Paper presented at the 26th Annual Southern African Transport Conference 9 - 12 July 2007 "The challenges of implementing policy?", CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria, South Africa. ABSTRACT:A major problem in the transport sector in South Africa is the lack of delivery, i.e. the inability to implement policy. This malady in our public bureaucracies is attested to by many people, including both the current and the past State Presidents. It is suggested in this paper that there are various reasons for this undesirable situation, but that primarily the problem relates to a lack of understanding of the complexities of policy implementation.
In an attempt to assist in rectifying this situation, which has many both economic and social deleterious consequences, this paper provides some theoretical background to policy implementation, and puts forward, for consideration by transport authorities, approaches culled from policy implementation theory. Of particular relevance is a “protocol” for addressing the problem which was first proposed by Prof. Brynard. This approach recognizes five variables in the implementation process: context, content, commitment, capacity and clients and coalitions, which act together, often simultaneously and synergistically, but always in a complex fashion, to create both an opportunity and a challenge for policy implementation. The challenge is adapt policy implementation and programme delivery to the resultant complexity through tools such as Brynard’s “5-C protocol”.
The paper examines the theoretical policy implementation process as a guide to transport policy implementation and illustrates the concept based on the author’s professional experience in the field, as a guide to those entrusted with policy implementation and the consequent delivery of transport related programmes.
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