Strategic Planning Workshop

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Meeting Summary

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Meeting report

STRATEGIC PLANNING WORKSHOP

SOCIAL SERVICES SELECT COMMITTEE
14 April 2000
STRATEGIC PLANNING WORKSHOP

Documents handed out:
A report on the outcomes of the workshop is forthcoming (for a copy e-mail: info@pmg.org.za).

SUMMARY

The aim of the workshop was to provide committee members with a framework within which they can identify and focus on a mission for their respective Departments and the Committee, in keeping with the broad constitutional goals of the NCOP. The workshop was facilitated by Des Le Roux and Julie Hughes, of the National Democratic Institute (NDI). Due to poor attendance and time constraints the workshop was not concluded. A tentative date has been set for a follow up on 10 May 2000.

MINUTES
The starting point of the workshop were the strategic goals of the NCOP, as outlined in the Constitution:
• to provide a National forum of debate on issues affecting provinces
• to provide a forum for representation and participation of local government in the national legislation process
• to facilitate public involvement in the national legislative process
• to scrutinise and monitor programmes and the implementation of policies
The NCOP allows for the meeting of all spheres of government, where they work together.

The facilitators outlined a process by which members could come up with strategies for the Committee:
• as an exercise members had to identify a number of key strategic objectives for the Health, Welfare and Home Affairs Departments, those making up the cluster of the Social Services Select Committee. In respect of the Department of Health, for instance, promoting access to health care facilities would be a broad strategic objective. Are there sufficient hospitals available? Are they staffed? Do they have enough medicines? Are they satisfying the needs of their patients? Are there transport facilities available to take patients to those facilities?
•Members then had to think of activities that would promote the particular strategic objective, that is, to identify actionable steps that can be taken. Then identify resources available for that activity. Consult the relevant stakeholders. Distribute information for discussion. Set a timeframe for the action. To promote access to health care facilities the process would be something as follows: request information from provincial departments or representatives, send out questionnaires to hospitals, NGOs and hospital staff, consult with patients. These activities could be promoted through effective use of the media; letters to the editor or radio talk shows.
• With respect to long-term outputs, the facilitators emphasised that people should know about the process, they should participate and achieve changes. Outputs, by which the success or not of the project could be gauged, include the number of people responding to questionnaires, the numbers of responses to letters and so forth.
•The project would have long-term and short-term indicators of success such as longer life expectancy, shorter queues at hospitals and clinics, the availability of affordable medication and lastly a reduction in preventable diseases.

Although the facilitators acknowledged that the programme, which emerged from the meeting, was not necessarily realistic the workshop would provide members with a different thought process (lateral thinking) for them to establish their goals.

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