Good Governance

The concept of good governance came into use as an academic discussion in the late 1980s and early 1990s particularly during the Habital conference of UN, in Turkey in 1996. Accountable, predictable, responsible and legitimate governmental procedure demanding ‘clean state’ in the notion of good governance. It was firstly introduced by Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) for their investment in developing nations. They identified good governance as:
  1. Participation
  2. Democratization
Similarly, World Bank advocated good governance in sub-Saharan Africa by means of: 
  1. Participation 
  2. Accountability
  3. Democratization
  4. Efficiency and Effectiveness 
  5. Rule of Law
In Governing procedure, UNDP introduced its principles of good governance which are;
  1. Participation
  2. Legitimacy 
  3. Accountability
  4. Rule of Law
  5. Visionary and strategic planning
  6. Efficiency and Effectiveness
  7. Responsiveness
  8. Result oriented 
  9. Performance 
  10. Democratic
  11. Transparency
Thus, good governance, rule of law, legitimacy, accountability, efficiency and transparency are symbols of the ‘clean state’.

Administrative machinery has to take responsibility for the timely complain of the nation’s development programs. For this, administrative machinery needs to be capable, impartial, productive economical, people oriented and accountable. Good governance can be defined as a corruption free government, which provides goods and services to the people in equitable manner. The concept of good governance advances five principle for livable and sustainable societies: 
  1. Politically participation
  2. Economically productive
  3. Ecologically sustainable societies
  4. Culturally vibrant (full of life and energy and exciting)
  5. Socially just.
The World Bank defined governance as a way in which power is exercised in the management of the economy and social resources of a country, notable will a view to development. The UNDP defines good governance more or less above but place greater emphasis on sustainable human development (UN Report, 1998). The definition varies from one organization to other, although general ideas and focus on issues are the same. The World Bank put emphasis on economic and social resources for development. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) emphasizes human rights, democracy and legitimacy of government. UNDP emphasizes human development, the elimination of poverty, and public administration. It has even established a management and governance division. Good governance is therefore the highest state of development and management of a nation’s affairs. It is good that a democratic form of government is in place, that people participate in decision making process, that service are delivered efficiently, that human rights are respected, and that the government is transparent, accountable and productive. The concept can also regarded as a means to an end in that in general. It contributes to economic growth, human development and social justice. Good governance as a concept will be used in this context of the public service reform it is used as a means of addressing other contemporary issues such as institutional development, capacity building, decentralization of power and authority, relation between politicians and appointed officials, co-ordination and the roles that head of government play in promoting good governance. Good governance can be aliened by identifying the following characteristics and practises of poor governance allure to make a clean distinction between what is public and private, hence a tendency to divert public resources to private gain.
  • Failure to establish a predictable framework of law, government behavior add the rule of law
  • Excessive rules and regulation which impede the functioning of markets
  • Priorities inconsistent with development, resulting in a mis-allocation of resources
  • Excessively narrow-based or non-transparent decision-making processes
  • Lack of code of conduct in managing the affair of state
  • Lack of clearly defined policy assumptions
Good governance is therefore, among other things, participatory, transparent and accountable, in order to ensure that political, social and economic priorities are based consensus in society, and that the voices of the poorest and most vulnerable are heard in decision-making processes regarding the allocation of resources. Defined in this manner, good governance has major implications for equity, poverty and quality of life. Administrative governance is the system of policy implementation encompassing all three, good governance defines the process and structure that guide political and social-economic relationships. 
Good Governance
While there may be no best way of achieving good governance, the following stand out as the most common elements. They are participatory, accountability, transparency, combating corruption, rule of law, absence of arbitrary power and an enabling judicial framework.
1. People’s participation
Good governance focuses on participation. Participation is basic to realize the spirit of development management. It is an association of people in the development process that has glowingly been emphasized by the most of the developing countries oriented towards achieving induced changes particularly at the grass root level. It is in this regard that participation of people in decision-making, implementation benefits sharing and evaluation of the development programs and project constituted vital considerations for making the present and future development endeavors meaningful and viable. With the growing realization of the need and importance of the involvement of non governmental organization, community base organization and civil society organization in the planned change process, the importance of participation has increased immensely hence the involvement of all the stakeholders involved directly or indirectly in the socio-economic change process assumes great significance in development management. The basic trust of participation lies in sustained capabilities for development decision making, action and overall management reflected in sustained activities at grass root level. In addition to effective institutional mechanism for supporting participation, the level of people including their skills, knowledge, awareness and motivation represent an important concern for enlisting the level of participation. From a broader perspective, participation demands measure to support economic growth and distributive justice as well as improved level and status of social services.

2. Accountability
Accountability can be defined as holding responsible elected or appointed individuals and organizations charged with a public mandate to account for specific actions, activities or decisions to the public from whom they derive their authority. In a narrow sense, accountability focuses on the ability of account for the allocations, use and control, i.e. budgeting, account and auditing. In broader sense, it is also concerned with the establishment and enforcement of rules and regulations of corporate governance.

3. Transparency
Transparency is broadly defined as public knowledge of the policies of government and confidence in its intentions. This requires making public accounts verifiable, providing for public participation in government policy-making and implementation and allowing contesting over choices impacting on information on economic and market condition.

4. Combating Corruption
Corruption is defined as the abuse of public office or public trust for private gains. The definition covers most forms of corruption in both the public and private sector. Combating corruption is a key indicator of commitment of good governance. Corruption can manifest itself as an individual, organizational or institutional.

In the context of the state, corruption most often refers to criminal or otherwise unlawful conduct by government agencies or by officials of these organizations acting in the course of their employment.

Poor governance and corruption are major constraints to the pursuit of economic development. For example:
  • Bribery increases the cost of government development programs and spawns projects of little economic merit.
  • Corruption undermines revenue collection capacity, contributing to fiscal weakness and macro-economic difficulties.
  • Diversion of resources from their intended purpose distorts the formulation of public policy.
5. Rule of Law
The expression “Rule of Law” is often referred to when democratic liberties are discussed. A. V. Dicey gave three meanings to the expression.
  • The absence of arbitrary power.
  • The subjection of officials to the ordinary courts.
  • The constitution is the result of the ordinary law of the land.
6. Absence of Arbitrary
The underlying concept was that no man may be punished in body or goods except for the distinct breach of law established by ordinary procedure before the ordinary court. Hence, it was not possible for a person to be deprived of liberties or property by arbitrary action on the part of the executive.

Dicey’s second meaning stressed the equality before the law of all classes and equal subjection of all citizens to the ordinary courts. From the higher ‘P’ to lower ‘p’, law should be one for all. 

In Britain, rights as freedom of movement, freedom from arrest, freedom from speech and the like, derived from judicial decisions and not from the constitutional code, freedom of information and expression need for formulation of public policies; decision making, monitoring and evaluation of government performance. It also includes independent analysis of information by the professional bodies and civil society.

[PERCEPTS] [CLEART]Clean Legitimate Efficient and Effective Accountable Responsive Transparent

Good governance should basically mean balanced government.

Governance of private sector, NGOs and cooperatives should harmoniously share the responsibility of governance by protecting the interest and meeting the needs of the people.

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