Local Governance Studies

Chairperson :: Mr S Chakaipa
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Categories

Social Sciences

About the Department

Introduction

 The field of Local Governance has been under-going accelerated transformation as part of the wider Public Sector Reform.  The decentralisation of functions by governments to sub national levels has created new challenges for sub national structures requiring improved efficiency and effectiveness in the discharge of their functions.

The Bachelor of Science Honors Degree in Local Governance Studies and the Master of Science in Local Governance Studies aim at providing the critical mass required to develop and  strengthen the Local Government Sector on a sustainable basis in order to contribute to national and regional development..

Career prospects

Bachelor of Science Honors Degree in Local Governance Studies and the Master of Science in Local Governance Studies graduates have career opportunities in both the public and the private sector.  Among key institutions which can absorb graduate from this programme are:

  • Local Authorities (rural and urban)
  • Central Government Ministries
  • Non-Governmental Organizations
  • International organizations
  • Consultancy Firms
  • Academia

Regulations

1. INTRODUCTION

1.1 These regulations shall be read in conjunction with Faculty Regulations and the General Regulations.

1.2 The field of Local Governance has been under-going accelerated transformation as part of the wider Public Sector Reform. The decentralization of functions by governments to sub national levels has created new challenges for sub national structures requiring improved efficiency and effectiveness in the discharge of their functions.

1.3 The quality of services in both urban and rural areas has been on the decline.

1.4 New challenges emerging from increasing poverty in both urban and rural areas require livelihood strategies that harness the decline in the quality of life. Sub-national levels are also faced with the challenges of strengthening and empowering local communities as a way of deepening democracy at the local level.

1.5 Coming up with gender sensitive policies and programmes and the need to design strategies to deal with the HIV Aids pandemic are some of the challenges facing Local Government.

1.6 In many local authorities, the need to continue to provide affordable services to a heterogeneous citizenry at affordable cost poses the greatest challenge.

1.7 It is these challenges that have culminated in the introduction of a Department of Local Governance studies at the Midlands State University. The need for a sustainable Local Governance system in Zimbabwe cannot be over-emphasized. This can only be guaranteed if there is sufficient throughput into the Local Governance system of a well-trained and skilled human resource. The degree programme launched comes at a time when no other tertiary institution in the country is producing local governance focused human resource to fill key positions in Local Authorities.

1.8 The back up research and academic cutting edge in search for alternative strategies to improve efficiency and effectiveness in Local Governments has largely been unavailable.

1.9 The Bachelor of Science Honors Degree in Local Governance studies aims at providing the critical mass in Local Authorities faced with a plethora of challenges threatening the efficient delivery of infrastructure and services and the general improvement of the quality of life for urban and rural inhabitants.

1.10 The BSc Honours in Local Governance Studies shall be a four year Degree Programme.

2. AIMS OF THE PROGRAMME

The broad aims of the programme are to: –

· develop and equip students with the requisite skills to effectively and efficiently discharge their duties in the Local Governance field.

· inculcate in students the need for a sustainable Local Governance system which underpins Local and National Development.

· provide a platform for research into local governance issues and provide home grown solutions to challenges encountered.

· develop a student who is professionally and intellectually equipped for a career in his/her chosen field.

3. CAREER PROSPECTS

3.1 Bachelor of Science Honours Local Governance Studies graduates have career opportunities in both the public and privatesector. Among key institutions which can absorb graduates from this programme are: Local Authorities (urban and rural); Central Government Ministries; Non Government Organisations; International Organisations; Consultancy Firms and Academia

4. ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

4.1 Normal Entry

4.1.1 For normal entry into the BSc Honours Local Governance Studies Programme candidates should have at least two `A’ level passes in any of the following subjects: Economics, Geography, Sociology, Management of Business, Accounting, English Language, History, Shona, Ndebele and any Science subject.

4.2 Special Entry Requirements

4.2.1 Candidates who have acquired a Diploma in Local Government from Domboshava Institute of Manpower Development or have obtained equivalent qualification may apply for entry.

4.2.2 Candidates admitted under 4.2 above may be exempted from certain modules at the discretion of the department.

4.2.3 No candidates admitted under 4.2 above shall complete the degree in less than three years.

4.2.4 Exemption from Work Related Learning shall be at the discretion of the Department.

4.3 Mature Entry

4.3.1 Refer to Section 3.3 of the General Regulations.

4.4 Visiting School

4.4.1 The aim of the visiting school programme is to provide academic support to those Local Governance practitioners who are already in the field but need to upgrade their skills in the area. Ordinarily, these individuals hold qualifications lower than BSc in Local Governance studies.

4.4.2 The degree programme will be completed in three years with academic levels 2 and 3 running concurrently.

4.4.3 To qualify for normal entry into the BSc Local Governance Studies Programme (Visiting School), candidates should have at least five `O’ level passes including English and Mathematics. In addition, a candidate must have;

Either

– Diploma in Local Government

– Diploma in Rural and Urban Planning

– Diploma in Community Development

OR

Any other relevant tertiary qualification

And

– At least 2 years working experience in the relevant field

– Proof of employment in a relevant field.

5. GENERAL PROVISIONS

5.1 The number of modules taken by any student from outside the department may be restricted.

5.2 Optional modules are offered subject to availability of staff in the department.

5.3 Work Related Learning student deployment shall be approved by the department.

6. ASSESSMENT

6.1 The method of assessment includes continuous assessment, examination, Work Related Learning and dissertation.

6.2 Overall assessment shall be computed as follows;

Continuous assessment 40%

Examination 60%

6.3 The highest mark that can be awarded for a late dissertation bound according to departmental specifications shall be 50%.

6.4 A student shall submit two copies of the dissertation is 50%.A dissertation that attains failure mark within supplementable range may be resubmitted within three months after the publication of results.

7. FAILURE TO SATISFY EXAMINERS

Refer to Section 9 of the General Regulations

8. WORK RELATED LEARNING

Refer to Section 10 of the General Regulations

9. PROVISION FOR PROGRESSION

Refer to Section 6 of the Faculty Regulations

10. GRADING AND DEGREE CLASSIFICATION

Refer to Section 10 of the Faculty Regulations

11. DEGREE WEIGHTING

Refer to Section 11 of the Faculty regulations.

12. PROGRAMME STRUCTURE

Level 1 Semester 1

Code Description Credits
LGS 101 Local Government Administration 4
LGS 113 Traditional Leadership systems and Local Governance 4
LGS 110 Introduction to Political Science 4
LGS 109 Comparative Local Government Systems 4
CS 101 Communication Skills 4
HCS 115 Introduction to information Technology 4

Level 1 Semester 2

Code Description Credits
LGS111 Politics and Governance 4
LGS 112 Introduction to Urban and Rural Development 4
LGS 106 Project Planning and implementation 4
LGS 109 Comparative Local Government Systems 4
LGS 102 Local Government Legislation 4
LGS 115 Human Resources Management 4

Level 2 Semester 1

Code Description Credits
LGS 203 Urban and Rural Development Strategies 4
LGS 201 Strategic Planning and Management 4
LGS 208 Civil Society and Local Governance 4
LGS 210 Introduction to Public sector Accounting 4
GS 201 Gender Studies 4

Level 2 Semester 2

Code Description Credits
LGS 205 Research Methods 4
LGS 207 Local Government Finance 4
MSS 218 Principles of Public Relations 4
LGS 209 Local Government Management 4
HRM 220 Public Sector Human Resource Management 4

Level 3 Semesters 1 and 2

Code Description Credits
LGS 301 Work Related Learning Report 15
LGS 302 Academic Supervisor’s Report 15
LGS 303 Employer’s Assessment Report 10

Level 4 Semester 1

Code Description Credits
LGS 403 Ethics in Local Governance 4
LGS 206 Local Economic Development 4
LGS 409 Human Settlements and Local Governance 4
LGS 405 Public Sector Accounting and Management 4
LGS 406 Management of Change 4

Level 4 Semester 2

Code Description Credits
LGS 404 Quantitative and Qualitative Management Analysis 4
LGS 401 Public Management and Economic Change 4
LGS 408 Dissertation 8

13. MODULE SYNOPSIS

LGS 101 Local Government Administration

The module introduces the broad spectrum of Local Government in Zimbabwe. It covers areas such as how local authorities are set up, their structure and functions, and roles of both elected and appointed officials. The module also looks at centre local relations.

LGS 102 Local Government Legislation

The module focuses on the enabling legislation for Local Government. It examines the principal statutes detailing local authority operations; powers and responsibilities.

LGS 110 Introduction to Political Science

This module introduces students to the study of politics and the academic field of political science. Throughout this module, students will examine the fundamental nature of politics, the exercise of power, and the implications of these concepts on everyday life. Further, the module explores the need for governance, the role of power, the place of the individual in society (national and global society) and the construction of political institutions.

LGS111 Politics and Governance

This module examines the application of theoretical concepts discussed in LGS 110. The focus is on key issues and events that are critical to the understanding of the development of modern contemporary politics and governance. These include development of political institutions, coalitions, domestic political tensions, political instability, reform movements and revolutions, the impact of migration and urbanization, structural adjustment, democratization and difficulties in maintaining national sovereignty and institutional stability.

LGS 112 Introduction Urban and Rural Development.

The module examines the dynamics of urban and rural development. It looks at the basic concepts including developments which have taken place in both pre and post independence Zimbabwe. In addition, the module seeks to create a better understanding of the interface and interdependence of rural and urban development policies, processes and programmes.

LGS 113 Traditional Leadership Systems and Local Governance

The module examines the Traditional leadership system, focusing on its role, succession issues and its place in Local Governance.

LGS 114 Industrial Relations in the Public Sector

The module on Industrial Relations in the Local Governance is meant to give students grounding in industrial relations theory. Further, it introduces the concepts and values in industrial relations and provides the student with an understanding of industrial action and its effects. The module also examines industrial democracy and considers its development.

LGS 201 Strategic Planning and Management

The module focuses on the new thrust in organizational management which calls for clearly defined visions and mission statements, setting organizational objectives and deriving Action Plans from objectives. The need for Key Result Areas and the periodic assessment of performance will be highlighted.

LGS 203 Urban and Rural Development Strategies.

The module focuses on the social and economic aspects that should be included when considering development in various sectors. A number of theoretical and practical questions will be raised in the context of 90s development policies. The module focuses on urban and rural livelihoods and the issues to be examined include reduction of poverty, equitable gender relations, environmental conservation, community participation, agricultural development and policy, population and development, the role of external support agencies in development among others.

LGS 205 Research Methods.

The module covers techniques used in the gathering, interpretation, analysis and presentation of data. The module is timed to equip students with the requisite skills during Work Related Learning and the writing of dissertations.

LGS 207 Local Government Finance

The module focuses on local government financing, budgeting, revenue collection strategies, sources of revenue and financial management systems at.

LGS 208 Civil Society and Local Governance

The module examines the relationship between Civil Society and Local Government and how local government policies affect civil society. The module further examines the emerging role of civil society in local governance.

LGS 209 Local Government Management

This module seeks to examine the day to day functions of local authorities as organizations and the management role of Council Officials.

LGS 210 Public Relations and the Media in Local Governance

The module seeks to equip students with practical knowledge of the media and public relations and assist them to develop an understanding of the ethical considerations of this discipline. Students will understand the role of public relations within an overall communications policy.

LGS 211 Introduction to Public Sector Accounting

The aim of this module is to establish a firm understanding of the nature, organization and accountability of key public sector organizations. It also provides students with an opportunity to extend their general understanding of accounting and financial management systems. This is done through exploring how the design and operation of such systems and associated techniques affect, and are affected by different public sector organizational contexts. This module provides students with an introduction to Accounting and Finance in the Public Sector, drawing together the theory and practice of accounting in the areas of management accounting and financial accounting and auditing.

LGS 301, LGS 302, LGS 303

Work Related Learning

LGS 403 Ethics in Local Governance

The module addresses issues of accountable in local governance including corruption, transparency and probity.

LGS 404 Quantitative and Qualitative Management Analysis

The aim of the module is to give students a substantive theoretical background in Quantitative Management, and-at the same time-to include modeling skills and systematic thinking when solving decision making problems. A judicious combination of qualitative and quantitative methods can play a valuable role in decision making at local government level.

LGS 405 Public Sector Accounting and Management

The module seeks to familiarize and equip students with public sector accounting requirements. The module further examines the peculiarities of public sector accounting and current approaches including commercialization, contracting out and public/private partnerships. Tendering procedures are also discussed.

LGS 406 Management of Change

The objective of the module is to maximize the collective efforts of all people involved in the change process and minimize the risk of failure of implementing the change. Students need skills and knowledge to be able to manage change in an ever-changing local government environment.

LGS 409 Human Settlements and Governance

The module on human settlements highlights the need, the interrelated and interdependent nature of human settlement units. It looks at geographical, economical and sociological implications as well as resource use in human settlement. The module seeks to identify settlement challenges, prospective solutions as well as alternative resource raising sources. The module also seeks to generate integrated solutions to problems of human settlement, by focusing on areas such as transportation, pollution, water and sanitation. In addition, it explores the causes, justifications and consequences of squatter settlements.

14. HONORARY DEGREES

14.1 Honorary degrees will be awarded to individuals who have distinguished themselves in the Public Service

14.2 The Department of Local Governance will offer the following degrees:

Honoris causa

– Doctor of Public Service (DPS)

– Doctor of Science (DSc)