Collaboration: a theory of governance grounded in deconstructing South Africa's sanitation policy

Rawhani, Carmel
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Objective: In this study I deconstruct South Africa’s sanitation policy in order to understand why demand-driven service delivery (i.e. service delivery based on collective action) has failed as a tool for public policy management. The overall objective was to locate both case-specific as well as generalizable answers in the data. Method: Guided by deconstructivism and Grounded Theory Methodology this paper mapped out the South African policy landscape and proceeded to code the data collected in that exercise through three rounds of coding. Once these elements of the planning which went into the study were explained and demonstrated, the results were shared. Thereafter the details of theory-building were explained before moving on to provide a literature review to position the study. Lastly, the emergent theory was applied to the South African sanitation case as a test of usefulness. Results: The emergent codes indicated a general consensus around the idea that public policy governance is largely the responsibility of government which is seen as powerful, while individual citizens are seen as marginalized and disempowered in the course of hoping to realize their rights. Deeper analysis revealed that individual citizens are the true holders of power as they have outsourced their responsibility to participate in collective action to government, leaving government alone in the process of service delivery. Conclusion: Demand-driven service delivery fails as a tool of public policy governance where there is a misunderstanding of public policy which prevents collective action. A quasi-theory of governance as collaboration emerged as the necessary solution to this problem.
Thesis - Master of Management in Public Policy. University of Witwatersrand, Wits School of Governance
Rawhani, Carmel (016) Collaboration: a theory of governance grounded in deconstructing South Africa's sanitation policy, University of the Witwatersrand, <>