Good governance

Good governance

Good governance describes the process of decision-making and the process by which decisions are implemented (or not implemented).

GOVERNANCE

Governance can be used in several contexts such as

  • corporate governance,

  • international governance,

  • national governance

  • and local governance.

Governance is the process of_

  • decision-making

  • and the process by which decisions are implemented,

An analysis of governance focuses on _

  • the formal

  • and informal actors

  • involved in decision-making

  • and implementing

Actors in governance_

Government is one of the actors in governance. Other actors involved in governance_

In rural areas,

for example, other actors may include_

  • influential land lords,

  • associations of peasant farmers,

  • cooperatives,

  • NGOs,

  • research institutes,

  • religious leaders,

  • finance institutions

  • political parties,

  • the military etc.

In urban areas_

At the national level, in addition to the above actors_

  • media,

  • lobbyists,

  • international donors,

  • multi-national corporations, etc.

may play a role in decision-making or in influencing the decision-making process.

All actors other than government and the military are grouped together as part of the “civil society.”

In some countries_

  • in addition to the civil society,

  • organized crime syndicates also influence decision-making,

  • particularly in urban areas and at the national level.

Similarly formal government structures are one means by which decisions are arrived at and implemented.

  • At the national level, informal decision-making structures,

  • such as “kitchen cabinets”

  • or informal advisors may exist.

  • In urban areas, organized crime syndicates such as

  • the “land Mafia” may influence decision-making. In some rural areas locally powerful families may make or influence decision-making.

Such, informal decision-making is often the result of corrupt practices or leads to corrupt practices. In other words Governance means_

  • public institutions conduct public affairs,

  • manage public resources,

  • and guarantee the realization of human rights.

Good governance accomplishes this in a manner

  • essentially free of abuse and corruption,

  • free of corruption,

  • and with due regard for the rule of law.

Characteristics of Good governance:

  1. participation,

  2. rule of law,

  3. transparency,

  4. responsiveness,

  5. consensus orientation,

  6. equity and inclusiveness,

  7. effectiveness and efficiency

  8. accountability.

These characteristics assure that:

  • corruption is minimized,

  • the views of minorities are taken into account and

  • that the voices of the most vulnerable in society are heard in decision-making.

  • It is also responsive to the present and future needs of society.

But the UNESCAP United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific uses the following indicators_

  1. Voice and Accountability

  2. Political Stability and Absence of Violence

  3. Government Effectiveness

  4. Regulatory Quality

  5. Rule of Law

  6. Control of Corruption

Participation

  • By both men and women.

  • Participation could be either direct or through representatives

  • Freedom of association Freedom of expression

  • and an organized civil society.

Rule of law

  • Fair legal frameworks

  • that are enforced impartially.

  • Full protection of human rights, particularly those of minorities.

  • independent judiciary

  • and an impartial and incorruptible police force.

Transparency

  • Decisions taken and their enforcement are done in a manner that follows rules and regulations.

  • Information is freely available and directly accessible to those who will be affected by such decisions and their enforcement.

Responsiveness

Institutions and processes try to serve all stakeholders within a reasonable timeframe.

Consensus orientation

Need of mediation of _

  • the different interests in society

  • to reach a broad consensus in society

  • on what is in the best interest of the whole community

and how this can be achieved.

It also requires a long-term perspective

  • for sustainable human development

  • and how to achieve the goals of such development.

Equity and inclusiveness

Ensuring that _

  • all members of society feel that

  • they have a stake in it

  • and do not feel excluded from the mainstream.

  • This requires all groups,

  • and especially the most vulnerable

  • to have opportunities to maintain or improve their well being.

Effectiveness and efficiency

Processes and institutions

  • produce results that meet the needs of society

  • while making the best use of resources at their disposal.

  • It also means sustainable use of natural resources

  • and the protection of the environment.

  • This can only result from an understanding of the historical, cultural and social contexts of a given society or community.

Accountability

  1. Governmental institutions

  2. as well as the private sector

  3. and civil society organizations

must be accountable to the public and to their institutional stakeholders.

A basic practical example of good governance would be

  • where a member of a committee,

  • with a vested interest in a topic being discussed at committee,

  • would absent themselves from the discussion

  • and not attempt to exert influence.

  • See also Ethics in Public Office and Due Diligence.

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Figure 2: Characteristics of good governance

CONCLUSION

From the above discussion it should be clear that good governance

is an ideal which is difficult to achieve in its totality.

Very few countries and societies have come close to achieving good governance in its totality.

However, to ensure sustainable human development, actions must be taken to work towards this ideal with the aim of making it a reality. http://www.institutionalreform.org/

Corruption

Corruption is the use of public resources for private gain –

a betrayal of the public confidence invested in individuals with access to public resources.

Corrupt practices are found in_

  • all branches of government,

  • in business,

  • and even within civil society.

The broader consequences are

  • a slowing down,

  • or even reversal,

of development goals, particularly in countries that are most vulnerable to economic downturns and political upheaval.

Within any given sphere

  • e.g., legislative,

  • economic,

  • judicial),

Corruption is largely the outcome of_

  • a breakdown in legitimate

  • or just rules and practices (institutions),

  • leading to unfair or arbitrary institutions

NST Online  2007/12/05

Tolerance aids good governance

 

KUALA LUMPUR: Tolerance is a vital element for Asean countries to have

  1. good governance,

  2. practise democracy

  3. and defend human rights.

Asean Eminent Persons Group chairman Tun Musa Hitam said if Asean was not tolerant, democracy could not work and freedom would have no meaning.

He said this after delivering his keynote address at a two-day colloquium on

“Good Governance, Rule of Law and Human Rights — The Way Forward for Asean”

jointly organised by the Asean Inter-Parliamentary Caucus for Good Governance and Working Group for an Asean Human Rights Mechanism.

The former deputy prime minister said Asean governments must be positive in getting feedback and criticism on any issue and use them to improve the countries’ leadership and society.

In his speech, Musa said he preferred the phrase “credibility of the judiciary” than “an independent judiciary”.

“Credible means independent enough to make own decisions, not because of monetary, political or psychological pressures.”

The following is taken from the  old ASIA WEEK site_

What Makes Good Governance?
 

Rule of law Legal frameworks that are both fair and fairly enforced

Transparency A free flow of information so that the members of the public can understand and monitor the institutions and processes affecting their lives

Responsiveness Serving the interest of all stakeholders

Consensus Mediating different aspirations to reach broad agreement in the best interest of the community

Equity Opportunity for all men and women to improve their well-being

Effectiveness and efficiency Meeting needs through the best use of resources

Accountability Decision-makers (in government, private sector and citizens groups) must answer to the public as well as to their own organizations

Strategic vision A long-term perspective on what is needed for society to grow

Good governance

What is good governance?

Governance is the process whereby public institutions conduct public affairs, manage public resources, and guarantee the realization of human rights. Good governance accomplishes this in a manner essentially free of abuse and corruption, and with due regard for the rule of law.
read more>>

 

Good governance at the national level

There is a wealth of UN human rights standards of direct relevance and applicability to questions of good governance.
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Good governance at the international level

In a globalizing world, national and international governance are inextricably linked. International institutions of governance will be in a better position to respond to the needs of the developing world once national institutions meet the test of good governance.
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OHCHR and good governance

As mandated by the General Assembly, OHCHR is the UN’s system-wide focal point for human rights, democracy and the rule of law. Under the Secretary-General’s reform programme launched in 1997, OHCHR has also been charged with facilitating the mainstreaming of human rights in United Nations development programming.
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Assistance for good governance

In 2000, policy measures, core elements and areas of programmatic collaboration for the United Nations system were established.
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OHCHR

http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Pages/WelcomePage.aspx