File Name: good governance rule of law transparency and accountability .zip
The concept of rule of law forms a cornerstone of the OSCE's human rights and democratization activities. It not only describes formal legal frameworks, but also aims at justice based on the full acceptance of human dignity. It ties in closely with the establishment of democratic, accountable state institutions.
- What is good governance?
- Transparent Governance & Anti-Corruption
- What is Good Governance?
- Good governance
Gradual global recognition of the need for good governance emerged only from the s onwards. Although different meanings of good governance exist, the term is generally associated with political, economic and social goals that are deemed necessary for achieving development. Hence, good governance is the process whereby public institutions conduct public affairs and manage public resources in a manner that promotes the rule of law and the realization of human rights civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights. In , the International Monetary Fund IMF declared that "promoting good governance in all its aspects, including by ensuring the rule of law, improving the efficiency and accountability of the public sector and tackling corruption, [are] essential elements of a framework within which economies can prosper. However, its meaning and scope are not always clear.
What is good governance?
Gradual global recognition of the need for good governance emerged only from the s onwards. Although different meanings of good governance exist, the term is generally associated with political, economic and social goals that are deemed necessary for achieving development.
Hence, good governance is the process whereby public institutions conduct public affairs and manage public resources in a manner that promotes the rule of law and the realization of human rights civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights. In , the International Monetary Fund IMF declared that "promoting good governance in all its aspects, including by ensuring the rule of law, improving the efficiency and accountability of the public sector and tackling corruption, [are] essential elements of a framework within which economies can prosper.
However, its meaning and scope are not always clear. While this flexibility enables a contextual application of the term, the lack of conceptual clarity can be a source of difficulty at the operational level.
In some cases, good governance has become a "one-size-fits-all buzzword" lacking specific meaning and content Johnston, , p. Johnston , p. This definition links good governance with the rule of law, transparency and accountability, and embodies partnerships between state and society, and among citizens.
Similarly, Rose-Ackerman , p. Good government is also associated with impartiality Rothstein and Varraich, , ethical universalism Mungiu-Pippidi, and open-access orders North, Wallis and Weingast, According to the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights OHCHR , the key question for assessing good governance is: Are the institutions of governance effectively guaranteeing the right to health, adequate housing, sufficient food, quality education, justice and personal security?
Core elements of good governance include transparency, integrity, lawfulness, sound policy, participation, accountability, responsiveness, and the absence of corruption and wrongdoing. For a discussion on the relationship between integrity and lawfulness and a further discussion on integrity in the public sector, see, respectively, Module 12 and Module 13 of the E4J University Module Series on Integrity and Ethics.
The World Bank defines good governance in terms of the traditions and institutions by which authority in a country is exercised. This definition is one of the most frequently used definitions of good governance, and forms the basis of the World Bank's widely used Worldwide Governance Indicators , which are discussed below.
Yet, this broad definition has been criticized for mixing together policy content "sound policies" and procedures "rule of law" as well as citizens' evaluations "respect" , and for referring to both institutions that provide access to political power and those that exercise and implement laws and policies Rothstein and Teorell, The inclusion of "sound policies" in the definition raises the question whether international mostly economic experts can really be expected to know what constitutes "sound policies"?
For example, should pensions or health care or education be privately or publicly funded or should it be mixed? To what extent and how should financial institutions be regulated? Obviously, some political institutions or aspects of politics are more important than others when determining the quality of government Rothstein and Teorell, Similarly, Keefer , p. This is also in line with Grindle's critiques that the term encompasses so many "good" things that it has become a catch-all phrase, serving as little more than an additive checklist.
As a result, development practitioners and government officials "continue to confront long lists of 'things that must be done' to achieve good governance, with little guidance about how to pick and choose among them as priorities" , p. Grindle further argues that its strongly normative tenor means that, first, the prospect of achieving good governance can be overwhelming, especially for poor countries; second, the term fails to distinguish between various institutional particularities and more basic principles that can achieve similar ends; third, by overlooking key issues of political economy and power relations, the concept does not provide useful guidance on how it can be achieved.
In line with these critiques, the Quality of Government Institute QoG of the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, avoids using the term "governance" on the grounds that its remit has become so broad that it serves little analytic purpose. Instead, it focuses on the quality of government per se, particularly in relation to a number of specific policy areas, such as health, the environment, social policy and poverty.
The point of departure of QoG is that in all societies the quality of government institutions is of utmost importance for the well-being of its citizens. The QoG developed a dataset of political institutions and processes with over 2, variables, including indicators of formal and informal institutions that may affect levels of corruption such as a country's rule of law, equity, political pluralism, and access to knowledge, information and education.
Good governance is considered key to achieving sustainable development and human well-being. Empirical studies show that good governance, in contrast to democratization, has strong positive effects on measures of social trust, life satisfaction, peace and political legitimacy Ghosh and Siddique, ; Rose-Ackerman, ; Rothstein and Teorell, Studies also show that good governance improves life evaluations either directly, because people are happier living in a context of good government Ott, , or indirectly because good governance enables people to achieve higher levels of something else that is directly important to their well-being.
This is in particular related to the control of corruption, which has been demonstrated to affect well-being both directly and indirectly. The absence of corruption has often been shown to increase the efficiency of public and private enterprise and thus create favourable conditions for economic growth.
There is also evidence that the higher levels of general and specific trust increase the happiness of people even beyond higher incomes Mungiu-Pippidi, For instance, Helliwell and others found that changes in government services delivery quality contribute positively to citizens' life evaluation.
Of particular relevance is Goal 16 of the SDGs or SDG 16 , which is titled "Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions" and aims to "[p]romote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels".
Other SDGs are also strongly linked to good governance: for example, SDG 10 refers to reducing inequalities and promoting the social, economic and political inclusion of all people. More generally, the attainment of all SDGs depends on good governance. After all, sustainable development requires that those in power have respect for human rights and work towards eradicating poverty, addressing hunger, securing good health care and high quality education for their citizens, guaranteeing gender equality, reducing inequality, and so on.
Good governance is tightly linked to the fight against corruption. Accordingly, some of the core principles of good governance are also principles of anti-corruption. The literature identifies good governance with political systems that are:. When political systems do not adhere to these eight principles, their institutions might be incapable of delivering public services and fulfil people's needs. The sixth principle is especially worth emphasizing as it ensures that the views of minorities are taken into account and that the voices of the most vulnerable in society are heard in decision-making.
All eight principles are elaborated upon in the following paragraphs. Participation is fostered by enabling environments where pertinent information is appropriately disseminated in a timely fashion so that all concerned people can voice their opinion in an unconstrained manner.
For an example of indicators of access and citizen participation, see Linares In terms of the fight against corruption, it is noted that article 13 of UNCAC requires all States parties "to promote the active participation of individuals and groups outside the public sector, such as civil society, non-governmental organizations and community-based organizations, in the prevention of and the fight against corruption".
It means that legal frameworks exist, there is law and order, the justice system is independent and effective, property rights and contracts are enforced, human rights norms are implemented, and there are constitutional constraints on the power of the executive. In addition, laws need to be responsive to the needs of society, fair and impartially enforced.
It is noted that virtually every state, including corrupt and repressive ones, can enact and enforce laws that do not guarantee the requirements above. However, genuine rule of law requires the cooperation of state and society, and is an outcome of complex and deeply rooted social processes. Fukuyama distinguishes between "rule of law" and "rule by law". Bringing all these elements together, the UN defines rule of law as:. It requires, as well, measures to ensure adherence to the principles of supremacy of law, equality before the law, accountability to the law, fairness in the application of the law, separation of powers, participation in decision-making, legal certainty, avoidance of arbitrariness and procedural and legal transparency United Nations, Transparency rests on a partnership: officials must make information available, and there must be people and groups with reasons and opportunities to put information to use.
Key among those are an independent judiciary and a free, competitive, responsible press as well as an active, critical civil society Johnston Rules and procedures must be open to scrutiny and be comprehensible, which implies that a transparent government makes it clear what is being done, how and why actions take place, who is involved, and by what standards decisions are made.
Transparency is also one of the most important principles underlying the fight against corruption. In this regard, article 10 of UNCAC requires State parties to take the necessary measures to enhance transparency in their public institutions. Transparency requires significant resources and a system that provides for the free flow of relevant and easily accessible information to stakeholders in a manner that is understandable, so that decisions and their implementation can be easily monitored.
For a review of global indices of transparency, see Williams and the Index of Public Integrity , which includes, for example, Budget Transparency. Responsiveness also refers to identifying and addressing built-in discriminatory practices affecting ethnic or minority groups, including gender responsiveness, and the participation of all genders in governance.
Mechanisms to improve responsiveness may include selective decentralization, so that local governments supposedly are more in tune with the needs of their constituents and can more promptly serve the people, who in turn could become more involved in decision-making.
Citizens' charters and facilitation laws can also increase responsiveness by providing timeframes for every step in attaining frontline services, hotlines and staff dedicated to receiving and attending to complaints and grievances promptly. Responsiveness is difficult to measure for purposes of comparison, particularly at the international level. For a sector-specific framework to indicate responsiveness in health care, see De Silva n. This may be one of the most difficult principles, as any action or policy is likely to affect different groups in society in different and often opposing ways.
Therefore, different viewpoints must be taken into account. To arrive at a compromise, there needs to be a strong, impartial and flexible mediation structure, so that the best interests of the whole community can be served. Public hearings, referendums, forums for debate, citizens' legal right to petition leaders about policy and consultation mechanisms are examples of means to work towards achieving consensus or at least compromise.
This means that all members of society, especially the most vulnerable, are taken into consideration in policymaking, and no one feels alienated, disenfranchised or left behind. Good governance demands that preferential attention is given to the plight of the poor, marginalized and needy.
This is consistent with Rawls' principles of fairness, according to which the worst-off in society must receive a fair deal. Progressive taxation, free medical care and subsidized housing are examples of equity mechanisms. The most common measure of inequality, however imperfect, is the Gini index , which measures the statistical distribution of income or wealth of a nation's residents.
Another measure is the percentage of people living below the poverty line, adjusted to reflect local situations. Further discussions of equity and equality, particularly in the context of a diverse, globalized world, can be found in Module 5 of the E4J University Module Series on Integrity and Ethics.
Effectiveness and efficiency require the enhancement of quality and standardization of public service delivery, the professionalization of the bureaucracy, focusing government efforts on vital functions, and the elimination of redundancies or overlaps in functions and operations.
For public service delivery, agencies must promptly and adequately cater to the needs of citizens, simplifying government procedures and reducing red tape, using appropriate technology when feasible, as well as coordinating processes among various government agencies to eliminate redundant information requirements.
There is arguably a normative imperative underpinning good governance, to employ resources and powers in an ethical and professional manner that demonstrates integrity, maximizes public values and public goods for a further discussion on public values, see Module 13 of the E4J University Module Series on Integrity and Ethics.
Effectiveness and efficiency also demand that individual performance goals are aligned with the programmes and objectives of the agency. Adequate remuneration and non-monetary compensation may likewise be necessary to sustain competence and boost morale. See Government Effectiveness as included in the Worldwide Governance Indicator for an example of an indicator. It refers to the answerability or responsibility for one's actions so that systems exist for decision makers in government, the private sector and civil society organizations to answer to the public, as well as to institutional stakeholders.
Accountability is partly a matter of institutional design, implying that formal checks and balances can and should be built into any constitutional architecture Johnston, Promoting accountability is also important for corruption prevention and is one of the main purposes of the United Nations Convention against Corruption see article 1 of UNCAC.
Accountability also requires political energy, in the sense that "people, interest groups, civil society, the courts, the press, and opposition parties must insist that those who govern follow legitimate mandates and explain their actions" and that "[t]hose demanding accountability must be confident that they can do so safely, that officials will respond honestly, and that social needs and demands are taken seriously" Johnston, , pp. Sometimes a distinction is made between horizontal accountability checks and balances within the public sector and vertical accountability accountability of governments towards their citizens.
An example of a governance mechanism or tool designed to promote accountability and professionalism is a code of ethics or a code of conduct. Such codes are essential tools for promoting integrity, honesty and responsibility among individuals, and are recommended under article 8 of UNCAC "each State Party shall endeavour to apply, within its own institutional and legal systems, codes or standards of conduct for the correct, honourable and proper performance of public functions".
For indicators of accountability, see Holland and others It is a complex and challenging task to measure the extent to which different jurisdictions adhere to good governance principles. Some of these principles may, in fact, conflict with each other. Effectiveness and efficiency, for example, may have to be compromised, in order to achieve equity and inclusion.
Commonly used indicators give scores to the following group of proxies: a existence and quality of procedures, such as in budget formulation and procurement, and clear job descriptions in the bureaucracy; b levels of capacity, such as average educational attainment, technical qualifications and professionalism; c output, such as health and education outcomes and availability of services; and d estimates from direct observation.
There are also indices with a regional focus, such as the Ibrahim Index of Africa Governance. These indices measure good governance by examining different aspects of governance and their various indicators.
Transparent Governance & Anti-Corruption
Transparency is the principle of allowing those affected by administrative decisions to know about results and about the process that led to decisions. Transparency is the principle of allowing those affected by administrative decisions to know about the resulting facts and figures e. Availability of information on government policies and actions, a clear sense of organizational responsibility, and an assurance that governments are efficiently administered and free of systemic corruption are important components of transparent governance. Transparency is a fundamental element of abolishing corruption. Transparent governance is important to local governments and the communities they serve because corruption threatens good governance, leads to the misallocation of resources, harms public and private sector development, and distorts public policy. Controlling corruption is only possible when government, citizens, and the private sector cooperate to ensure transparency. ICMA has worked with local governments and counterpart associations around the world to promote improved local government transparency and accountability.
G ood governance as expressed through factors like reliability, predictability and accountability is increasingly seen as a key factor in ensuring national prosperity. However, many aspects of the relationship between good governance and national prosperity are still poorly understood and may indeed vary across countries. Some basic questions include: What is good governance and why is it important for economic and social development? What is the role of such factors as the rule of law, transparency, accountability and public service ethics in promoting good governance? How can good governance be promoted in transition to more open and democratic societies? What lessons have been learned from public management reforms about the importance of good governance for achievement of social and economic objectives?
Good governance sets the normative standards of development. It fosters participation, ensures transparency, demands accountability, promotes efficiency,.
What is Good Governance?
Jump to navigation. Improved governance requires an integrated, long-term strategy built upon cooperation between government and citizens. It involves both participation and institutions. The Rule of Law, Accountability, and Transparency are technical and legal issues at some levels, but also interactive to produce government that is legitimate, effective, and widely supported by citizens, as well as a civil society that is strong, open, and capable of playing a positive role in politics and government.
Participation requires that all groups, particularly those most vulnerable, have direct or representative access to the systems of government. This manifests as a strong civil society and citizens with the freedom of association and expression. Rule of Law is exemplified by impartial legal systems that protect the human rights and civil liberties of all citizens, particularly minorities. This is indicated by an independent judicial branch and a police force free from corruption.
In international development , good governance is a way of measuring how public institutions conduct public affairs and manage public resources in a preferred way. Governance is "the process of decision-making and the process by which decisions are implemented or not implemented ". The concept of "good governance" thus emerges as a model to compare ineffective economies or political bodies with viable economies and political bodies. Because countries often described as "most successful" are liberal democratic states , concentrated in Europe and the Americas, good governance standards often measure other state institutions against these states. In international affairs, analysis of good governance can look at any of the following relationships: .
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