Governance

Good Governance:

  • It is a genuinely democracy – intensifying concept – to make public administration more open, transparent and accountable.

Meanings:

  • “Governance is a more encompassing phenomenon than government. It embraces governmental institutions but it also subsumes informal, non-governmental mechanisms whereby those persons and organizations within its purview move ahead, satisfy their needs and fulfill their wants… Governance is thus a system of rule that is as dependent on inter-subjective meanings as on formally sanctioned constitution and charter… it is possible to conceive of governance without government – of regulatory mechanisms in a sphere of activity which function effectively even though they are not endowed with formal authority.                                                                                                                                                                                                         -Rosenau

Definition:

   “The capacity to get things done without the legal competence to command that they be done.”

  • Governance is more a network of multiple agencies and organizations than a fixed ‘government’ agency or department.
  • Governance stands for establishment, operation and networking of social institutions. Concretely, it manifests itself in formal rules and regulations, decision-making procedures and programmatic activities that serve to define social practices.
  • In 1989, the concept of ‘governance’ was for the first time highlighted in a World Bank document on Sub-Saharan Africa. By good governance was meant, at that time, sound development management.
  • Four key dimensions identified in this context were:
    • Public sector management
    • Accountability
    • Legal framework for development; and
    • Information and transparency.
  • Governance is defined as the manner in which power is exercised in the management of a country’s economic and social resources for development. – World Bank.
  • Three distinct aspects are identified in the conceptualization of ‘governance’:
    • The form of political regime (parliamentary or presidential, military or civilian or democratic)
    • The process by which authority is exercised in the management of a country’s economic and social resources; and
    • The capacity of governments to design, formulate and implement policies and in general, to discharge government functions.
  • Governance is a continuum and not necessarily unidirectional.
  • The key components of ‘governance’ were identified as:
    • Legitimacy of government;
    • Accountability of political and official elements of government;
    • Respect for human rights and the Rule of Law (including individual and group rights and security, a legal framework for economic and social activity and participation).
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