Good Governance

Subject: Social Studies

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Overview

Governance refers to the system or manner the government works in. Governance describes the process of decision-making and process by which its decisions are carried out. This note contains a description of good governance and its characteristics.
Good Governance
Good Governance
Good Governance

Governance refers to the system or manner the government works in. According to the World Bank 'using political power for the management of various affairs of a state is governance'. Governance describes the process of decision-making and process by which its decisions are carried out. Good governance maintains that decisions are taken and carried out in a fair manner. The decisions are directed towards the promotion of public welfare.

The concept of good governance was developed with the demand that political power should be used in favour of people. Donor nations and international financial institutions like IMF, ADB or World Bank impose good governance as 'aid conditionally' They agree to offer aid and loans on the condition that reforms for good governance are made. Good governance, in a broader sense, is to rule according to the need and wish of people as well as for their welfare.

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Characteristics of Good Governance

  1. Participation
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    Good governance maintains the reasonable participation of both men and women in all affairs of the state. Freedom of association and expression gives way for public participation. People get enough chances to participate in administration and development process of their country. They elect their lawmakers and rulers, and in administration and development process of their country. Organized civil society works towards negotiations in decision making and representation in the mechanism of both decision making and implementation.

  2. Accountability
    All government and private institutes along with civil societies are essentially responsible to respective groups of people for their decisions and actions. Accountability is the soul of a democratic government. For instance, the executive is responsible to legislative (parliament) and bureaucracy directly to the general public whom it enters.

  3. Responsiveness
    Service authorities are committed to serving people in a convincing and justified time frame. Bureaucracy is honest and its functions help promote public- welfare. The malpractices such as service delay, overcharging and bribery is so rare. All service providing bodies keep their citizen charters.

  4. Transparency
    In good governance, the process of decision-making and the process of implementation of the decisions is fair, lawful and informed. Concerned individuals or bodies are duly valued and have access to free and direct information on decisions and their implementations.

  5. Rule of Law
    The government runs according to the set of rules. It ensures the full protection of human rights enough consideration upon those minorities, independent and impartial judicial system and incorruptible police force contribute a lot to maintaining the rule of law. Laws are properly implemented and offenders are duly entertained with the support of the police and the court.

  6. Consensus
    A broad consensus can be achieved through meditation and discussion on the matter of the best interest of the whole community. The consensus is also reached on how to meet goals of sustainable human development.

  7. Equality and inclusiveness
    There are policies and practices for enabling all members in society to feel that they all have a share in its regulation. Opportunities are provided for all and essentially more to the most disadvantaged ones to raise their level. Reservations, for example, give second chances for the people who otherwise would not be able to rise.

  8. Effectiveness and efficiency
    As competent and efficient people are in power and leadership, realistic and practicable efforts are made for the best utilization of resources so as to meet the needs of society. Such efforts are effective and efficient in reaching the goals. So, sustainable development and environment protection are ensured.

Importance of Good Governance

Good governance is important because of the following reasons:

  • It helps to mobilize the means and resources properly.
  • It helps in the proportionate distribution of the natural resources.
  • It helps to control corruption.
  • It helps to make people patriotic.
  • It helps to promote public confidence in public administration.
  • It helps to deliver speedy, efficient and people-oriented services.

Challenges of Good Governance

The following are the challenges of good governance:

  • Corruption
  • Lack of public pressure
  • Weak civil society
  • Mean feelings
  • Lack of political commitment
  • Procedural administration
  • Inability in policy matters

Solutions

  • People should be provided with speedy, cheap, easy and quality service.
  • The public administration should not be only process oriented system, it should also be result oriented system.
  • The welfare of the people should be kept into consideration for strengthening good governance.
  • There should be combined efforts of the government, private sector and civil society for balanced and integrated services.
Things to remember
  • Governance describes the process of decision-making and process by which its decisions are carried out.
  • Characteristics of good governance are Participation, Accountability, Responsiveness, Transparency, Rule of Law, Consensus, Equality and inclusiveness, Effectiveness and efficiency.
  • Good governance, in a broader sense, is to rule according to the need and wish of people as well as for their welfare. 
  • Accountability is the soul of a democratic government. 
  • Bureaucracy is honest and its functions help promote public- welfare.
  • It includes every relationship which established among the people.
  • There can be more than one community in a society. Community smaller than society.
  • It is a network of social relationships which cannot see or touched.
  • common interests and common objectives are not necessary for society.
Videos for Good Governance
"Good Governance," by R. Scott Turicchi
Bibeksheel Nepali helps a citizen demand accountability from Government's senior officers
Bibeksheel Nepali launches anticorruption and good governance campaign:
The 12 principles of good governance at local level
Questions and Answers
A good governance refers to the fair manner in which a government works.
A good governance is important as it not only gives the local community confidence in its council, but improves the faith that elected members and officers have in their own local government and its decision-making processes.
Accountability is the soul of democratic government as all government and private institutions along with civil societies are essentially responsible to respective groups of people for their decisions and actions.
The obstacle of Good Governance can be removed by taking measures to remove poverty, implementing laws, coordinating government and civil society, expansion of social opportunities, etc.

The Interim constitution of Nepal, 2063 has determined the responsibility of the state for implementing good governance which incorporates the concept of political system encompassing account ability, responsibility, peoples participation, impartiality, clean and efficient bureaucracy and driving away the corruption procedural administration and impurity.

Good governance has major 8 characteristics. They are:
  • Participation
  • Transparency
  • Rule of law
  • Responsiveness
  • Consensus oriented
  • Equality and equity
  • Inclusiveness
  • Effectiveness and efficiency
  • Accountability
The challenges of good governance in Nepal are as follow:
  • Corruption and impurity
  • Process oriented administration
  • Weak civil society
  • Insufficient public pressure
  • Policy level instability
  • Traditional thoughts etc.
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