Innovation for basic service delivery: Enhancing municipal innovation maturity
The Municipal Innovation Maturity Index is a tool for assessing the capabilities of municipalities to support innovation for improved basic service delivery. The tool was developed by the Human Sciences Research Council in response to the general lack of appropriate instruments for understanding and evaluating the innovation capabilities of local and district municipalities in South Africa. This policy brief aims to investigate the extent to which municipalities develop their innovation capabilities as a result of exposure to innovations demonstrated at distressed municipalities as part of the Innovation Partnership for Rural Development Programme. The results reveal a marginal increase in the overall innovation maturity of the municipalities that were surveyed, suggesting that learning is taking as a result of exposure to the IPRDP. The MIMI results further show that even though municipalities are aware of and understand basic service delivery innovations, they have yet not reached a stage where innovation principles are entrenched in their organisations. The organisational enablers to foster an enabling environment for innovation maturity are generally lacking. In terms of leadership and management support for innovation, we stress that more should be done to encourage staff to learn about innovation. Moreover, local municipalities should be supported to strengthen their innovation capabilities and embed innovation in local government.