This article addresses the question, ‘what is good governance?’. It also attempts to address another related question, ‘What are factors that help measure good governance?’
What does the term ‘governance’ refer to?
Governance refers to the way or the manner in which a government governs or administers a state. Governance can be good or bad.
What is good governance?
- It refers to the administration of a country that results in a system based on justice, peace, equity, and protection of fundamental human rights.
- When we say administration, it means utilization of human, natural, and financial resources of a country. When a government utilizes the resources with an approach to ensure citizens’ well-being and prosperity, it is good governance.
What is bad governance?
Bad governance is featured by corruption, inequality, insecurity, injustice, discrimination, and violation of fundamental human rights and civil liberties.
What are the factors that help measure good governance in a state?
The United Nations has defined 8 factors that help determine the status of good governance in a region. These factors are as follows:
Efficiency refers to the effective utilization of available resources to fulfill the needs of the people. Sustainable use of resources is an important component of effectiveness and efficiency. In other words, the government uses the resources not only to fulfill the present needs of people but to save future generations.
A state is responsive when it reaches out to its citizens to help them in time of need within an acceptable and appropriate time span. For example, the response of the government should be prompt and quick to help out people in any human and natural disasters, etc.
Participation is another factor of good governance which means people belonging to different cultures, communities, regions, etc. have equal access to decision making and running the affairs of the state without any discrimination.
A state may consist of more than one cultural group, nationality, community, etc. To cater needs and expectations of citizens in a diverse society, it is important to make decisions on which all agree and feel comfortable.
5. Inclusion and equity
This means people belonging to different cultures, communities, regions, etc. get a chance to play their role. The inclusion of people in the political system and treating them as same and equal citizens is an important criterion for any school.
6. Rule of law
Rule of law means the supremacy of the law will be maintained at all costs. It means a free judicial and legal system that safeguards the civil liberties and fundamental rights of its citizens. This suggests that no one is above law and anyone who attempts to violate the law or put it at abeyance will be punished without any regard to his/her power position etc.
Accountability means that institutions (both government and private sector agencies) and the government itself are answerable to people and one another through a robust accountability mechanism.
This means that the people of the state have the access to information about government decisions. The government is bound to make things public through popular media for general information.