Instilling public accountability through the use of monitoring and evaluation among ward councillors in South Africa
While the literature shows that local government is the closest tier of government to the citizens of South Africa, the communities are denied some benefits of its existence, resulting in service delivery protests that are largely attributed to the lack of public accountability. It is therefore the aim of the study to understand how South African ward councillors understand, perceive and use Monitoring & Evaluation mechanisms to instil public accountability. A structured interview guide in the form of an online self-administered questionnaire was used to collect data from 201 ward councillors. From the study questions, the following alternative hypotheses were tested using regression analysis and T-test: i. There is a positive relationship between the knowledge of public accountability of M&E mechanisms. ii. There is a positive relationship between perceptions of public accountability and usage of M&E mechanisms. iii. There is a difference in the use of M&E mechanisms betweengender (males and females) to foster public accountability within local government. Contrary to expectations, the study findings revealed that there was no relationship (0.431<0.05) between the knowledge of public accountability and usage of M&E mechanisms. Similarly, only 02.60% of the variation of the usage of M&E mechanisms (dependent variable) could be explained by perceptions of M&E mechanisms (independent variable). Lastly, the findings revealed that the observed difference between the samples means (4.0-4.34) was close and not convincing enough to suggest that the usage of M&E mechanisms between female and male ward councillors differed significantly. In all the findings alternative hypotheses were rejected and null hypotheses accepted. In conclusion, it is evident that ward councillors understand the concepts relating to public accountability; however, the knowledge has not been comprehended fully and utilised to instil public accountability within local government. An in-depth analysis on public accountability practices within local government in South Africa will strengthen scientific knowledge on public accountability.
Thesis presented in partial fulfillment of the degree of Master of Management (in the field of Public Sector Monitoring and Evaluation) to the Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management, University of the Witwatersrand September 2017
Saila,Xoliswa Nomfundo (2017) Instilling public accountability through the use of monitoring and evaluation among ward councillors in South Africa, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, <http://hdl.handle.net/10539/26199>