The CAPAM 4th public management conversation: building the academic – Practitioner interface

Building the academic - practitioner interface in South African public administration

Date: 18 Apr 2007

Venue: Lord Charles Hotel, Somerset West, South Africa


To further strengthen the relationship between the south african public administration academic as well as consulting community and senior practitioners through the medium of a commonwealth dialogue.


  • to assess the quality and scope of the current relationship (including the evaluation of previous and ongoing initiatives);
  • to address why an optimal interface has not been achieved thus far in terms of the different dimensions of the relationship, for example, research, education/training, and consulting;
  • to take forward existing initiatives targeted at the building of optimal relations at the interface and identify new initiatives where necessary, and
  • to lay the foundation for the south african academic/practitioner input into the adjudicated papers stream of the CAPAM 2008 biennial conference in barbados in october 2008.

Panel discussions

Panel 1: Assessing the quality and scope of the current interface/relationship

  • moving from a comparative and/or theoretical basis, seeking agreement on what exactly constitute the key elements of the desirable level and quality of the interface: - dimensions, standards, values, structures, organisations.
  • evaluations of past initiatives and addressing reasons for sub-optimal progress.

Panel 2: Navigating the continuum in terms of research, consultancy, practising public administration and governance

  • nurturing the ongoing and long term policy conversations on public administration and transformation
  • strengthening the interface between the theory and praxis of public administration
  • exploring the suitability and structure(s) of a role or roles for the academic community regarding accountability and oversight activities of the public service

Panel 3:: Navigating the continuum in terms of training and education, organisational development and practising public administration

  • academic independence and the needs for the developmental state
  • are the current curricula suitable for the medium and long term needs of south africa?
  • are the outputs and outcomes of the hei and mdi initiatives meeting the expectations of the "industry" and user community?

Facilitated discussion: Agenda for cooperation ahead

  • to lay the foundation for the south african academic/practitioner input into the adjudicated papers stream of the CAPAM 2008 biennial conference
  • initiate discussions on the theme and content of the CAPAM 2008 biennial conference
  • agree on the next steps for southern african cooperation


Day 1

  • Opening, Welcome
  • Panel 1: Assessing the Quality and Scope of the Current Interface/Relationship
    • Chair: Ms Odette Ramsingh, Director General, Office of the Public Service Commission
    • Panelists:
      • Prof. Kader Asmal, Member of Parliament and former Minister of Education
      • Prof. Adebayo Adedeji, Nigeria, Chairperson: APRM Panel of Eminent Persons
    • Respondents:
      • Prof. Anne McLennan, Graduate School of Public Management and Development, University of Witwatersrand
      • Prof. Valiant Clapper, Tshwane University of Technology and President, ASSADPAM
  • Panel 2:: Navigating the Continuum in terms of Research, Consultancy, Practising Public Administration and Governance
    • Chair: Ms Lynelle Briggs, Public Service Commissioner, Australia and Board Member CAPAM
    • Panelists:
      • Prof. Willie Esterhuyse, Director Institute for Futures Research, University of Stellenbosch
      • Prof. T Job Mokgoro, Managing Director, ECI Africa
      • Prof. Jerry Kuye, Director of the School of Public Management and Administration, University of Pretoria
    • Respondents:
      • Prof. Anver Saloojee, Advisor to Minister in the Presidency
      • Ms Avril Gollop, Cabinet Secretary & Head of the Civil Service, Barbados, and Vice-President, CAPAM

Day 2

  • Panel 3: Navigating the Continuum in terms of Training and Education, Organisational Development and Practicing Public Administration
    • Chair: Dr. Mark Orkin, Director General, SAMDI
    • Panelists:
      • Mr Eric Molale, Permanent Secretary to the President & Cabinet Secretary, Botswana, and Board Member, CAPAM
      • Hon. Ms Naledi Pandor, Minister of Education
      • Prof. Shadrack Gutto, Director of the Centre for African Renaissance Studies, University of South Africa
    • Respondents:
      • Prof. Veronica McKay, ABET Institute, University of South Africa
      • Mr Paul Zahra, Permanent Secretary (Policy), Prime Minister’s Offi ce, Malta, and Board Member, CAPAM
      • Ms Ruth Dantzer, President, Canada School of Public Service, Canada, and Honourary Treasurer, CAPAM
  • Closing session
    • Chair: Mr David Spencer, Principal and Chief Executive, National School of Government, United Kingdom and Board Member, CAPAM
    • Rapporteur: Prof. Robert Cameron, Department of Political Studies, University of Cape Town
    • Closing comments from eminent persons
      • Prof. Patrick FitzGerald, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of the Witwatersrand
      • Ms Marie Shroff, Privacy Commissioner, New Zealand, and Board Member, CAPAM
      • Prof. Stan Sangweni, Chairperson, Public Service Commission
  • Facilitated discussion: Agenda for cooperation ahead
  • Closure


Last update: 31 August 2011

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