Africa University / Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa: Public Policy

Africa University, Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa

The Institute of Peace, Leadership and Governance (IPLG) at Africa University, in collaboration with the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA), is conducting a course Pubic Policy, from 11-29 June 2012 in Johannesburg.

The course will be divided between 15 days of facilitated sessions and four days of assessment. Work may continue through to evenings and weekends.

Course Description

This course in public policy, governance and civil society is designed to provide basic fundamentals of public policy analysis to practitioners working in civil society organisations, public service and the private sector. To face the challenges of the new millennium, Africa needs leaders who can inspire those they lead; work and learn collaboratively; transform mindsets; act with integrity; facilitate constructive dialogue, think strategically; and formulate and implement public policy with skill and resolve. Recognising that public policy is best formed and implemented by informed leaders, the course seeks to enhance these leadership skills. The emphasis of the course is on how public policy maybe viewed as a governance tool essential for political and institutional development.

Why is this course necessary?

Quite often there is inadequate attention to the problems and issues in policy formulation, implementation and evaluation and strategies that constantly challenge stakeholders to reach the ‘analytical level’ in public policy making process. In that context, this course will provide a conceptual understanding of the key issues and complexities related to processes of public policy planning and analysis.

The course is designed to empower emerging leaders in civil society, private and public sector organisations in their roles as service providers, analysts and policy makers. An understanding of the structures and mechanisms of policy making will enhance the potential for civil society, public and private sector actors to be involved in the decision making processes and to view it with an informed analytical eye. Participants in the course will examine processes of public policy formulation and implementation from a public, private and civil society organisational perspective. Content coverage will focus on facilitating the creation of new knowledge and skills with a view to developing informed policy for effective implementation by public, private and civil society organisations. The course will also look at how civil society organisations can effectively influence policy change strategies that take into account policy making, organisational structures, political systems, leadership and cultural dynamics of society. The course is designed to integrate an understanding of theoretical concepts and their practical application in public, private and non-governmental contexts.

Course Aims and Objectives

This innovative course is designed for practitioners who are motivated to play diverse leadership roles through informed policy design and analysis, policy implementation and evaluation aimed at achieving desired policy outcomes.  The aim of the course is to provide participants with knowledge and skills in public policy design, analysis, and implementation processes to assist them to develop relevant programmes. The specific objectives of the course are to assist participants to:

  • Gain a basic understanding and analytical skills associated with the public policy issues and policy analysis;
  • Improve knowledge on how public policies are designed and implemented at government and civil society/non governmental levels;
  • Analyse the dynamic processes that influence policy making  decisions;
  • Develop skills to design and analyse public policy proposals using different policy models;
  • Identify critical characteristics of the civil society organisational context that are likely to influence public policy design, implementation and evaluation processes;
  • Identify public policy problems within their sectors and use learned analytical skills to identify solutions to those problems;
  • Critically analyse global themes and dynamics influencing public policy at national level;
  • Craft public policies that will facilitate the achievement of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs);
  • Formulate public policies instrumental to good governance;
  • Identify effective leadership skills for formulating policy making process;
  • Develop skills in managing and evaluating public policy implementation processes by both the public sector and civil society nonprofit organisations;
  • Use the comparative method to improve understandings of the public policy process;
  • Develop networking across the civil society, public and private sector divide for influencing public policy decision making.

Course Content

The course consists of eight modules facilitated in a continuous 19 day period. Areas covered include:

  • Conceptualising Public Policy;
  • Public Policy Analysis and Decision Making;
  • Conflict Management, Peace Building and Public Policy;
  • Leadership and Public Policy;
  • Conceptualising and Communicating Public Policy;
  • Public Policy and Law;
  • Governance and Public Policy;
  • Policy Lobbying and Advocacy –for Civil Society;
  • The Developmental State and Public Policy;
  • Environmental Law and Public Policy;
  • Public Policy Research and Writing Skills.

Certificate of Competence

Participants who successfully complete the course and fulfil the coursework requirements will receive a Certificate of Competence from Africa University. Individuals who are unable to meet the requirements of a certificate in Public Policy and Development Discourses for Africa may qualify for a Certificate of Attendance if the necessary requirements - including attendance and adequate participation are met.

Cost and Scholarships

OSISA is the chief sponsor of this course and will sponsor:

  • Full workshop costs, including all reading material, Bed and Breakfast over the 20 days, teas and lunch on workshop days;
  • Participants are expected to (either with support from their organisations/selves or by fundraising):
    • Make their own way to the venue (both air and ground);
    • Allow for a daily subsistence allowance (DSA) of US$30 per day to cover evening meals and other incidentals;
    • Take out adequate personal and health insurance as the organisers cannot take liabilities in this regard.
  • A limited number of air tickets will be made available for participants who are not in a position to raise the necessary airfares pending a full needs assessment;
  • Participants are expected to arrive on Sunday, 10 June 2012.

Admission Requirements

Prospective participants are expected to meet the following criteria:

  • Possess an undergraduate degree;
  • At least two years work experience in a civil society, or public sectors;  
  • Currently be employed in an area where public policy advocacy is important;
  • Middle management ranking or higher;
  • English proficiency (as the course will be delivered in English);
  • Be from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.

Application Procedures:

Persons who wish to apply for the course are required to submit the following:

  • Completed application form;
  • A motivation letter of no more than two pages stating:
    • How s/he will bring benefit to the course;
    • How s/he envisions using the training afterwards;
  • Letter of endorsement from employing organisation to release the participant for the fulltime (10 - 30 June 2012);
  • Commitment form completed by employer.

The application deadline is 27 April 2012.

To apply, submit the completed application form, motivation letter and endorsement letter to IPLG at the following addresses:

Susan Musiyiwa
Secretary to Director
Institute of Peace, Leadership and Governance
Africa University
Tel: +263 20 66788
E-mail: and copy to

To request an application form, e-mail to

For more about the Africa University, refer to

For more about the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa, refer to

Event Start Date: 
Monday, 11 June, 2012
Event End Date: 
Friday, 29 June, 2012
Event Venue: 
Event Type: 

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