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Introducing SoLG 2017: Navigating Accountability and Collaboration in Local Governance

The 2017 State of Local Governance was recently Launched on July 26th 2017. This year's theme recognises the importance of both accountability and collaboration as key values and activities that drive the reclaiming of local democratic space within the field of local democracy.  

 Within its contents, the publication endeavours to engage and wrestle with the complex ‘wicked’ problems (and opportunities) that are enmeshed within the dynamic relationship spaces within which democratic rights are attempted to be activated. In particular, it includes chapters that attempt to unpack the dynamic tension which lies both within and (in) between the need for building collaborative relationships between citizens, civil society and the public sector, and the attempt to uphold/inspire/activate active citizenship that supports government transparency and accountability for effective local community building.

Nine chapters explore the core challenges and key issues encountered, and present governance-strengthening programmes, as well as methodological and technological approaches that provide opportunities for expanding good governance practice and impact within the good governance field, as exercised by the multiple actors working within and across local community, civil society, and state spheres. For a detailed overview of all chapters, please click here to download the Executive Summary

To access the individual chapters as PDF's please see below: 

Chapter 1: Introduction: Activating Accountable and Collaborative Good Governance by Nadia Thorn – Good Governance Learning Network Secretariat

Chapter 2: Who builds the City? A study of the redistribution of Power by Hannalie Malan, Magriet du Preez and Barry Lewis – Habitat for Humanity South Africa and Ubuhle Bakha Ubuhle

Chapter 3: Collaborative Practice and the role of the Practitioners: A case study of Woodstock and Salt River, Cape Town by Willard Matiashe and Naeemah Sadien – Development Action Group

Chapter 4: Exploring the dynamics of collaborative accountability in South Africa’s municipalities: the Case of the Accounting for Basic Services project by Sindi-Leigh McBride – Isandla Institute

Chapter 5: Spatial Justice: Accountability through Collaboration and Confrontation by Edward Molopi and Tiffany Ebrahim – Socio-Economic Rights Institute

Chapter 6: Evaluation and Participation: Opportunities for learning and accountability by Kevin Foster, Cara Hartley and Mike Leslie – PDG

Chapter 7: The role of collaboration in social accountability mechanisms: a case study of a social audit in Emalahleni District Municipality by Nomcebo Dlamini – Planact

Chapter 8: Lessons from Civic Technology: Alternative approaches to individual accountability by Adi Eyal – Open Up

Chapter 9: In-Profile: An unfolding narrative of collaboration and accountability among civil society organisations by Brian Bhengu and Paul Kariuki – Democracy Development Program




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Sharing the common goal of promoting participatory, effective, accountable and pro-poor local governance, the network strives to provide an interface for civil society organisations to network and share information towards strengthening local democracy in South Africa.