November 28, 2006 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
[Cape Town,] Impumelelo Innovations Award Trust will become the first and only awards programme in South African to open its adjudication process to the public. And, in yet another first, the adjudications will be held in the City of Cape Town’s council chambers and will take place on 29 and 30 November.

Executive Director, Rhoda Kadalie comments, “Impumelelo focuses on the public sector and therefore it is only fitting that one of the most important aspects of our awards programme, the adjudications, be held in an environment where important decisions affecting service delivery are being made every single day”.

Thirty one projects from municipalities, NGOs provincial and national government will present to a high profile panel of judges and Impumelelo evaluators, which include Professor Sipho Seepe (Academic Director at the Henley Management College), Mr Hylton Appelbaum (Executive Director of the Liberty Life Foundation), Ms Mary Turok (Member of Parliament) and Mr Graeme Bloch (Development Bank of South Africa) and Dr Cheryl Hendricks (Institute of Security Studies) and Professor Jerry Kuye (Head of the School for Public Management and Administration at the University of Pretoria) amongst others.

Impumelelo Innovations Award Trust runs the only awards programme in South Africa that has at its core a thorough and in-depth evaluations component, based on a model developed by the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. “The goal for our awards programme is to find the best service delivery projects in South Africa and the public managers who run and then replicate them in other areas” says Kadalie.

During June and August more than thirty of Impumelelo’s professional evaluators travelled to the remotest parts of South Africa to evaluate 130 projects in order to find those that deliver on their mandate and could potentially be considered as best practice models. Based on the evaluator’s reports a shortlist of 30 projects has been invited to Cape Town to present their projects to the judges.”

The decision to invite the public to the adjudication was made to encourage and promote the vital role that civil society can play in shaping local government. “Also, it is essential that the public is aware of the good work that is being undertaken by government and civil society alike to fix our most pressing social problems.” Replication of the best practice models is one of Impumelelo Innovations Award Trust’s core aims. “If two or three people go away from our adjudication process with good ideas about how to fix a problem in their local community and take these solutions to their local councillor or municipality – that really would be ideal.”

Whilst concerns about local government’s lack of capacity continue to make news headlines around the country, Impumelelo gives those who are on the cutting edge of delivery a chance to present the successes. “For the credibility and legitimacy of our local government structures we need independent outlets such as Impumelelo to give these success stories a vehicle to be heard”, concludes Kadalie.