Interestingly, none of these principles is unique to

Johannesburg. Many of them are shared across the other

global cities where we have conducted Forums—both in the

developed and developing world.

Connecting people with their government

From our analysis of the deliberations and findings from

previous Global Cities Forum events, the Accenture Institute

for Health & Public Service Value formulated a new model for

more citizen-engaged governance. The model—the Accenture

Public Service Value Governance Framework—is based on

four components that provide the basis for the genuine

engagement of citizens in their governance:

• Outcomes—Focusing on improved social and economic


• Balance—Balancing choice and flexibility with fairness and

common good

• Engagement—Engaging, educating and enrolling citizens as

co-producers of public value

• Accountability—Clarifying accountability and facilitating

public recourse.

In this year’s Global Cities Forum events, we wanted to

explore these components in some detail by testing the

relative importance citizens assign to each in relation to three

different social issues that affect the quality of their lives:

health, learning and education, and in-migration.

Learning and education

People believe it is important for the government, schools

and universities to involve pupils, parents, local communities

and the public in setting priorities so that education

reflects citizens’ actual needs. They argued that this level

of involvement requires education organizations to listen

to citizens’ concerns and make changes to address them.

However, participants told us that in their experience,

organizations are not proactively engaging the public and

do not do enough to respond to feedback and requests from

pupils and parents. Residents suggested that education

Page 5 of 41

organizations should develop channels for effective

community consultation and participation—for example,

parent-teacher associations with greater responsibilities and

indaba (discussion forums).


Participants told us that equality of access is one of the most

important issues in health. They were clear that it is unfair

for some to enjoy excellent health care facilities while others

lack access to basic services. They argued that to address

this situation, government needs to make information on

health care organizations’ spending and performance widely

available so the public can hold organizations accountable for

improving access to care. However, residents also asserted

that in some cases, health care inequalities in Johannesburg

are growing and that government should do more to

encourage transparency and openness in these organizations.

They suggested that to reduce waiting times and increase

the quality of care, government should build more hospitals

and clinics in townships and provide the public with the

information needed to hold organizations accountable.


For Johannesburg’s residents, accountability is the most

important issue around in-migration. They believe that

if public service organizations were more accountable

to the public, there would be less corruption and better

organizational performance. That, in turn, would lead to fewer

illegal immigrants entering the country and an increased focus

on long-term strategies to manage the negative impact of

in-migration on the city. Participants told us that government

does not listen to their concerns regarding in-migration and

does not make clear what steps it is taking to tackle the


All four components of the governance framework are

important to citizens. However, each component warrants a

different emphasis depending on the conditions with which

citizens are concerned and touches on different sensitivities at

different times of need. What is important is that government

and public service providers recognize the varying emphasis

that people place on the different aspects of their relationship

with their governments depending on their personal needs and

the services they require. If public service is to improve and

achieve high performance, it must focus on citizens with all of

their needs, all of their perceptions and all that they can bring

to and take from their relationships with government.

Following the consideration of the importance of the

components in the three subject areas discussed, participants

considered their experience of government actions in relation

to the components. Being asked to rate importance and

experience, participants identified “quality gaps”—areas where

they consider the importance of the governance components

greater than their experience of government performance.

Johannesburg in the Future

While citizens’ current views and perspectives formed the basis

for much of the deliberation, participants also discussed future

priorities for Johannesburg and the role of new technologies

in improving residents’ quality of life in the future. Working in

small groups to develop newspaper headlines and short stories

for Johannesburg in 2015, participants expressed visions of

a safer city in which there is very little crime; an improved

school system, which provides all children with access to good

education regardless of where they live; greater investment

in road infrastructure and public transport, so that the city

is better connected and the growing congestion problem is

alleviated; and, finally, a cleaner city in which there is less

litter, the streets are cleaned regularly and air pollution is a

thing of the past. To achieve these outcomes, participants put

forward a vision of government in which new technologies

are used in more effective ways, lines of accountability are

strengthened and corruption is eliminated and in which public

engagement ensures that government’s spending priorities

align with people’s wishes and needs.

Messages to government from people of


During the event, participants in the Johannesburg Forum

formulated a clear set of messages for government and those

managing public services:

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