A systemic inquiry into the challenges of integrated development planning : a South African experience.
Zulu, Khethukuthula Joseph.
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The study is about investigating the factors which lead to poorly developed and managed Integrated Development Planning (IDP) in the context of cooperative government and a developmental state. The research examines South Africa‟s experience with the implementation of this particular policy on development, to determine the extent to which the impact of Integrated Development Planning on service delivery can be improved. The study adopted practitioner, explanatory and exploratory research methodologies, applying qualitative methods. The study used face-to-face interviews rather than a questionnaire to allow enriched debate and inputs. Purposefully sampled respondents came from different categories of town and regional planners in municipalities responsible for IDPs, as well as Municipal Managers (including former Municipal Managers) based on their experience, provincial monitoring and support and technical advisors. Given its philosophical underpinnings and methodology, IDPs as process and plan should be very effective on the ground, however to date the development of the citizenry is still very far from the ideal, much of which is owed to a lack of or a limited integrated development planning approach. The IDP aims to pull together efforts of all local stakeholders for the development of a particular area so that the intervention is relevant and coordinated to maximise the impact of intervention. Unfortunately, ten years since the introduction of new system of local government, there is still duplication of efforts, neglect of certain geographic areas and sectors, and limited overall impact from state interventions. Local government, for some reason, gets all the blame for the failure of government to deliver services and live by its philosophy, but in fact it is highly dependent on the other spheres for its performance. The study concludes that the concept of IDP is sound at both theory and methodology level, however, despite this, impact has not been significant. Development interventions are still disjointed and do not use a systems thinking approach to problem solving. The focus is also too infrastructural, too preoccupied with the end and not the means, and also neglects the critical human development aspects.