Governance And Good Governance : Varying Definitions


“The traditions and institutions by which authority in a country is exercised”– Kaufman et al

The way “ … power is exercised through a country’s economic, political, and social institutions.”– the World Bank’s Handbook.

“The exercise of economic, political, and administrative authority to manage a country’s affairs at all levels. It comprises mechanisms, processes, and institutions through which citizens and groups articulate their interests, exercise their legal rights, meet their obligations, and mediate their differences.”– UNDP.


Dimensions of governance

“Fundamental aspects of governance” are: graft, rule of law, and government effectiveness. Other dimensions are: voice and accountability, political instability and violence, and regulatory burden.– Kaufmann, Kraay and Zoido-Lobaton 1999.

Property rights and rule-based governance; the quality of budgetary & financial management; the efficiency of revenue mobilization; the efficiency of public expenditures; and transparency, accountability and corruption.– World Bank CPIA indicators.


Good governance

It is “… among other things participatory, transparent and accountable. It is also effective and equitable. And it promotes the rule of law.”– UNDP

It “… encompasses the role of public authorities in establishing the environment in which economic operators function and in determining the distribution of benefits as well as the relationship between the ruler and the ruled.” .” – OECD

It is “… epitomized by predictable, open and enlightened policy making; a bureaucracy imbued with a professional ethos; an executive arm of government accountable for its actions; and a strong civil society participating in public affairs; and all behaving under the rule of law.” – World Bank 1994: Governance: The World Bank’s Experience.

Mechanisms for assuring good governance have three key elements: Internal rules and restraints (for example, internal accounting and auditing systems, independence of the judiciary and the central bank, civil service and budgeting rules); “Voice” and partnership (for example, public-private deliberation councils, and service delivery surveys to solicit client feedback); and Competition (for example, competitive social service delivery, private participation in infrastructure, alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, and outright privatization of certain market-driven activities). – WDR 1997.

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