Public works learning network session: Transformation in the public service

Transformation of the National Department of Public works in order to achieve operational efficiency

Date: 16 Jul 2001

Venue: HSRC Conference Centre, Pretoria

The Departments of Public Works and Public Service and Administration have established a partnership to promote and enhance learning through sharing of best practices on transformation and implementation experiences across Public Works departments.

Background - Public works learning network

Departments of Public Works across the country have been and continue to restructure and transform in order to contribute more effectively to government's socio-economic objectives. The Community-Based Public Works Programmes are particularly important examples of the commitment to creating employment, increasing appropriate public investment, and enhancing economic growth. The implementation of this and other programmes, and the restructuring and transformation of efforts, have and continue to result in extensive internal changes to the national and provincial departments. Departments have experimented with various approaches to transformation and restructuring that are specific to their context. Whilst sharing of experienceshas taken place through formal interactions between departments, it is increasingly evident that there is a need to enhance interaction and sharing between officials through a 'Public Works Learning Network'.

The learning network

The establishment of a learning network in Public Works will be directed at enhancing the sharing of information and knowledge on transformation and implementation experiences across Public Works departments. It is anticipated that such a learning network would allow departments to share information and knowledge that can be used by sister departments and thus avoid the reinventing of solutions across public works departments. Such a process will also enhance skills and capacity sharing across departments and can provide the base for resource sharing and partnerships between and across departments. Whilst not quantifiable, at this stage, it is expected that the sharing of information and knowledge will result in substantive savings in the long run and will serve as an effective tool for the more appropriate management of the collective knowledge and experiences across Departments of Public Works.

Establishing and growing the network

To build the elements of the network it is essential to begin with formal interactions through regular meetings of key actors and thinkers in the terrain of Public Works transformation. To this end, it is essential to organise an initial 'learning session' to establish the network and define the learning and sharing activities it would engage in.


Facilitators: Ms Motshoanetsi Lefoka (DPW) and Mr Dick Bvuma (DPSA)

Last update: 31 August 2011

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