Budget Office and the Public Finance divisions of the National Treasury and served as the inaugural head of the Government Technical Advisory Centre. Andrew is a graduate of Stellenbosch University, UNISA and Cambridge University. He has published in the fields of public policy and public finance before joining the Department of Finance in 1993. He contributed to the work of the Katz Commission on tax policy, served on the Committee of Inquiry into a National Health Insurance System, and was a member of the team that drafted the 1996 macroeconomic strategy. He was responsible for the introduction of a medium-term expenditure framework in 1998 and led the subsequent reform of the budget process and restructuring of budget documentation.
Dr Xolela Mangcu is a Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Cape Town and has held fellowships at the prestigious Brookings Institution, the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute and the Hutchins Center for African and African American Studies at Harvard University. He is a leading columnist and political commentator and has published nine books, including Biko: A Biography, which won a UCT book award. After completing a degree in law and sociology, Mangcu went on to obtain a Master’s in Development Planning from Wits in 1988. He completed his Ph.D in City and Regional Planning at Cornell University in 1997. Other fellowships followed – at the Rockefeller Foundation and at Harvard’s John F Kennedy School of Government – and he returned to South Africa in 1999, launching the Steve Biko Foundation in 2000 in partnership with the Biko family and local youth.
Vusi Gumede worked for the South African government in various capacities and in different departments for 11 years. He has been an academic for 12 years. He has held various professorships, fellowships and editorships in and outside South Africa. He is currently a Dean for the Faculty of Economics, Development and Business Sciences at the University of Mpumalanga in South Africa. He holds a PhD in Economics, completed in 2003 at the University of Natal. He has published 16 books, 54 journal articles and book chapters as well guest edited 3 special editions of journals. He serves in various committees, including the Presidential Economic Advisory Council in South Africa.
Panel 2: Presidential and semi-presidential leadership in young democracies (from 15h15 to 16h45) [CAT or UTC+2h]
Jelena Vidojević is Programme Head for International, Comparative Policy at the Government and Public Policy Think-Tank. Before joining GAPP, she was a Professor of social policy at the University of Belgrade. Her current research interests include politics of aid, public policies in the field of social welfare and gender and postcolonial studies in relation to postsocialism in Eastern Europe.
Dušan Spasojević is associate professor at Faculty of Political Sciences, University of Belgrade. He is a researcher at the Center for Democracy at FPS and works with other research and educational institutions in Serbia and the region. His main fields of interest are political parties, civil society, and post-communist democratization process. He is editor in chief of the Political perspectives journal, published by FPS Belgrade and FPS Zagreb. Spasojević is a member of the Steering board of Center for Research, Transparency and Accountability (CRTA).
Dr. Angela Stent is Senior Adviser to Georgetown University’s Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies. She is also a Senior Nonresident Fellow at the Brookings Institution. From 2004-2006 she served as National Intelligence Officer for Russia and Eurasia at the National Intelligence Council. From 1999 to 2001, she served in the Office of Policy Planning at the U.S. Department of State. Stent’s primary research focus is Russian foreign policy, with special emphasis on the triangular U.S-Europe-Russia relationship. Her publications include:; The Limits of Partnership: US-Russian Relations in the Twenty-First Century and Putin’s World: Russia Against the West and With the Rest.
July 6 2022 | 12.00pm-5.30pm
There will be three panel discussions on the second day. The first investigates the party-state model in China to see if valuable lessons can be drawn from its accomplishments. The second panel discusses the governance of metropolitan regions in Africa, a continent whose population is both growing rapidly and urbanising. The third panel addresses the challenges of fiscal decentralisation in the global south, and the potential benefits it might bring in terms of reduced spatial inequality, and administrative efficiency.
Panel 3: Parties, states, and party-states: the case of China (from 12h00 to 13h30) [CAT or UTC+2h]
Emeritus Professor at The Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance at UCT and founding director 2011-2019, Alan Hirsch was Born in Cape Town and educated at UCT, Wits and Columbia. Taught at UCT, joined the SA Department of Trade and Industry in 1995, from 2002 to 2012 he managed economic policy in the South African Presidency. He serves on the Board of the European Centre for Development Policy Management and on President Ramaphosa’s Economic Advisory Council. He was visiting scholar at the Harvard Business School, regular visiting professor at Maastricht University, IGC research director in Zambia, OECD Inclusive Growth Advisory Panel-member, on the International Advisory Board of the New Development Bank, Bradlow Fellow at the SA Institute for International Affairs and was a Fellow of the Oxford Martin School, Oxford University. His work includes Season of Hope – Economic Reform under Mandela and Mbeki and The Oxford Companion to South African Economics.
LI Jing works as Associate Professor in the Sociology Department, Zhejiang University in China since 2017. She received her PhD from Sociology Department, State University of New York at Albany. She is broadly interested in state theory, historical sociology and sociology of knowledge and profession. She writes about the rise of economists during the neoliberal tide, the policy process of rural reform from 1978 to 1982 and how policy researches are organized in contemporary China, besides her active participation in public debates about intellectuals, public policies and gender.
Hsu Huang is a PhD student in the Department of Sociology at Brown University. His research interests are anchored in comparative-historical sociology, with an emphasis on how modern states, enterprises, and professional communities, especially in non-democratic contexts, interact to promote policymaking and technology development. In general, he follows the political economy within the authoritarian regimes of post-Soviet Eurasia and East Asia. Prior to joining Brown University, he earned his BA in sociology from Renmin University of China and an MSc in political science at King’s College London and European University at St. Petersburg, Russia. He has also been a visiting fellow at Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University, and most recently, a research associate at the Academic-Industry Research Network.
Yang Yao is a Liberal Arts Chair Professor at the China Center for Economic Research (CCER) and the National School of Development (NSD), Peking University. He currently serves as the director of CCER, the dean of NSD, the executive dean of the ISSCAD, and the editor of CCER’s house journal China Economic Quarterly. He serves as the chairman of China Economic Annual Meetings and chairman of the Foundation of Modern Economics.He is also a prolific writer for magazines and newspapers, including the Financial Times and the Project Syndicate. Dr Yao obtained a BS in geography in 1986 and an MS in economics in 1989, both from Peking University, and his PhD in development economics from the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics at the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1996.
Panel 4: Metropolitan governance in Africa (from 14h00 to 15h30) [CAT or UTC+2h]
Dr. Isaac Khambule is a Senior Lecturer and Academic Coordinator in the Department of Development Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal. He is also a Senior Research Associate in the Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Johannesburg, South Africa. Isaac specialises in the relationship between the State, Institutions and Development, and the role of the state in economic development. He previously worked for the Human Sciences Council (HSRC) and the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) as a Researcher. Isaac’s recent work focuses on the counter-cyclical role of the state during COVID and power-sharing in metropolitan municipalities.
Omano Edigheji is currently Special Adviser (Research and Documentation) to the Governor of Kaduna State. He is also the co-founder of the Centre for Africa’s Social Progress and the research director of the policy and capacity enhancement program at the Human Science Research Council. His work is in the political economy of development, and he is the coauthor of Governance in the New South Africa: The Challenges of Globalisation.
Taibat Lawanson is Professor of Urban Management and Governance at the University of Lagos, Nigeria, where she leads the Pro-poor Development Research cluster and serves as Co-Director at the Centre for Housing and Sustainable Development. She is interested in how formal and informal systems can synthesize in the emerging African city and her research focuses on the interface of social complexities, urban realities and the quest for spatial justice. She is a UN policy expert on Urban Governance, Capacity and Institutional Development and is well known for her intersectoral work that engages students, local communities, policy actors and civil society.
Panel 5: Fiscal decentralisation and local government relations (from 16h00 to 17h30) [CAT or UTC+2h]
Michael Sachs is Adjunct Professor at the Southern Centre for Inequality Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand. He leads the centre’s Public Economy Project, a research program on fiscal policy and public finance. He teaches at the Wits School of Economics and Finance and serves as Deputy Chair of the Finance and Fiscal Commission, an independent constitutional body that advises government. Michael worked for many years in public policy and political strategy in South Africa. He is a former head of the budget office at National Treasury. Prior to this he was based at the national headquarters of the African National Congress, where he coordinated economic policy and led the party’s research agenda.
Kumba Digdowiseiso is Director of the Faculty of Economics and Business at Nasional Universitas, Indonesia. He specialises in public finance, with an emphasis on the study of decentralisation and welfare metrics (subjective and objective). PhD from the International Institute of Social Studies at Erasmus University of Rotterdam, Digdowiseiso also researches cross-cutting policy issues such as inequality in education and health, as well as the role of institutional quality in determining government outcomes.
Cibele Franzese holds a Law degree from the University of São Paulo (USP), and a Masters and PhD in Public Administration and Government from the Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV/EAESP), with a research internship at the Centre for the Study of Federalism at the University of Kent, England. She was Deputy Secretary of Public Management and of Planning and Regional Development of the Government of the State of São Paulo. She is currently Professor at FGV/EAESP and Coordinator of the Public Administration Undergraduate Course at the same institution. She teaches and researches in the areas of federalism and intergovernmental relations; and people management in the public sector.
María Antonieta Alva Luperdi. Lima, 1985. Ms. Alva Luperdi studied Economics at the Universidad del Pacifico and holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the Harvard School of Government. Over a decade as a civil servant in the Peruvian national government, Ms. Alva Luperdi has worked in the General Departments of Public Investment and Public Budget of the Ministry of Economy and Finance and has held positions related to planning and budgeting in the Ministries of Development and Social Inclusion and of Education. By the age of 32, She was appointed as the first woman to hold the position of Director General of Public Budget. In October 2019 Ms. Alva Luperdi was appointed Minister of Economy and Finance, a position she held until November 2020. As Minister of Finance, She led the design and implementation of the Economic Response Plan to COVID-19. Ms. Alva Luperdi currently works as Global Project Director at Acasus, a consulting firm that supports governments in Africa and Asia in implementing health and education reforms.
July 7 2022 | 1.00pm-5.00pm
The final day begins with a panel discussion on asymmetric decentralisation, with an emphasis on the experiences of India.
The closing panel will explore the politics of state reform: how can appealing lessons and ideas be turned into action? Here our focus will be on whether and how a political project to improve the organisation and administration of government can be initiated and taken forward.
Panel 6: Asymmetric decentralisation (from 13h00 to 14h30) [CAT or UTC+2h]
Anthony Butler is Professor of Political Studies at the University of Cape Town. He was educated at St Anne’s College, Oxford, and King’s College, Cambridge. He has been a fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge; Director of the Politics and Administration programme at Birkbeck College, University of London; and Chair in Political Studies at Wits. His research has focused on the politics of public policy. He has a special interest in black economic empowerment, energy policy, public health, and state reform. He has also made contributions to the study of South African politics, with a focus on the internal politics of the ANC, party modernisation, and political funding. He is the author of a number of books, including The Idea of the ANC (Ohio University Press, 2012), Contemporary South Africa (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017) and the biography Cyril Ramaphosa (Jacana, 2019). Butler is a regular columnist for Johannesburg’s Business Day newspaper.
Professor Louise Tillin is Director, King’s India Institute and Professor of Politics. She joined King’s – and the then newly established King’s India Institute – in 2011. Louise’s research interests span federalism, democracy and territorial politics in India, and the history and politics of social policy design and implementation. Since 2011, Louise has led research projects on subnational comparative politics and social policy in India, on explaining electoral change in urban and rural India, and on India’s Political Economy Trilateral Partnership with UC Berkeley and Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research. Between 2013-7, she was part of a multi-country research programme on the politics of reducing poverty and inequality across Brazil, China, India and South Africa supported by the ESRC. Louise is a regular commentator on Indian politics in UK, Indian and international media. She is an editor of the journal Regional and Federal Studies, and an editorial board member of Pacific Affairs.
Yamini Aiyar is the President and Chief Executive of the Centre for Policy Research. In 2008, she founded the Accountability Initiative at CPR, which is credited with pioneering one of India’s largest expenditure tracking surveys for elementary education. Yamini’s work sits at the intersection of research and policy practice. Her research interests span the fields of public finance, social policy, state capacity, federalism, governance and the study of contemporary politics in India. She has published widely in academic publications and the popular press, and writes regularly on current affairs and policy matters in mainstream Indian newspapers.Yamini serves on a number of government and international policy committees as well as boards of nonprofits and think tanks. Yamini is an alumna of the London School of Economics, St. Edmunds College, Cambridge University and St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University.
Ignacio Irarrázaval is the director of the Public Policy Centre at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. His academic work focuses on decentralisation and issues related to sub-national governments.Regarding municipalities, his work has focused on aspects of financing, costs and management of services, and advice on strategic planning for city governments. On the regional level, he has carried out evaluations on the transfer of funds to provinces and their impact on development. From 2015-2016, Mr. Irarrázaval was a member of the Municipal Technical Advisory Committee convened by the Ministry of Interior and in 2019 he integrated the Technical Committee of experts on Decentralisation announced by the President of the Republic of Chile. Mr. Irarrázaval holds a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics.
Panel 7: Politics of State Reform: Turning Ideas into Action (from 15h00 to 17h00) [CAT or UTC+2h]
Busani Ngcaweni is the Director-General of the National School of Government since March 2020. Before that he was the Head of Policy and Research Services in The Presidency. He was previously Chief of Staff to President and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa since 2014. He also served as Chief of Staff to Deputy Presidents Kgalema Motlanthe, Baleka Mbete and Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka since 2007. During this tenure he was part of The Presidency team that oversaw strategic national priorities like the national AIDS response (through SA National AIDS Council), preparations for the 2010 FIFA World Cup (through 2010 Inter-Ministerial Committee), setting up of the National Minimum Wage through Nedlac, reforming of VISA regulations, the Eskom War Room, Public Employment Programmes, and most recently he is the convenor of the War Room on the National Health Insurance and is coordinating the re-imagined industrial strategy project.
Ms Phindile Baleni was born in Soweto and spent her childhood and early adulthood in Katlehong, in the East Rand of Gauteng. Ms Baleni is an admitted Attorney and Conveyancer holding a B.Proc and a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degrees, both from the University of Witwatersrand. In 1994 she was appointed as a member of the Board of Directors of NURCHA, a lead project of the Reconstruction and Development Programme, by former President Nelson Mandela. She was subsequently appointed as the CEO of the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) in April 2011. In March 2015, Ms Baleni assumed duty as the Director-General in the Office of the Premier, Gauteng Province, role through which she spearheaded the Gauteng City Region Response to COVID-19. In April 2021, Ms Baleni was appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa to the post of Director-General of The Presidency and Secretary of Cabinet. Ms Baleni has thus made history as the first woman to be appointed as head of the highest political office in the land, and thereby, the most senior public servant. She is also the first Head of Public Administration (HOPA), a position contemplated in the NDP as a necessary element towards building a professional and capable public service in the country.
Barbara Nunberg is a leading expert on international public management and governance, specializing in civil service reform in developing areas, on which she consults to a wide range of non-profit and government organizations and has published extensively. She is currently Global Human Development Practice Fellow at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and a Senior International Development Advisor with Acertas Analytics. Much of her career was at the World Bank, where she headed the Public Sector Reform program for the East Asia Pacific region. She holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and an M.A. in Latin American Studies from Stanford University and a B.A. from Barnard College.
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