Towards Good Governance

According to the UNDP governance can be seen as the exercise of economic, political
and administrative authority to manage a country’s affairs at all levels. It comprises the
mechanisms, processes and institutions through which citizens and groups artic ulate their
interests, exercise their legal rights, meet their obligations and mediate their differences.
Good governance is, among other things, participatory, transparent and accountable. It is
also effective and equitable, and it promotes the rule of law. It ensures that political,
social and economic priorities are based on broad consensus in society and that the voices
of the poorest and the most vulnerable are heard in decision- making over the allocation of
development resources.
Characteristics of good governance: -
1. Participation
All men and women, inclusive of the physically challenged, should have a voice
in decision- making, either directly or through legitimate intermediate institutions
that represent their interests. Such broad participation is built on freedom of
association and speech, as well as capabilities to participate constructively.
Participation is a process whereby policy- making, prioritizing issues, accessibility
to public goods and services and also allocating resources is influenced by key
stakeholders. It varies from one context to another and subject to different
projects and visions. Participatory processes in a poverty reduction strategy
promote information exchange and transparency in decision-making processes.
The World Bank notes that this, in turn, will improve and, as a result, increase the
overall governance and economic efficiency of development activities.
Generally, public involvement includes three elements or ‘pillars’:
· Public access to information;
· Public participation in decision-making processes;
· Public access to judicial and administrative redress often termed ‘access to
Access to information can be passive or active....