SA to use OECD as learning tool to improve performance

Monday, October 26, 2009

Pretoria - Government is to use the upcoming Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) 3rd World Forum on Statistics, Knowledge and Policy as a learning tool to improve its performance.

Minister in the Presidency responsible for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, Collins Chabane, said this forum would help government gain knowledge and learn from other countries.

"We view this forum as an opportunity, as we work towards charting the way forward in measuring performance in our country, to gain knowledge and learn how the rest of the world is and has been approaching this function and what experiences can we apply in South Africa, " said Chabane.

The minister will lead a South African delegation of senior government officials to the conference to be held in South Korea from Tuesday to Friday.

Under the theme "Charting Progress, Building Visions, Improving Life", the forum seeks to better understand the potential for new visions to address the current economic crisis.

It will further explore ways of improving people's lives and discuss the role that evidence-based debate among citizens could play in fostering societal change.

The minister is expected to present the South African Green Paper on Performance Monitoring and Evaluation at the conference for discussion and debate.

According to the ministry, the paper will be presented at a high level plenary session on new policies, new behaviours and new institutions.

In his address, Chabane will also highlight the policy rationale, aims and challenges of the Ministry for Performance, Monitoring and Evaluation and seek input and partnership with global institutions in carrying out this function in South Africa.

"The conference will be an opportunity for the ministry to find best practices and also find out what challenges has the rest of the world been confronted with to enable us to take them into consideration as we carry out our mandate," the ministry said.

The forum is being run as part of the Global Project on "Measuring the Progress of Societies" hosted by the OECD in collaboration with other international and regional organizations.

The Global Project brings together, in a network, thousands of people around the world working in different disciplines, to exchange ideas and best practices to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of understanding, measuring and promoting progress using evidence.

The forum is expected to be attended by 200 authoritative speakers and some 1500 high level participants from more than 130 countries.

Delegates will include politicians and policy makers, opinion leaders, academics, statisticians, journalists and representatives of civil society from all regions of the world.

The conference is co-hosted by the OECD and the Government of South Korea in cooperation with the European Commission, the World Bank, the United Nations Development Programme, African and the Inter-American Development Banks and Organisation of Islamic Conference.