Exercising the Mind with Integrated Development Planning

Ingle, M (2007), Exercising the Mind with Integrated Development Planning, Politeia 26(1):5-17.



The contention of this article is that an undue fixation on the Integrated Development Plan (IDP) as an end product, as opposed to the processes that should be implicit in its formulation, has tended to detract from the IDP’s considerable potential for instilling an ethos of real intellectual engagement within local authorities. All too often municipalities have elected to outsource the hard thinking that is part and parcel of the growth towards planning maturity that grappling with the IDP should engender.The paper presents a brief rationale for the IDP along with some of its envisaged outcomes. It then turns to unpacking different gradations of knowledge by way of showing how adherence to the IDP disciplines should take the form of a progression from ignorance to enlightenment. The article concludes with a short analysis of a Free State Local Municipality’s IDP where the focus is on its HIV / Aids programme. It is concluded that the document’s shortcomings betray a failure on the part of the municipality concerned to come to grips with its responsibilities as outlined by the legislative framework that informs the IDP.The fact that many local authorities have proved unequal to exhibiting the rigorous thinking that the IDP calls for is no good reason to abandon what is, in its essence, a sine qua non for effective developmental local government.


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Dr Mark Ingle, Governance and tagged , , , ,