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The publication in October 2008 of Towards a Fifteen Year Review Synthesis Report was the culmination of a review initiated by the Cabinet in July 2007. Building on the Ten-Year Review, the Macro-Social Report and the Development Indicators, the objective was to assess progress towards government's objectives derived from the constitution and successive electoral mandates. While the review covers the whole period of almost fifteen years since the attainment of democracy in 1994, the emphasis is on the period beginning since the 2004 election. The 2004 mandate is therefore used as a a yardstick to measure progress, along with the Constitution and the objectives of reconstruction and development.
Assessment of the impact of government programmes is intended to inform policy choices for the post- 2009 period, and is therefore concerned as much with shortcomings and challenge as it is with achievements.
The final report was preceded by the commissioning of research inside government and by outside experts. The research reports formed the basis for Background Thematic Reports on the government from the perspective of the clusters of government and the special programmes concerned with women, children young people and persons with disabilities.
In turn the background reports, after comment from government's Directors-General clusters were used in the drafting of the much shorter Synthesis Report: Towards a Fifteen Year Review.
Whereas the Synthesis Report: Towards a Fifteen Year Review is concerned principally with the impact of government activities, rather than those activities themselves, the Thematic Background Reports contain more detail of the policies, programmes and initiatives. The posting of the Background Thematic Reports makes that detail available to the public. The commissioned Research papers are available on the same web site.
The Background Thematic Reports for the Fifteen Year Review were prepared by staff in the respective sectors of the Policy Coordination and Advisory Services midway through the review process, and do not necessarily reflect the views contained in the final Synthesis Report of the Fifteen Year Review.
Research for the review was done both inside government by departments and by outside experts and agencies. The project was co-ordinated by a project team in the Policy Co-ordination and Advisory Services in The Presidency, and overseen by a Ministerial Reference Group consisting of Minsters; Premiers of Provinces and the Chairperson of the South African Local Government Association. The project outputs were reviewed by the Directors-General Clusters.
Duetsche Gesellschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) provided project support through its Economic and Development Advisory Programme (EDAP). Other funders included: DFID; ComMark Trust; EPPand TIPS