Good governance refers to a perfect decision-making and the implementation of that decision. Good governance comprises of the following essential characteristics. Good governance is participatory, accountable, transparent, responsive to peoples needs, efficient and effective in its operation, equitable, inclusive, and up-holds the rule of law. Good governance has gained popularity in the world. Donors are strictly relying on the term in making their decisions. Good governance ensures that the citizens enjoy functioning laws, transparency in the governing, reduction of the level of corruption, and access to basic human needs. Governance applies not only to the government institution, but also to the private sector. Corporation success is determined by the quality of governance. A corporation that succeeds is the one with good governance, while the one with a poor governance is bound to fail.
The issue of governance varies from one country to another. Thus, some states rank the best in governance, while there are others with governance problems. Donors from developed countries have increased pressure on less developed countries to restructure their institutions to promote good governance.
Good governance includes the following elements: Firstly, Accountability is part of the element. The law requires public officers to be answerable to their acts. This allows the citizens to seek clarification on matters regarding to the running of the public office. The public officers’ evaluation is made possible by setting standards prior to evaluation.
Secondly, government actions, decision-making process, and other activities should be conducted transparently. The activities should be open to a given level of public scrutiny. This will help the government focus on development issues and shun engaging in unethical issues.
Thirdly, good governance calls for the responsiveness of government to public needs. Government sets mechanisms of identifying the public interest, and devise strategies of achieving these interests. For example, when the nation plunges into hunger due to prolonged drought the government that is responsive to the needs and wants of the civil society, should provide food to the hunger stricken.
Fourthly, good governance entails forward visualization. A government plans for the future especially under a good administration. These plans clearly define the means of achieving the goals. Good governance focuses on short-term planning, also long-term planning. Many countries, companies, and nongovernmental organization set their development blue prints with clear defined steps towards achievement of these goals. However, the achievement of the goals as stipulated in their planning encounters numerous challenges. It is the duty of the governing body to keep reviewing the development plans to make them viable and achievable.
Finally, good governance respects the rule of law. The government should ensure that there is justice for all. This ensures that nobody fails to account for his or her action. It should ensure that the judiciary performs effectively and efficiently to enhance speed and a fair trial for offenders.
However, few researches specifically address how good governance relates with other development issues. For example, how good governance relates to corruption. Therefore, this report seeks to give an insight of this linkage and the exploration of the topic of study.
This report relies on a comparative case study due to availability of information. Many researchers, scholars, government agencies, and nongovernmental organizations (Ngo’s) contributed a lot on the topic. A Comparative case study in this case is easy to conduct compared to other methods of collecting information.
The achievement of good governance requires the incorporation of all development agenda. This agenda is crucial in achieving the sustainable economic development with good living standards of the citizens. Good governance agenda includes the following.
According to Huffer & So'o, good governance agenda needs to ensure that the plan achieves its development goals, and the need for responsiveness to the people’s needs. There cannot be development if the needs of the people are not met. This is because the realization of development occurs through the improvement of the public’s living standards.
Another good governance agenda is the rule of law. A region where every citizen respects the law and always behaves according to what the law stipulates demonstrates effectiveness of the rule of good governance. This will protect the fundamental rights and freedom of every citizen. However, the achievement of the rule of law calls for the implementation of an efficient and effective judicial system. This is only achieved if people enjoy an impartial judicial system. This is the reason why countries that lack good governance campaign for reforms, in the key public institutions.
Another development agenda in good governance is that of transparency and the setting of anti-corruption policies. Transparency forces those in authority to uphold diligence in their conduct for fear of the public rebellion. Transparency allows the public to demand the public officers to account for their action. On the other hand, corruption policies help in minimizing the cases of corruption in the government institutions, private sector and the civil society. Corruption is a serious threat to the development of the economy. Many donors of the least developed countries are demanding that the governments should implement policies aimed at reducing the vices. Some donors declined providing funds because of the poor government policies in addressing corruption.
Another good governance agenda in development is the democracy. Good governance should ensure that there is good democratic system where people have a right to express their views and speech. Freedom of speech is one of the significant rights, which influences the governance of the nation. For example, during election, politicians have a right to express their manifesto for the country and people have the right to give their views during election. This enables openness among citizens, which will help in electing the leaders of their choice.
Gender equity is another good governance agenda. This requires the government to include both representation of men and women in running the affairs of the nation. Therefore, both men and women should play a part in governance to ensure both genders are equally represented.
Finally, good governance agenda such as efficiency and effectiveness is essential in making sure that the economy achieves its full productivity potential. In addition, the benefits of a growing economy should be distributed equally to every individual in the society. Everybody should be included in the enjoyment of the benefits of the government. Failure to include will lead to some people or a group feeling undermined by the government resulting to poor governance.
Good governance agenda is a term gaining popularity in almost all nations. This is because citizens are becoming aware of their rights and want to see the government that is working for their common good. However, donors of the least developed countries mostly stress good governance. This is because least developed countries lack proper institutions resulting to embezzlement of the donated funds. Therefore, good governance agenda is a tool that donors are promoting to strengthen the governance institutions, and to ensure that their donations serve the intended purposes.
Corruption negatively affects the development of a nation. For example, increase in corruption, in the government institution leads to withdrawal of potential donors. This is because donors will be unwilling to let their funds embezzled. Corruption leads to a low investment. This is because it causes mismanagement of funds meant for development projects. For instance, funds meant to construct roads end up on individual hands leading to uncompleted roads. In addition, corruption negatively affects foreign direct investment because foreign investors fear the risk of involving themselves with corrupt nations.
In order that there is good governance in the public and private institutions, a government should give priority to democracy. Democracy is a useful tool of ensuring that there is a stable government, which is effectively and efficiently governed in all sectors. Democracy gives people the freedom of speech. This enables the politicians to share ideas, and their visions of the nation. It also gives people the right to elect a leader that they prefer. Since politics, is part of the development pillar, democracy will enable a nation to have positive politics with freedom of political affiliation, freedom of providing a person’s opinion, and of voting. Therefore, democracy is a requirement for development, and we can not achieve rapid development without democracy. This is because development improvement indicator is measured in the level of living standards of individuals through equitable distribution of resources. This is only possible if there is democracy to enhance the voting process in making decisions involving the masses.
Good governance is a significant tool in the realization of economic development. For a country to achieve economic development, it should ensure that it addresses all the elements of good governance. However, achievement of good governance is by addressing the good governance agenda and incorporating them in leadership. Implementation of policies aimed at curbing corruption is essential in achieving full development by boosting investment in a country.