The research proposes that the management of intergovernmental relations (IGR) in the governance of any state does present opportunities for improving government service delivery. Two countries with different governance systems, namely, Nigeria (a federal state) and South Africa (a unitary state), provided the context of the case study. The study identified and analysed four IGR cases in each country; namely, the Ministries of Steel, Power, Water Resources and Petroleum Resources in Nigeria and the Departments of Housing, Health, Agriculture, Provincial and Local Government in South Africa. In the case analysis, due consideration was given to the historical and socio-political context of the selected countries, the structures, the facilitative role of IGR in development and current delivery imperatives. The research revealed a range of IGR complexities around the management of structures, the inevitability of overlaps, and the need to strike a balance between independence and the alignment of roles amongst government units. From the analysis, the emerging trends were carefully identified and the extent to which they can facilitate or hinder delivery in a particular department/ministry is discussed. The study revealed that the critical elements needed for successful IGR management in both unitary and federalist systems were largely the same and linked to the principles of Public Administration. These elements were formed into a formula captured as: C+ 3C+ 3P+ L (Commitment plus communication, coordination and capacity, project management, planning and policy management and, finally, leadership). The study also revealed that some of these IGR challenges could have been further complicated by the very nature of IGR in these countries, which may have been weakened owing to inadequate emphasis on the relationship element, which seemed to have been taken for granted that as long as there are legislative provisions, tiers or spheres of government will work together. On the contrary, government must manage the systemic tensions that exist and which hinder institutional relationships in a proactive manner. IGR may remain problematic without a management model. Hence the study proposes the evolution of a hybrid model of IGR management that is transactional, collaborative and relational in nature. Any single of the above mentioned elements would not suffice but could be strengthened by a comprehensive strategy that considers the peculiarities of the context, in an effort to improve service delivery.
Thesis (PhD (Public Affairs))--University of Pretoria, 2007.