Original Research

Policy indicator consistency and coherence in measuring public sector development programmes in South Africa

Fanie Cloete
African Evaluation Journal | Vol 6, No 2 | a338 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/aej.v6i2.338 | © 2018 Fanie Cloete | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 01 July 2018 | Published: 14 November 2018

About the author(s)

Fanie Cloete, Department of Public Administration and Management, University of the Free State, South Africa


Background: The South African (SA) government has over time developed separate policy indicator frameworks to measure governmental programme performances. They include a series of national development indicators to measure long-term societal transformation impacts, medium-term strategic framework indicators to measure the implementation of the National Development Plan, indicators to measure progress towards achieving the government’s 14 strategic programme outcomes and a separate set of environmental indicators. However, serious doubts exist about the efficiency of implementation management efforts to achieve optimal coherence among these frameworks to maximise the best good policy governance outcomes and make it possible to measure South Africa’s compliance with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Programme.

Objectives: The aim of the study was to review the coherence of implementation management of these different competing systems to maximise good governance outcomes in South Africa, and to propose strategies for improvement.

Method: The above indicator sets are summarised and critically assessed against the need to align them also with the envisaged SDG indicators.

Results: The contents and management of the current SA policy indicators can and should be significantly improved.

Conclusion: A more flexible and responsive integrated SA indicator set needs to be developed to comply better with the emerging international SDG system. This necessitates a longer term strategic approach to the SA system than the current short-term tactical approach.


sustainable development; indicators; programme evaluation; programme performance; performance measurement


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