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14th South African Association of Public Administration and Management (SAAPAM) Annual Conference
Start Date: Mar 26, 2014
End Date: Mar 28, 2014
Venue: Park Hotel, Mokopane (Limpopo Province)

The South African Association of Public Administration and Management (SAAPAM) is a professional body of academics and practitioners in the field of public sector governance established to make a contribution towards the development of good governance and effective service delivery through the advancement of professionalism, scholarship and practice in public administration and management.

It promotes excellence in the theory and practice of Public Administration and Management. The SAAPAM provides a platform for academics-practitioners interactions on various issues of governance.

2014 marks yet another important milestone in the evolution of the post-1994 South African state. It is a year that democracy in South Africa turns 20 years. In the context of how democracy fared in the post-colonial Africa, some thought that South Africa would not be able to sustain its commitment to democracy. Afro-pessimists argued that South Africa is to go the same route as the rest of the continent, which their false premonition is that the future of Africa is bleak because of a myriad of what is being characterised as intractable problems that arrest her potential to develop. The democratisation path traversed, and the extent to which, subsequently, democracy became consolidated, exposed the Afro-pessimist narratives of Africa as, in the words of Macedo, the “pedagogy of big lies” peddled through the modernisation theories that still largely undergird the epistemological foundation of what is being taught as public administration curricula in most universities.

This 20th year of democracy in South Africa is a moment for reflection on the path traversed, especially on the governance front. The question is: how did we come this far? The attempt to answer it necessarily compels us to historicise the post-1994 South African state, especially from the governance perspective. Another important question is: what is the implication of the 20 years of democracy in South Africa on the state of governance in Africa? From the perspective of governance as a science, further questions are: what are the theoretical paradigms that disciplined the epistemological evolution of the discipline? Are they appropriate to sustain the relevance of the discipline in the contemplation of its future in the 21st century? If the answer to this question is not in affirmative, a follow-up question is: what are the alternative paradigms of knowledge for the discipline? These are fundamentally important questions that undergird the theme of the 14th Annual Conference of the South African Association of Public Administration and Management (SAAPAM), scheduled to take place on 26-28 March 2014.

The National Board of the South African Association of Public Administration and
Management (SAAPAM), in conjunction with the University of Limpopo (UL), invites you to its 14th Annual Conference, which is a gathering of scholars and practitioners, to be part of reflecting on the 20 years of democracy in South Africa. Come and be part of this important dialogue which seeks to repackage our past and the present from which posterity could draw important instructions as it contend with its future.
In addition to scholarship engagements, a plenary for practitioners is envisaged, where narratives from the practice or case study presentations on various aspects of governance related to the theme of the conference would be accommodated.
Government officials, past and present] are therefore as well strongly encouraged to submit papers for presentations based on their experiential insight in managing the dynamics of governance. Original papers on the theme of the conference which seeks to inform theoretical and policy discourses on matters of governance are hereby invited for presentation and possible publication in the Journal of Public Administration. The following sub-themes were formulated to contextualise the theme of the conference:

Theory of knowledge
• What are the theoretical paradigms that inform the epistemological evolution of the discipline in South Africa post-1994? Are those paradigms appropriate to sustain the relevance of the discipline in contemplating its future in the 21st century? If not, what are the alternative paradigms of knowledge for the discipline? What is their potential in resolving the unresolved theoretical question of the discipline? What about African indigenous knowledge systems? Do they matter in the pursuit to answer the unanswered theoretical question of the discipline? If so, why are African philosophies not mainstreamed in the epistemological praxis of the discipline? Is the discipline trapped in orthodoxy? What would it take to extricate it from what Ali Mazrui calls “alien paradigms”, or, as Karl Marx put it, “false systems of political, social and moral concepts invented” to preserve the hegemony of the global power?

The democratisation path traversed
• What is the state of the post-1994 South African state?

• How far did we come in organising our system of governance and improving policy practice?

• What is the strategic orientation of our policy praxis?

• To what extent is that orientation reflective of the attempt to position South Africa as a capable state?

• What necessitated a shift from a developmental state to a capable state in the policy discourse in South Africa?

• Or perhaps these notions presuppose sameness?

• Are they, really? Did the National Planning Commission (NPC) correctly diagnose the governance challenges facing South Africa?

• Or is it the question of misdiagnosis?

• What is the implication of the National Development Plan (NDP) on the evolution of the South African state, two decades into democracy?

• How is South Africa reacting to the proposals of the NDP? How does the NDP differ from previous interventions to enhance the development capacity of the South African state?

South Africa and Africa
• What is the implication of the 20 years of democracy in South Africa on the state of governance in Africa?

• Federations and Unitary Systems in Africa – African constitutions in praxis

• Governance and ethnicity issue in Africa

Governance in praxis
• Meaning of governance in the day-to-day activities of government

Conceptual questions
• What is the conceptual basis of the discipline, in terms of its relevance and appropriateness in the historicisation and theorisation of the discipline?

Corporate governance in the public sector
• The implications of King Reports on the evolution of leadership, human resource and financial management in the public sector.

Case study
• Presentations on service delivery milestones and challenges

New Public Management, Governance, transformation and administrative reform
• To what extent do the New Public Management and governance provide conceptual paradigms for theorising transformation and administrative reform in South Africa, post-1994?

• What about the notion of a developmental state? Can it be regarded as the subtext of transformation and administrative reform?

Planning for better governance
• Is the organisational architecture of the government geared towards enhancing the capacity of the state to plan in manner that sustains coherence in the system of government?

Planning for better governance
• The case of the National Development Plan

African scholarship in the 21st century- the case of public administration
• Are we pursuing ghosts that are not ours in historicising and theorising our reality? Or perhaps a question that should first be asked is whether African public administration scholarship exists? If so, to what end? What is its influence on the epistemological orientation of the discipline?

Tools of governance
• What are tools that we can use to measure our state of governance?

• How were those tools developed?

Ethical governance
• To what extent are succeeding or falling in inculcating the culture of ethics?

• What is the level of performance of the institutions that have been established to promote ethical governance and democracy in South Africa?

• What is level of corruption in the public sector?

Co-operative and network governance
• National- Provincial-Local Government nexus in the governance chain. Is the chain holding?

• Government-civil society interface

• Inter-government relations system as prescribed in the Constitution: Does it really work, especially from government planning perspective?

These questions necessarily seek to, more importantly, influence the direction of the public administration curricula. This is so as what is taught at our universities is often criticised as not being consistent with the changing society. In attending to this important observation we envisage to have, in a plenary, dialogue on the State of Public Administration Discipline in terms of teaching and research as part of the programme of the Conference. The purpose is to establish a national consensus on what should constitute the public administration curricula. This is a continuation of previous efforts to develop a coherent framework for curriculum development in the field of governance. Abstracts of between 250-350 words should be submitted on or before 20 January 2014.

In the cover page of the abstract the following information need to be specified:
(a) Title of Submission
(b) Conference sub-theme
(c) Name of author (s)
(d) Institutional affiliation of author (s)
(e) Address(es) of author (s)
(f) E-mail address (es) of author (s)
Conference papers submitted for possible publication in the Journal should strictly adhere to the editorial policy requirements regarding specifications for manuscript submissions.
The submission date for full papers for inclusion of names on the programme is the
28 February 2014. In keeping with item 3 of the Editorial Policy of the Journal of Public
Administration, all papers submitted by the due date shall be circulated anonymously to specialist referees for evaluation. It is only on the basis of the referees’ reports that the Editor may either accept or reject any paper submitted for publication in the Journal.
Except in special cases where prior permission has been obtained, papers should not exceed 5000 words. Prospective contributors are specifically requested to ensure that the language and technical aspects of their contributions are of high standard. In this regard, proof to this effect would be required. Papers should be submitted electronically; typed in 1.5 line spacing, 12pt Times New Roman and accompanied by an English abstract of between 250 and 350 words. Since papers are circulated anonymously for evaluation, the name and affiliation of the author (s) should on a separate page. Only the Harvard style will be accepted for references. Abstracts and full papers should be-emailed to SAAPAM@ tut.ac.za.
By submitting a paper, you certify that all co-authors are aware of the submission and consent to presentation of the work. All submission must be in Microsoft word. Include the contact information for all authors on the first page of the document. You will receive an email containing an acceptance or rejection letter within 7 working days of submission. The letter will contain a submission number that you should include in all further correspondences.

Benefits of attending the conference
Papers presented in the conference and reviewed may be published in the Journal of Public Administration. The conference provides an access to the formal communication network with SAAPAM members, and ample opportunity for networking and building bonds between practitioners, academics, researchers and other professionals in the discipline of Public Administration and Management.
Important dates (must be received at our office by)
Submission of abstracts 20 January 2014
Submission of full paper 28 February 2014
Payment for registration 20 February 2014
Late Registration and payment for conference attendance 15 March 2014
Event dates 26-28 March 2014
Presentation Equipment
Each conference room will be equipped with a computer and LCD projector. The presentation rooms
will not be equipped with an internet connection.
How to register
Complete the attached Registration Form and email it to the attention of the SAAPAM Administrator
at SAAPAM@tut.ac.za. Please remember to attach proof of payment.
Conference Fees
Deadline: 15 March 2014
Conference registration fees are not refundable or transferable.
Conference registration fees are as follows: R3700.00 per delegate (for Members)
R4200.00 (for non-members)
Please note that this amount does not include accommodation. The booking and payment of accommodation is the (separate) responsibility of the delegate. Please note that this is a prepaid event. Payment and registration is required by 20 February 2014. Conference registration fees must be paid into the following Bank Account:
Name of the Bank: Standard Bank
Account Holder: SAAPAM
Account Number: 012580015
Branch Code: 01-15-45-15
Kindly email proof of payment to the attention of Vukosi Mathonsi at SAAPAM@tut.ac.za
Hotels in Mokopane (Limpopo Province)
The Park Hotel Mokopane Lodge
015 491 3101 015 491 3899/5028
Oasis Lodge
015 491 4124
For alternative accommodation, kindly visit: www.limpopotourism.info or call 015 276 4972
Website: http://www.saapam.co.za
Created By: CPSI
Organizers: SA Association of Public Administration and Management & University of Limpopo
Participation Requirements: Open

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