n Journal of Public Administration - The influence of policy networks on child law in South Africa

Volume 53 Number 4
  • ISSN : 0036-0767


stakeholders are an essential part of policy and legislative change. This article focuses on pivotal moments in the interaction between stakeholders marking the emergence of Child Law in South Africa. It explores the development of a new legislative and policy framework for children, examining specific strategies and approaches adopted by higher-end policymakers. Central to the study is government's ability to work with stakeholders within and across various government departments, civil society groups and international agencies. It demonstrates how policy development in complex areas such as child rights, child vulnerability and poverty transformed over time. A traditional centralised approach changed when confronted with the complex cluster of problems associated with shaping Child Law. It became clear that this cluster of issues could not remain the sole concern of government; rather, a network of policy actors promised to leverage more fruitful policymaking. The value of the policy network approach is that consideration of complex social problems takes place within and across relevant communities, involving multiple stakeholders contributing experience and expertise. Resulting policies hold the potential for a more pertinent, integrated and holistic response towards the policy issue at hand, in this instance issues pertinent to Child Law in South Africa.

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