Each module will run over a period of seven weeks.
Module 1 – Governance, Leadership and Public Value
This module deals with contemporary conceptions of state and society. It seeks to provide students with a thorough understanding of government functioning and administration, government relations with the private sector and civil society, and government interaction within local, national and regional contexts. It examines the public sector and the complex challenges surrounding public administration, as well as the impact of different models of governance and leadership on the distribution of economic and other resources and the creation of public value.
Module 2 – Public Policy
This module interrogates conceptual and theoretical frameworks of public policy, examines models of public policy making; offers a framework of public policy analysis and explores policy contexts in South Africa, Africa and globally. The module provides students with an understanding of the special challenges facing policy development and implementation and how to overcome them. This includes technical and skills requirements for evaluating policy, managing vested interests, consultation and public relations, monitoring and evaluation, and the management of inter-departmental coordination and relations.
Module 3 – Public finance and performance-based budgeting
This module introduces students to key concepts in public finance and public sector economics and then analyses public finance issues in the South African context. Key topics include the role of the state in the economy; public expenditure and its impact on economic growth; taxation; fiscal policy; key areas of social policy, including education, health, and social security; and intergovernmental fiscal relations.
Module 4 – Development
This module reviews different conceptions of and current debates about development, including the role of states and markets in development. It deals with the roles of local communities, global actors, and the private and NGO sectors, as well as the impacts of marketisation and economic deregulation. It also highlights challenges to managing development in emerging economies such as South Africa, including social and economic exclusion, inequality, and skewed gender relations.
Module 5 – Analytical Methods
This module covers the analysis and interpretation of quantitative data relevant to public policy research and practice. Students make decisions and communicate findings based on statistical approaches that enable the interpretation of data.
Module 6 – Evaluation
This module covers the various forms and approaches to evaluation. Looking at the application of evaluation in a range of public and development management contexts and includes detailed debates around evaluation theory and practice. Issues in evaluation regarding sub-Saharan Africa are explored.
Module 7 – Monitoring Systems
This module introduces the concepts of routine data monitoring, data management (particularly data quality), and data reporting. Following this foundation, the module presents a range of monitoring systems that are used in different contexts, particularly in the public sector and civil society. It then teaches candidates how to design and implement a monitoring system. The module is especially aimed at programme and policy professionals who are responsible for commissioning, managing, designing and implementing monitoring systems.
Module 8 – Monitoring and Evaluation Evidence in Policy Management
This module revolves around the use of evidence in public policy formulation, implementation and evaluation. It addresses crucial questions of the use of research in public policy, including what it means to use research evidence, what influences the use of research in the policymaking process and, most importantly, what methods are available to us to strengthen the link between research and public policy. Monitoring data play a crucial role in establishing a solid base on which to draw when looking for what is likely or not to work. The module provides students with a solid grounding in theoretical and conceptual debates around monitoring and evaluation and its use for public policy.