Welcome to the website of the Good Governance Learning Network (GGLN)
The GGLN is a network of South African non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that aims to promote participatory, effective, accountable and pro-poor local governance.
State of Local Governance Publication - 2012/2013
Active Citizenship Matters
On 14 March 2013 the Good Governance Learning Network launched the fifth edition of the State of Local Governance Publication, Active Citizenship Matters. This edition focuses on a topic that resonates strongly with South Africans as our democracy enters its young adulthood phase. The National Development Plan's elevation of civic activism in development processes echoes the sentiments of the GGLN. People can and should be in control of their own development, not in isolation of the state or other civic actors, but in direct conversation or, at times, in contestation with these other actors. This requires the design of well-constructed, yet organic, processes that are able to mediate power, difference and diversity in a manner that brings forth transformative outcomes. This publication aims to demonstrate such processes at grassroots level.
PDF copy available here: resolveuid/28df621d8191e2c6e07e67467f005433
State of Local Governance Publication - 2011/2012
Putting participation at the heart of development // putting development at the heart of participation
On 18 April 2012, the Good Governance Learning Network (GGLN) launched its 4th publication, the 2012 State of Local Governance publication. This publication explores alternative conceptions, approaches and methods for shaping a vibrant, pro-poor system of local governance and democracy in South Africa. It consciously seeks to depart from what has been a preoccupation, both in government and in the local governance civil society sector, with current legislation, policies and practice, and with how these can be better implemented or modified in minor ways. Anyone reading this publication in the hope of finding solutions on how to ‘fix’ the structures and mechanisms already in place will be disappointed unless they are open to exploring innovative approaches and models that aim to enhance participatory local governance. Ultimately, participatory governance needs to be substantive, both in terms of process and with respect to outcomes, hence the call underlying this publication: ‘putting participation at the heart of development // putting development at the heart of participation’.
For a PDF copy of this report, click here.
State of Local Governance Report - 2010/2011
Recognising Community Voices and Dissatisfaction: A Civil Society Perspective on Local Governance in South Africa
On 13 April, the GGLN launched its third State of Local Governance Report. The theme of this year’s report, Recognising Community Voice and Dissatisfaction, was driven to a large extent by community-based protests and the proposed local government policy reforms. These protests have brought wide-spread attention to the gaps in delivery on basic services, a poorly capacitated administrative system and a fledgling political system. This publication includes a varied perspective, considering both formal and emerging or “invented” spaces of participation, and critiques techno-bureaucratic and state-centric approaches to democratic participation.
For a PDF copy of this report, click here.
State of Local Governance Report - 2009/2010
Ethical Leadership and Political Culture in Local Government: A Civil Society Perspective on Local Governance in South Africa
In July 2009, members of the GGLN came together to share insights and perspectives on the notion of ‘ethical leadership’ or ‘leadership with integrity’, a concept that was seen to have particular significance against the backdrop of recurring and, at the time, intensified community-based protests and pending local government policy reform. This is the second report of the GGLN’s State of Local Governance research initiative, which presents a critical analysis of public leadership in the context of governance and service delivery. The contributions to the report by member organisations of the GGLN not only shed light on a topic where we lack information and critical insight, but they importantly raise some necessary questions on this elusive concept of leadership as it relates to the South African local government sphere.
State of Local Governance Report - 2008
Local Democracy in Action: A Civil Society Perspective on Local Governance in South Africa