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Kenyan Public Governance Conference Addresses By UKZN Academics



Kenyan Public Governance Conference Addresses By UKZN Academics

Kenyan Public Governance Conference Addresses By UKZN Academics. Emeritus Professor Purshottama Reddy from the School of Management, IT, and Governance at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) made significant strides in the discourse on public governance during his participation at the 2024 annual International Institutes of Administrative Sciences (IIAS) Conference held in Mombasa, Kenya.

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Professor Reddy Contributions

Professor Reddy, who also serves as the Vice-Chairperson of the Programme and Research Committee (PRAC) of IIAS, played a pivotal role in the deliberations. Beyond fulfilling the statutory obligations of IIAS, he chaired a session focused on Intergovernmental Coordination and participated in a panel discussion examining alternative service delivery mechanisms in local governance contexts.

Insights from Research

One of the highlights of Professor Reddy engagement was the presentation of a paper co-authored with Dr. Z L Mkhize, a master’s graduate, titled “Service Delivery at the Provincial Sphere of Government: A Case Study of Operation Sukuma Sakhe (OSS) in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.” The paper delved into the challenges faced by South Africa in achieving effective service delivery, particularly at the provincial level.

Operation Sukuma Sakhe (OSS): A Beacon of Hope

Introduced by the Provincial Government of KwaZulu-Natal in 2009, Operation Sukuma Sakhe (OSS) emerged as a pioneering model aimed at enhancing service delivery and addressing entrenched issues of poverty and inequality.

The paper underscored OSS effectiveness in promoting coordinated governance through the integration of five key principles: cooperative government, intergovernmental relations, good governance, community participation, and service integration.

Implications for Multi-Level Governance

The convergence of these principles within OSS not only facilitated improved service delivery but also served as a cornerstone for multi-level governance. Drawing parallels with the German concept of Bundestrue, OSS exemplified a coordinating mechanism crucial for fostering cooperation across various administrative levels.

The study emphasized the imperative of applying lessons gleaned from OSS nationally to foster a more cohesive district-based planning and budgeting framework.

Exploring Shared Services Approach (SSA)

In addition to OSS, Professor Reddy’s contribution extended to discussing the Shared Services Approach (SSA) in South African local government. He underscored the potential of SSA as a cost-effective mechanism to streamline administrative functions and enhance service delivery. However, he cautioned against overlooking the challenges hindering its successful implementation.

Addressing Challenges and Moving Forward

Professor Reddy emphasized the need for strong political will, effective change management, and capacity-building initiatives to overcome the impediments faced by SSA. Drawing from international experiences, he advocated for a concerted effort to leverage legislative and policy frameworks effectively.


Professor Purshottama Reddy engagements at the IIAS Conference underscored the critical role of academic research in informing governance practices. His insights not only shed light on innovative models like OSS but also underscored the importance of addressing systemic challenges to foster sustainable development.

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