The District Development Model as a platform for inclusive innovation and innovative districts
Please cite as: Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) and Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) (2022) The District Development Model as a platform for inclusive innovation and innovative districts. Available at: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11911/240
Date presented: 13 May 2022. The Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) and the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) presented another episode in the INNOVATION FOR INCLUSIVE DEVELOPMENT (IID) SEMINAR SERIES (IID) on “The District Development Model as a Platform for Innovation for Inclusivity”. Background: The President of the Republic of South Africa introduced the District Development Model (DDM) which was subsequently approved by Cabinet on 21 August 2019 to express and actualise the intergovernmental relations framework as stipulated in the Constitution of South Africa, 1996. The model also present a new way of strengthening and synchronising planning by all spheres of government and enhancing the involvement of citizens, business and civil society to support the municipal districts and metros. The Department of Cooperative Governance (DCoG) has been mandated to manage the DDM across government departments and to ensure a programmatic outcome-based intergovernmental relations and initiatives across all spheres of government in support of the model. The DDM provides an approach through which national and provincial departments allocate budget that are geo-referenced to a particular district municipality and it’s an approach that the 6th administration has adopted in order to foster a whole of government response to the development needs in a particular geographical area. The DDM approach seeks to solve the challenge of silos in governments development programmes to maximise the impact, coordination and alignment of the resources to improve service delivery. DSI views the model as an ideal opportunity where national, provincial and local government can play a role in creating conditions and environments for entrepreneurial and innovative districts through inclusive innovation and where the DDM discourse and the district development programmes are inclusive. The model therefore provides a space for the implementation of the DSI’s Decadal Plan to support economic construction and recovery through innovation. The focus areas of the Decadal Plan to be implemented in the district will need to support existing sectors of the economy such as mining, tourism, agriculture etc. as well as initiatives to support new sources of growth such as the circular economy. These interventions will be implemented collectively through the DSI’s packaging model for DDM interventions. The implementation of the DDM initiatives in the districts will facilitate transformative innovation and inclusivity in district municipalities. The DDM approach will be implemented in close alignment with the activities that are initiated and directed towards women, youth, SMME’s and cooperatives. DSI and ASSAf hosted this seminar to: Showcase the DSI’s approach to the District Development Model and how it intends to position the model as a platform to drive innovation to solve development challenges, improve the delivery of services and create employment; Discuss how innovation can be used to create innovative districts, looking at both local and international experience; Ascertain various philosophical approaches and practices adopted by Government departments to implement the DDM as an instrument to improve responsiveness and collaboration on government interventions; Engage and solicit views and perspectives from other stakeholders including academia, industry, civil society and municipalities on the DDM in general and the DSI’s approach to DDM. The outcome of the seminar forms part of the DSI’s DDM interventions that will enable the Department to ascertain focus areas of the Decadal Plan to be implemented in the district. Government departments, municipal and local government policy and decision-makers, academia, civil society, research institutions and private sector partners supporting innovation and innovative programmes in municipalities participated in the webinar. The IID seminar series is a project initiative of the DSI Programme 5, designed to provide a platform for open and collective thinking between the science policy and community of practice to generate evidence-based knowledge on Science and Technology (S&T) innovations to advance local economic development and also provide insights to support evidence-based policy and decision making to enhance service delivery.