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Doctoral Degrees (Public Policy)

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    Implications and possible responses to the effects of staffing moratoria on organisational performance at Ngwelezana tertiary hospital in KwaZulu-Natal.
    (2021) Ndebele, Nduduzo Comfort.; Ndlovu, Joram.
    The government is committed to improving the health system by providing universal coverage to all South Africans as articulated in national health policies. The biggest threats facing the health sector today are the shortage of well-trained healthcare workers, the increasing costs and demand for healthcare services. The global crisis of 2008/2009 forced the government to implement cost-cutting measures to reduce public expenditure and resolve budgetary pressures, including in the health sector. The study aimed to examine the implications and possible responses to staffing moratoria, implemented as an austerity measure, on the organisational performance of a public hospital – Ngwelezana Tertiary Hospital in KwaZulu-Natal. The objectives of the study were to examine the impact of staffing moratoria on healthcare service delivery; assess the working conditions and the challenges faced by healthcare workers; and discuss the effect of task-shifting on healthcare service delivery at the hospital. The study employed a mixed-method design in order to yield both quantitative and qualitative data. The quantitative approach was dominant in this study, where a sequential embedded mixed method design was adopted as the most appropriate cross-sectional survey method. The survey yielded a total of 177 respondents. The qualitative approach provided rich information on the perceptions of nine [9] key informants who were interviewed regarding staffing moratoria. Quantitative data was analysed using descriptive statistics, Chi-square tests of association and the Cramer’s V test whilst qualitative data was analysed using thematic analysis. The results show that staffing moratoria at Ngwelezana Hospital resulted in severe staff shortages and the deterioration of working conditions as a result of excessive working hours, job enlargement, limited personal development opportunities, increased administrative and housekeeping burdens on professionals, employee burnout and stress. It also promoted distrust between employees and management that furthered job dissatisfaction at the workplace. Whilst task-shifting was adopted to address staff shortages, delays in serving patients, long waiting periods for patients, increased risks of error and patient mortality was observed. Task-shifting presented its own challenges such as legal and professional risks and staff morale issues. The study proposed a framework that empowers hospitals to implement staffing moratoria based on the supply and demand of labour in order to manage staffing budgets. The study, recommends that staffing moratoria should be supported by a decentralised multi-dimensional approach in planning and implementation to ensure a collective consultative process that involves all relevant stakeholders.
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    Community involvement in the implementation of the national policy on public-private partnership: a study of infrastructural development in Lagos State, Nigeria.
    (2020) Ashade, Oladimeji Abiodun.; Mutereko, Sybert.
    Undoubtedly, public-private partnership (PPP) has emerged as a policy tool for infrastructural financing, optimisation and maintenance through an appropriate policy framework. The policy framework of PPP is expected to promote collaborative governance through democratic values in the partnership agenda. These ideals have positively impacted on design and implementation of PPP policy in the developed nations. Ironically, a series of resentments, public outbursts, complaints and agitation that followed the implementation of the National Policy on PPP in Nigeria heightened the need for this study. These unwholesome developments usually arise from the host communities over claims to certain rights or due to their exclusion in certain critical decisions connected to the PPP projects implementation agenda. Using Lagos State, Nigeria as a case study, the researcher draws substantially from the themes of collaborative governance theories among others to examine how the National Policy on PPP in Nigeria aligns with the state’s policy to accommodate the host communities in the infrastructural policy implementation framework (PPP-IPIF). The multi-theoretical approach adopted is premised on the researchers’ pragmatic philosophical orientation to evaluate theories or beliefs in line with practical applications. Hence, data were sourced, presented and analysed using different statistical tools. Conclusions were drawn based on the combined strength of both qualitative and qualitative data using a triangulation/nested method. The major finding of the study suggests that the existing PPP implementation framework has not effectively incorporated the host communities by creating an institutionalised function for them. Therefore, their involvement or non-involvement in project implementation was left to the discretions of private project handlers. The study also established that, beyond compensation, the host communities desired to take an active part in the PPP policy implementation framework. Before this study, our knowledge of PPP infrastructural project governance was sketchy. It is against this background that this study employs the theoretical viewpoints of collaborative governance and participation theories, to advance the knowledge of host community stakeholding in PPP implementation. The study analyses the framework upon which the projects were established and the extent to which participatory values were institutionalised in the collaborative arrangement. The study concluded that PPP is a collaborative governance model whose implementation is still at the experimental stage in Nigeria; the researcher, therefore, develops a workable model as part of the recommendation based on the study’s experiential findings.
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    Evidence-based policy making as the alternative for effective water policy design and development: a case study of eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality.
    (2020) Xaba, Sibusiso Lungisani.; Mohamed-Sayeed, Cheryl Natasha.
    The notion of evidence-based decision-making has, over the years gained prominence, especially in the post millennium era. The evidence-based approach to decision-making seeks to ensure that implementation is successful. Too often decisions are taken and implemented, but the intended results are not met. Focusing on evidence when planning and implementing policy ensures that development initiatives directly address identified societal problem. Evidence is viewed as a tool to making informed rational decisions during policy development. Evidence-based policy making is about making policy decisions based on knowing with an estimated degree of certainty what works, at achieving which outcomes, for which groups of people, under what conditions, over what time span, and at what costs. Research has shown that South Africa does not have a standardised framework for developing and designing evidence-based policy. This study explores the extent to which evidence informs the public policy making process in the South African water and sanitation sector. Building from existing work on evidence-based policy making in South Africa, it poses the following questions: 1) what is the extent of evidence use in public policy making in the South African water and sanitation sector? 2) Is there a need to improve and what should the alternative look like within the context of the fourth industrial revolution. This study adopted a mixed methodology approach. Both qualitative and quantitative approaches were critical and relevant in carrying out this study, with purposive non-probability sampling being the sampling approach adopted. The qualitative research method was used to answer questions about the complex nature of phenomenon, mainly with the purpose of describing and understanding key variables from the participant’s experiences, opinion, and point of view. A total of 13 semi-structured interviews, using a semi structured interview schedule, guided by open-ended questions, were conducted with selected interviewees. Respondents were selected based upon their policy responsibility in their respective institutions that are linked to water and sanitation policy process, which included; the National Department of Water and Sanitation, eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality, National Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Water Research Commission and Pegasys Institute. The quantitative element of the study sought to obtain opinions from the managerial employees at eThekwini Municipality, who are responsible for ensuring effective translation of policy objectives into water and sanitation delivery, in terms of the Water Services Act, 108 of 1997. Here, 100 self-administered survey questionnaires were sent out to officials at task grade 14 to 18 from eThekwini Water and Sanitation Department and was met with a 72% response rate. Data from both interviews and survey was analysed and consolidated, using the pre-determined themes for effective interpretation. Analysis of the responses indicated that there is no common definition of what is regarded as evidence in the policy making process. In most cases, statistical information and other policy documents from government institutions are regarded as the only evidence that can be used to make policy decisions. There is no interaction with research institutions, outside of government, who are in possession of much valuable evidence for policy decision making in the water and sanitation sector. In this regard the study concluded that there is enough evidence (in numbers and variations) in the sector that remains unutilized to make policy decisions. The findings of this study showed that the engagement of implementing institutions, including local government (Water Services Authorities) in the formulation of policies, has been inadequate. This was revealed when respondents from eThekwini Municipality failed to demonstrate a clear understanding of policy making process in the Department of Water and Sanitation. There was clear consensus on the importance of evidence in decision making process, despite there being no policy making framework in the Department of Water and Sanitation to guide evidence integration in the policy development and design process. The findings further revealed that there is a large amount of evidence that is being collected and stored by various institutions, inside and outside government, that could be used for towards improved policy decision making. Additionally, the revealed that national government, through the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, have introduced capacity building initiatives amongst government departments on evidence-based approach policy making, and that the Department of Water and Sanitation is participating in these efforts. There is a need for continuous capacity building on evidence-based policy making in the Department of Water and Sanitation. This study concluded that limitations in evidence use in South African government, in general, ranges from consensus on evidence-based process, what constitutes evidence, selective use of evidence, political influence on evidence, the extent to which monitoring and evaluation can provide enough evidence, and the purpose of research, among others. The study made the following recommendations: There is a need for the Department of Water and Sanitation to understand its stakeholders in the water and sanitation value chain and capitalise on their role and contributions to make more informed decisions; Invest in strengthening partnerships at the policy development and design level to ensure seamless policy implementation; Build capacity in conjunction with its partners and stakeholders on evidence-based policy development, design and implementation; and, Water Services Authorities to appoint water and sanitation policy specialists to act as conduit between the WSA and the Department of Water and Sanitation on policy matters and serve on the DWS policy teams.
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    E-government in Lesotho: a policy analysis of the government websites with reference to service delivery.
    (2020) Matsieli, Molefi Lawrence.; Sooryamoorthy, Radhamany.
    The upsurge in the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in almost all facets of human endeavour has forced governments to think of innovative ways of serving and interacting with their citizens. E-government has been proposed and adopted by many governments around the world as an important system and a framework for transformation and reform. Properly designed and implemented e-government provides governments with effective tools to improve public sector efficiency, thereby enhancing access to quality services and strengthening relationships with citizens and other stakeholders. The primary aim of this study was to analyse the status of e-government in Lesotho and the context within which it is implemented. The purpose was to understand the progress of e-government implementation since the adoption of the ICT policy of 2005. In particular, a content analysis study was conducted to determine the current status of the websites of the ministries of the Government of Lesotho in relation to their level of maturity to deliver e-government services. The results were matched with the 2001 United Nations five-stage model of e-government assessment from simple to sophisticated features. The study also focused on exploring organisational perspectives in respect of issues affecting the implementation of e-government services in the country. This facilitated in identifying main factors important for egovernment success and failure in the Lesotho context. The study employed qualitative methods to provide a better understanding of the research issue and address the research questions. It triangulated data collection methods by observing and evaluating government websites and interviewing purposively sampled government officials. The findings revealed that Lesotho has not given due attention to the issue of e-government service delivery. This is evidenced by the fact that the websites of the ministries of the Government of Lesotho are either not fully developed or do not yet exist, which clearly impedes the government objective to reap and seize maximum benefits from the opportunities brought by ICTs. The results also revealed important factors affecting the adoption and implementation of egovernment in the Lesotho context. These issues, in which their presence encourages success and their absence encourages failure, include vision, policy and regulatory laws, political uncertainty, political will, leadership support and resource mobilisation, resistance to change, digital divide and policy monitoring and evaluation. Recommendations based on the findings of the study have been made to address the challenges encountered.
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    The influence of prevailing managerial leadership style on employee engagement, job satisfaction and organisational commitment: a South African public health sector perspective.
    (2020) Teffu, Matome Edward.; Loubser, Noleen Dianna.
    There are many commonalities in public policy implementation areas. In South Africa there are many public policies which, though well developed, face challenges such as poor leadership, shortage of resources including human resources, inadequate finance, and poor infrastructure, specifically at implementation levels, in most of sectors including the public health sector. This study was conducted to explore the leadership styles of managers working at Public Hospitals in Vhembe District of the Limpopo Department of Health (LDoH) in South Africa. The study was conducted in support of the pilot implementation of the National Health Insurance (NHI) Public Policy which is being piloted in some districts (including Vhembe District) in South Africa, and also to prepare the South African public health sector, in particular the LDoH, for countrywide implementation of a NHI policy. The LDoH, like any other organisations in the world, is faced with the challenges of an ever-changing environment such as an increasing burden of disease, high attrition rates, difficulty to retain employees with scarce skills, and increased demand for health care services, to mention a few. These challenges necessitate the urgency to have good leaders in public hospitals to ensure the smooth running of the hospitals and achievement of the organisational goals. The study’s aim therefore was to investigate managerial leadership styles adopted by managers employed at public hospitals with the aim of identifying the dominant style of leadership and evaluate its influence on employee engagement, job satisfaction and organisational commitment. Additionally, the study was undertaken to identify challenges, obstacles and problems faced by managers working at public hospitals of the LDoH, particularly when executing their daily tasks or responsibilities. There have been limited studies on the influence of the managerial leadership style on employee engagement, job satisfaction, and organisational commitment, especially in the South African Public Health Sector. Both qualitative and quantitative methods (mixed methods) were employed to understand managerial leadership styles and answer the research questions. For quantitative data collection, the instrument used was a questionnaire and for qualitative data collection, a semi-structured interview was employed. Quantitative data were analysed using Excel spreadsheets and Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software. Qualitative data were transcribed and analysed using narrative thematic analysis. To explore the influence of the prevailing managerial leadership style adopted by managers, the researcher used factor analysis regression analysis. The results of this study identified two leadership styles adopted by managers working at public hospitals in Vhembe district, autocratic, and participative or democratic leadership styles. This study showed that the prevailing managerial leadership style adopted by managers of public hospitals in Vhembe District is an autocratic leadership style. This predominant managerial leadership style was found to have a positive influence on employee engagement in clinical employees, and a negative influence on employee engagement in non-clinical employees. The study also revealed a negative influence of the prevailing leadership style on clinical employees’ job satisfaction, and a positive relationship between the prevailing managerial leadership style and non-clinical employees’ job satisfaction. Furthermore, the study findings indicated a negative correlation between clinical employees’ organisational commitment, and a positive relationship between non-clinical employees’ organisational commitment. With regard to challenges faced by managers working at public hospitals in Vhembe district, the findings revealed the greatest challenges as acting in higher posts, bad attitude by some employees, poor communication, absenteeism and lack of respect as key challenges faced by managers. In view of the NHI’s main objective which is Universal Health Coverage (UHC), this research recommends democratic or participative and transformational leadership styles as suitable leadership styles for managers working at public hospitals.
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    Land reform as a strategy for sustainable livelihoods in Zimbabwe: breaking the household poverty in selected resettlement farms in Matabeleland.
    (2019) Nyathi, Douglas.; Ndlovu, Joram.
    Zimbabwe’s agricultural production has remained low in spite of the presence of various agrarian policies including the recently implemented land reform programme. The agrarian policies focus extensively on crop and animal rearing development neglecting vast rural development prospects from non-farming livelihood options. This study focuses on livelihoods diversification in three selected newly resettled farms ie Springrange, Fox and Rocksdale in Matabeleland. Specifically, focus is on livelihood vulnerability, drivers and constraints of livelihood diversification as well as its implications on household well-being. It also interrogates the nature of post land support programmes from a diversification lens. This study is premised on the Sustainable livelihood’s framework, the Capabilities Approach and the De-agrarianisation hypothesis. Methodologically, the study adopts a qualitative case study that uses in-depth interviews, focus group discussions, key informants, visual sociology and observations for data collection purposes. This study shows that livelihood diversification in newly resettled areas is an alternative to overcome household poverty and in some instances for accumulation of income and assets. It emanates from the study that determinants to livelihood diversification are classified under push and pull factors, and that varying socio-economic and context specific factors influence the nature and patterns of diversification. It emerges that insecure land tenure, collapsing rain-fed agriculture, lack of markets, growing rural unemployment and HIV/AIDS are some of the factors pushing households to diversify. Discussions also uncover that households are motivated to diversify their livelihood portfolios by factors such as the availability of mineral endowments, proximity to the urban area, and the desire to accumulation income and assets. It emanates from the engagements that regardless of livelihood diversification, farming remains at the heart of the rural economy. It emanates that apart from smallholder agriculture, households are involved in small scale mining, eco-tourism, vending, wage labour, gardening, natural resource poaching and receive remittances and social grants for survival. The study also indicates that diversification of livelihoods into non-farm activities does not necessarily imply the death of peasantry but households compliment land-based livelihoods using off-farm and non-farm activities. It springs out that livelihood diversification increases household income, food security, asset accumulation and child welfare especially amongst the better-off households with capacity and assets. Government and other development agents should play a facilitator’s role in terms of promoting investment in rural infrastructure development, improving technology and skills as well as expanding rural credit schemes. There is also a need by government to consider issuing title deeds to the newly resettled farmers so as to address the land tenure insecurity challenge. Furthermore, there is need for scholars to consider studies focusing on the intricate link of smallholder agriculture and a number of non-farm and off-farm activities such as artisan small-scale mining.
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    Success or failure? Student experiences of the Extended Curriculum Programme (ECP) in the College of Humanities, University of KwaZulu-Natal.
    (2017) Johnson, Uduak Friday.; Narsiah, Inbersagran.
    South African Universities have responded to the global trend towards massification of higher education by public policy imperative to redress the legacies of apartheid. Extended Curriculum Programmes (ECPs) are used to implement this policy to remedy the limitations of disadvantaged primary and secondary schooling. This serves to improve both participation and success rates of those from these backgrounds who demonstrate potential. Dwindling government funding of tertiary education, high dropout rates, increasing numbers of black students gaining access into the universities, and the threat of a declining quality tertiary education have popularized suggestions in favour of the cancellation of ECPs. While the success of ECPs is being questioned, its value cannot be undermined. Some studies even suggest the expansion of such support to all tertiary students. The imperative to generate strong evidence on the value of ECP to inform policy decisions motivated the current study to target the voices of the ECP students in the College of Humanities, University of KwaZulu-Natal as a case study. The Social Constructivist paradigm was used to inquire into ECP students’ experiences of success and failures, using the Attribution theory to assess their beliefs and how they understand and relate to their experiences of learning as affected by the ECP. The Study Process Questionnaire was also used to test how ECP students’ learning motives and studying strategies determine their approaches to learning. This mixed methods with emphasis on the qualitative approach was used to collect data. Students from different levels on, within and through the programme were sampled to give a representative view. Twenty-two face-to-face semi-structured interviews, two focus group interviews and 170 responses from the Study Process questionnaire were used to collect the different kinds of data. Thematic content analysis was used on qualitative data, while data from the SPQ was analysed using STATA statistical analysis software. Students’ approaches to learning were correlated and presented in graphical and tabular formats as determined by their motives and strategies. The discussion chapter used statistical graphs and tables to support themes derived from the qualitative data on students’ attributions. The study found that students attribute the outcome of their studies to a variety of factors that are worth considering in empowering students when implementing the ECP and in policy adjustments on how student underpreparedness can be addressed. The academic and computer literacy skills and other foundational skills from the programme empower ECP students to assist mainstream students. It also facilitates their social construction of university life and enables their adjustment by positively affecting their motivations while preparing them to succeed. The attribution theory was found to have the reflective-tool to enable students understand themselves and their learning habits. Such self-awareness equips students to learn and adopt more productive approaches to learning; a useful tool for student counsellors. The study suggested that opening the ECP up to all students may boycott a vital element of cooperation and competition that the programme evokes between its students and mainstream student when they compare their performances. Nevertheless, instead of discontinuing the programme due to funding constraints, its foundational modules could be open as compulsory to all students based on the outcome of a university entrance test to determine readiness and skills level in important cognate areas. These modules are to be based in the ECP to demonstrate that all students need support of some sort and to enhance equal socialization between ECP students and mainstream students. This would contribute towards eliminating the stigma on the ECP, and sustain the programme through mainstream students’ registration without much recourse to external funding. Nevertheless, financial constraints, difficulty of exiting the programme, and the lack of transparency about its admission criteria remain threats to the programme, but the programme does contribute towards constructing a positive university learning environment.
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    Policy formulation in the Ministry of Development Planning in the government of Lesotho.
    (2015) Lesia, Lelokoana Eric.; Mngomezulu, Bhekithemba Richard.
    This research study aimed at investigating policy formulation in the Ministry of Development Planning in Lesotho. It was driven by the conviction that public policy formulation in Africa is considered to be very conservative and restricted, with very little public involvement and no input from the general public. Lesotho as a country (and the Ministry of Development Planning in particular) is not immune to this practice. Authentic public participation - as opposed to rubberstamping - in the policy formulation process has been the subject for considerable research in academia. Decision-making in policy formulation is supposed to be grounded on public participation. However, the realisation of authentic public participation in decision-making in policy formulation remains a challenge for many countries including Lesotho. In this study, I examined the process of policy formulation in the Ministry of Development Planning of Lesotho. I employed the monitoring and evaluation theoretical framework to guide the study. The qualitative research methodology which comprised semi-structured interviews and document analysis was adopted. Four key questions were explored in the study: (i) How are policies formulated within the government of Lesotho by the Ministry of Development Planning? (ii) To what extent are various stakeholders included in the policy formulation process? (iii) How does public participation in policy formulation influence decision making within the government of Lesotho? (iv) Do party politics influence the policy formulation process in the government of Lesotho? The research findings of this study indicate that the majority of the citizens in Lesotho do not actively participate in policy decision-making processes in the Ministry of Development Planning. Civil society organizations are not functioning as they are expected to in policy formulation processes. The study further revealed that public participation on issues of policy formulation process in the Ministry is influenced by political affiliation of the citizenry. These findings led to the conclusion that public participation in policy decision-making processes in Lesotho is not done properly. The recommendation, therefore, is that the process should be detached from party politics so that policies could resonate with societal needs and enhance the process of community development.