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SALGA and the University of California Berkeley collaborate to realise capacity building through the Leadership Impact and Innovation Programme




Posted: 19 September 2019

A local government response to 4IR and Digital Economy

The South African Local Government Association (SALGA) in partnership with the University of California Berkeley (UCB) is hosting South Africa’s Executive Mayors, Speakers, Municipal Managers, Chief Financial Officers as well as municipal administrative staff for a 10 days Leadership Impact and Innovation Programme. The programme is an executive educative programme offered through the auspices of the university along with Silicon Valley ecosystems.

SALGA CEO Xolile George who will travel next week to Silicon Valley along with President of SALGA Thembi Nkadimeng to take part in the graduation ceremony of the South African trainees said the White Paper on Local Government calls for Local Government who commits itself to leading and learning.

“The emergence of the 4th Industrial Revolution and Digital Economy have heightened the need to learn at a fast pace to implement solutions for a sustainable and inclusive society. One of SALGA’s mandate is to strengthen local government capacity to deliver services, hence the development of the Leadership Impact and Innovation Programme is being accelerated,” said George.

“The programme takes a multi-faced approach to professional learning. This includes intensive in-contact class interactions, municipal field visits, peer to peer reflections and sharing, engagements with partner associations, comparative benchmarking, smart cities simulations and innovative practice case studies,” he said.

This past week the University of California Berkeley commenced with their learning journey which was preceded by an orientation session meant to acclimatise the cohort to the learning environment coupled with the history of this prestigious institution. The SALGA Berkeley Fellows, as referred to by the university, was further taken through various cutting edge topics such as the ‘Management Strategic Triangle’ and ‘How to Institutionalise Data-Driven Public Policy.’

Throughout the week the programme expanded topics ‘Negotiation and Conflict Resolution’ as well as ‘Behavioural Science in Government’. The university highlighted that as part of its public leadership development philosophy, it believes that three essentials of effective public leadership are as follows:

  1. Negotiation
  2. Consensus Building, and
  3. Collaboration.

Moreover, the cohort grappled with learning and development intricacies of different approaches, modes and styles of effective negotiation. The importance of this learning module is to empower public leaders in their strategic and day-to-day negotiation responsibilities to do so in such a way that value outcomes are extracted from such processes and for leaders to always look out for negotiation results which bring public value and are characterised by low cost and high benefits.

The Leadership Impact and Innovation Programme, therefore, represents a ground-breaking initiative as it offers efficient opportunities for the local government sector. A sector which has a developmental imperative and a wide range of complexities that require effective negotiations to overcome.

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