The role of non-governmental organisations in the formulation and implementation of State's Education Policy, (1986-2000) : the case of the Education Foundation and the Education Policy Unit (Natal)
During the 1990s the South African state began to reform the education system in an attempt to resolve the crisis resulting from apartheid policies. The challenge was to develop new policies free from the stigma of the discriminatory apartheid regime, and consistent with the principles of equality, democracy, and social justice. However, the legitimate capacity and power of the state to manage this reform was severely questioned by the liberation movement, which demanded alternative policy pathways in education. The early 1990s marked the beginning of the negotiation process towards eradicating the apartheid regime in South Africa. This occurred at the time when the world was experiencing the rise of the special type of NGOs called 'organisations for policy advice' or 'think tanks'. When the Government of National Unity assumed power in 1994, it planned to develop an education system that would benefit the entire South African community, regardless of gender, age, race, ethnicity, etc. This dissertation looks at the contribution that two NGOs, the Education Foundation and the Education Policy Unit made in the education policy development process of this country immediately before and after the democratic elections. A qualitative case study approach is used to show how particular NGOs located themselves in the policy process. In each of the two organisations, key informants were interviewed and documents were reviewed as a way of gathering data. Consideration was also given to the challenges that these organisations faced in playing their role. It was then concluded that despite the challenges that face NGOs they do impact on the policy-making process in a considerable way.